Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

These self-care tips can help you manage your condition:

  • Switch pain relievers. To help prevent bleeding episodes, talk with your doctor before taking blood-thinning medications — such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox). Your doctor may instead recommend pain and fever relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).
  • Tell your doctors and dentist. Let your doctors or dentist know that you have von Willebrand disease before you have any type of surgery, start a new medication or give birth. Also mention whether anyone in your family has a history of excessive bleeding.
  • Consider wearing a medical ID bracelet. Make sure it notes that you have von Willebrand disease, which will be helpful to medical personnel if you're ever in an accident or taken to an emergency room. Also carry a medical alert card in your wallet.
  • Be active and safe. Exercise as part of attaining or maintaining a healthy weight. Avoid activities that could cause bruising, such as football, wrestling and hockey.

Prevention

Because von Willebrand disease is usually an inherited disorder, consider having genetic counseling if you have a family history of this condition and you're planning to have children. If you carry the defective gene for von Willebrand disease, you can pass it on to your offspring, even if you don't have symptoms.