Von Willebrand disease is a relatively common hereditary blood-clotting disorder, affecting as much as 1% of the population. In rare cases, a person can develop an acquired form of the disease as a result of other conditions. Even those with the hereditary version of von Willebrand disease may not develop symptoms for many years. Currently, there is no cure for the condition, but doctors can treat the symptoms.
Most of the symptoms of von Willebrand disease are subtle, and many people with the disease are asymptomatic. The primary and most characteristic symptom is abnormal bleeding. Though severity varies, "abnormal" often refers to excessive bleeding, particularly following a medical procedure. It may also refer to bleeding that persists for longer than average, such as a nosebleed that lasts for more than ten minutes. Blood in the urine or stool is another example of abnormal bleeding. Many people with von Willebrand disease also bruise easily, and their bruises may have a lumpy texture.
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