If I have VWD, what will my symptoms be?
Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is a complex, diverse disease with a wide variety of symptoms. They can vary greatly – from person to person and episode to episode. Types of bleeding include10-12:
People with severe VWD often have symptoms as babies and may be diagnosed early, but in milder cases VWD often isn’t diagnosed until the experience of a major bleed (usually due to an injury or surgery). If a healthcare provider (HCP) suspects a bleeding disorder, the patient will often be referred to a hematologist, a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating bleeding disorders such as VWD and hemophilia.5,13
Diagnosing VWD usually involves reviewing personal history of bleeding or bruising that is more than normal, such as4,13:
Your doctor will likely also research whether you have a family history of bleeding more than usual, give you a physical exam, check for signs of liver disease or anemia (low red blood cell count).
VWD can only be diagnosed with several specialized blood tests because routine blood tests often give normal results with VWD. Testing may be repeated multiple times because a person’s von Willebrand factor (VWF) levels can vary in different instances and may appear normal.5,13
Laboratory tests for VWD are designed to find out5:
Each VWD diagnosis is unique in type and severity. Check with your doctor to find out where you fall on the spectrum and what types of treatment may be right for you.
Medicines are used to1,14: