Modern Medicine: Living with HHT - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Modern Medicine: Living with HHT

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Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia, or HHT, is a rare, inherited disorder of the blood vessels. HHT can lead to anemia and the need for blood transfusions.  Barbara Clemons was diagnosed with HHT after having two strokes due to blood clots.

"I have a lot of nosebleeds. That's another reason I'm so tired because I'm always bleeding," explains Clemons.

Hematologist/Oncologist Dr. Andrew Weber says, "It's a rare inherited disorder of the blood vessels that most commonly presents with nosebleeds, but it has a wider range of severities from as simple as nosebleeds and iron deficiency to serious manifestations of bleeding in the lungs, liver and brain."

Clemons wants to educate others and encourages everyone to openly discuss alarming symptoms with your doctor.  Blood transfusions and iron infusions are common needs for HHT patients. That's why doctors say blood donation is so important.

Dr. Weber monitors the blood cell count and iron levels for Clemons.  He says she must be monitored because "there are some studies that show iron deficiency in this disease can predispose [patients] to blood clots."  Dr. Weber also says there's an anti-blood cell antibody used in cancer patients that could one day be used to help HHT patients who have problems with the liver.  However, it's only in the early phase trials right now.