Lifestyle choices and hemophilia

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Teens living with hemophilia can learn tips on how to balance lifestyle choices while managing their health.

Every person makes many personal decisions about the type of lifestyle they want to live. You may choose to express yourself in a certain way by getting a tattoo or a piercing. As a person living with hemophilia, learning the risks involved in these choices can help you make an informed decision.

Deciding to drink is another personal decision that many teens are faced with, even before they reach the legal age to drink. Likewise, you may be faced with the choice to smoke cigarettes or use drugs. Even if you don’t really want to drink, smoke or use drugs, it can be hard to say no, especially when your friends are doing it. You might not want to feel left out. There are, however, different strategies you can try. You could say:

  • “I’m not into drinking/smoking.”
  • “I have a game tomorrow.”
  • “My parents are coming to pick me up soon.”
  • “I already got in trouble for drinking once, I can’t do it again.”
  • “I don’t like the taste; it makes me feel sick.”

Some people find it helps to just say “no” without giving any explanation.

Being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol may increase your risk of injury. You may not be as aware of symptoms of bleeding or may not act on your symptoms as quickly. If you are injured, it may be more difficult for you to communicate about your hemophilia.

If you think you need some help or just someone to talk to, you can speak to your doctor, school counsellor, or a trusted adult relative.

In the end, it’s your choice to get a tattoo, drink, use drugs, or NOT! But before you make that decision, it helps to get as much information as you can.

Last updated: March 13th 2019