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Phlebitis and ABO Blood Group


My husband is A- and has phlebitis in his left ankle. We have been slowly incorporating the blood type principles into our lifestyle (I am A+). What else can be done to eliminate or lessen the phlebitis?


Phlebitis any condition where there is inflammation of a vein. It can refer to superficial veins in the legs or deep veins in the muscles of the leg or pelvis.

Phlebitis may be characterized by any of the following symptoms:

1. a hard, red vein visible in your leg; it may be warm and tender.

2. fever is possible and sleepless nights as the pain worsens.

3. a throbbing or burning sensation beneath the skin's surface.

4. pain deep inside the leg and swelling in the ankle

Often this condition is followed by thrombosis (clotting of the blood). Therefore phlebitis followed by thrombosis is called thrombophlebitis. These painful clots may partially or fully block blood flow in affected veins.

The superficial phlebitis is the most common form of phlebitis and occurs in veins near the skin's surface usually in the legs. This is usually harmless although painful and uncomfortable.

Deep phlebitis, on the other hand, is less common and more dangerous as it affects the internal veins of the legs. These clots tend to be larger and more able to loosen and travel to other areas. It is also possible for you not to realise you have this problem and it may go untreated.

Phebitis is typically treated by blood thinning agents, including low-dose aspririn therapy.

It has been found that having type O blood lessens the risk of phlebitis, especially in women and younger subjects. In one study 86 medical patients with a hospital discharge diagnosis of thrombophlebitis of the lower extremity, 70 (81%) were of blood type A,B, or AB (non-O).(1) There is typically an excess of blood group A in epidemiological studies of venous thrombosis.

We know that ABO genetics has an influence on the production of Factor VIII and Von Willdebrand Factors, crucial blood clotting factors. Having group A blood and/or the Lewis a-b- phenotype increases the risk of coagulation difficulties dramatically. This may be the result of the action of the A blood group antigen directly on the platelets themselves.

Since anti-coagulation therapy is considered 'front-line' treatment for venous thrombosis, your husband may benefit from several natural alternatives. John Bastyr, the famous naturopathic icon, used to tell us students that the juice of several lemons had a demonstrable effect on inhibiting clot formation. The pineapple enzyme bromelain has proven anti-edematous, anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic and fibrinolytic (clot dissolving)activities.

Stress reduction may be more improtant for group A patients with phlebitis than commonly realized. Studies have shown a direct correlation between ABO blood group, blood viscosity (thickness) and a variety of conditions,including stress.(2,3) In all cases, group A had the highest blood viscosity.

1. Jick H, Porter J. Thrombophlebitis of the lower extremities and ABO blood type. Arch Intern Med. 1978 Oct;138(10):1566-7.

2. Dintenfass L. Blood rheology as diagnostic and predictive tool in cardiovascular diseases. Effect of ABO blood groups. Angiology. 1974 Jun;25(6):365-72

3. Dintenfass L. The role of ABO blood groups in dynamic coagulation and thrombus formation in vascular disease. An in vitro study. Haematologia (Budap). 1971;5(3):205-16.

The Ask Dr. D'Adamo internet advice column ran from 1996 to 2009, at which time Dr. D'Adamo's teaching and programming responsibilities no longer allowed him to devote time and resources to directly answering visitor questions. However we've recently reorganized this treasure-trove of material and made it again available to his readership. He occasionally posts new entries. These are marked with a NEW tag.

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