Christmas Disease - A rare genetic disorder in Males Only

This name sounds a little different. How can somebody name a disease like that. But it is a real name of a genetic disorder and that name is given due to name of its first reported patient named Stephen Christmas in 1952. Christmas Disease is also know as hemophilia B or factor IX hemophilia. This disease usually affects males only. Females can be a carrier of these genes but very rarely get affected by it. What happens in this genetic disorder will come next in this article.

What is Christmas Disease ?

Christmas Disease is a genetic disorder, which happens in the chromosome X. Men have one X and one Y chromosome, and when this one X chromosome gets this disease by heredity, the subject looses the factor IX, which is the ability to clot the blood. It means that bleeding from a wound will not result in clotting and blood will continue flowing out of body. Patients of christmas disease need to pay special attention to wounds and need to adopt a very safe lifestyle to save themselves. Even a small wound can cause serious complication for them. In absence of proper treatment Christmas Disease can be fatal.

Why only men are generally affected by Christmas Disease ?

Only X chromosome have the factor IX. Men have one X chromosome, while women have 2. Even if a woman looses the factor IX on one X chromosome, she can use factor IX on other X chromosome. It makes that woman carrier of Christmas disease but she wont get affected by the negative impacts of that disease. In a very rare circumstance a girl child can get Christmas Disease. There are only 25% chances of that only if the father have this disease and mother is a carrier. Such condition occurs very rarely and no such cases are generally reported.

What are the symptoms of Christmas Disease ?

  • Continuous bleeding from wounds (inability to form clots by itself)
  • Bleeding from nose
  • unexplained blood in urine / stools
  • pooling of blood in joints

Special Care for patients of Christmas Disease

  • Factor IX Injections: These injections are prepared from donated blood of healthy people.
  • Desmopressin Acetate: This medicine can be applied on small wounds to stop bleeding. However medical treatment should not be avoided in case of a larger wound.
  • Prophylaxis: It is a medical term used for preventive blood transfusion, which is done to avoid or reduce prolonged and heavy bleeding.
  • Avoid getting hurt: It is the most necessary precaution for a patient of christmas disease.

Note: Internal bleeding create major complications in Christmas Disease. In case internal bleeding in brain, the condition can be very critical.

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