Factor V Leiden Thrombophilia

Today I learnt about Factor V Leiden thrombophilia, because I found out my father has it. He suffered a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) a couple of years after I had my first.  Many people are asymptomatic carriers for Factor V, like Typhoid Mary but as it’s hereditary – Factor V is not contagious.

From the wikipedia page:

  • ~5% of North Americans have Factor V
  • ~30% of people who have a DVT or PE have Factor V
  • Women with Factor V have a substantially increased risk of clotting while pregnant or on estrogen-containing birth control pills (including hormone replacement)

I’ve got a call into my hematologist because I was told that I did not have any of the known hereditary things that they tested for.  That was ~10 years ago, but I’m am anxious to hear if something was missed – maybe someone forgot to run the test?  Whatever the reason, it’d be a comfort to know if I have Factor V.  Without any knowledge, all I can do is treat the symptoms.  Which can be too late.

About That INR Level…

My father beat me for “highest INR level” – his was 5.3 at one point.  I think mine was 4.1?  At first glance it’s funny, but there’s a serious risk of “spontaneous” bleeding.  He learnt what I’ve always said in previous posts about the vitamin K content of various foods: A “low” rating depends on the amount.  The vitamin K content adds up (it’s cumulative) in proportion to the amount of that food you eat.  He loves ginger apparently.  I do too, but I don’t like constant INR testing…

Musing on Medical Alerts

We also discussed means of communicating health issues in the event that we aren’t able to communicate them to strangers.  There’s no standardization for things like medical alert bracelets, which would automatically be removed by hospital staff because of constriction/compression risk.  That’s assuming the bracelet/etc survives whatever happened to require that.  I’d looked into tattoos, and settled on temporary tattoos.  Nothing is perfect – my temp tattoo would list information in English, and could be destroyed (even partially).  But on the upper chest, two at the clavicle (either side of the neck) would be visible when clothing is removed.  You can buy custom temp tattoos online, in bulk…

Reverse the Harm of Sitting: 5 minute Walk

Medical researchers have been steadily building evidence that prolonged sitting is awful for your health.  And that’s before getting to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and/or Pulmonary Embolism (PE) sufferers.

Sitting for long periods of time, like many people do daily at their jobs, is associated with risk factors such as higher cholesterol levels and greater waist circumference that can lead to cardiovascular and metabolic disease. When people sit, slack muscles do not contract to effectively pump blood to the heart. Blood can pool in the legs and affect the endothelial function of arteries, or the ability of blood vessels to expand from increased blood flow.

…The researchers were able to demonstrate that during a three-hour period, the flow-mediated dilation, or the expansion of the arteries as a result of increased blood flow, of the main artery in the legs was impaired by as much as 50 percent after just one hour. The study participants who walked for five minutes for each hour of sitting saw their arterial function stay the same — it did not drop throughout the three-hour period. Thosar says it is likely that the increase in muscle activity and blood flow accounts for this.

Source:

It’s so crazy, it might just work…

This also lends credence to why DVTs happen on long distance travel, discounting what I never believed: the air mixture in planes was responsible.  Since my original diagnosis, I’ve been told to take breaks and walk when driving or flying long distances (basically over an hour) to prevent future problems…