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COVID-19 – and what it means for people living with hemophilia

Over the past few months, the world has been hit by the global outbreakof a coronavirus disease (COVID-19). To contain the spread and prevent the overwhelming of health services, billions of people have been forced to stay home, working remotely or trying to stay stimulated in other ways.

Novo Nordisk is concerned about all our patients, including people living with hemophilia and other serious chronic diseases. Our thoughts go out to those directly affected as well as those caring for an affected family member. We are committed to ensuring the uninterrupted supply of our medicines and to supporting local governments, health authorities and patient organisations. Furthermore, it is our aim to improve the supply of healthcare equipment and research expertise, and continue to make facilities and information available, in order to help address concerns related to the availability of our medicines (see novonordisk.com).

This is general disease awareness and should not be understood as medical advice. If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 or have questions, doubts or concerns, you should contact your doctor. Always follow the advice of local authorities.

Changing Hemophilia is the manifestation of Novo Nordisk's commitment to address the unmet needs in hemophilia care, beyond medicine. With the TalkingJoints® educational tools we would like to empower patients to stay active and protect their joints while they while they protect themselves and their communities by staying home.

Let’s talk about how people with hemophilia can promote health, manage symptoms and optimise well-being.

Physical activity is important

While some people with hemophilia avoid physical activity out of fear that it may cause bleeds, regular activity done properly can in fact help prevent bleeds and joint damage if done properly.

Physical activity has a number of benefits. It can;

  • help to protect joints
  • improve joint stability, strength and range of motion
  • reduce stress on joint through body weight management
  • make dressing, eating, shopping and other simple activities easier
  • make your social life easier
  • help you get mobile again after a bleed
  • improve general health and mental well-being

Although the current moment finds most healthcare professionals under additional stresses due to COVID-19, we advise consulting a professional before embarking on unfamiliar exercises. If you already have a routine around physical activity, it is important that you adhere to it and keep giving your body the workout that will promote its functioning.

The following physical-activity advice is indebted to Novo Nordisk’s “Talking Joints”, an education and support programme for people with hemophilia. You can find it here. 

Some general advice for physical exercise:

  • Start with low-intensity exercises and few repetitions
  • Listen to your body and always progress gradually to more advanced exercises
  • Slow down or stop exercising if you experience a pain that is increasing
  • Keep an exercise log so you can track your progress and be proud of your results

Here are some physical-activity don’ts:

  • Avoid overstretching a limb or “locking” knees, ankles or elbows during physical activity
  • Never exercise a joint during an active bleed
  • Avoid high-impact sports or powerlifting
  • Don’t overdo things or try to progress too quickly

Talking Joints is a part of Changing Hemophilia, a comprehensive agenda designed by Novo Nordisk to aid people with hemophilia in managing their disease and living fulfilling, active lives.

Because we know it’s sometimes helpful to learn directly from another person’s experience, we are in touch with many people with instructive stories to tell. Here’s a video from our “Inspiring Change in Hemophilia” film series, which tells the story of hemophilia patient, choreographer and dancer Jecorei Lyons. His tips and suggestions may be useful to you!

To learn directly from other people living with hemophilia, check out the video library here.

Good luck!

Health and food go hand in hand

Just like physical activity, supplying your body with healthy and nutritious food can have positive mental-health benefits. With many countries in near-total lockdown, lots of people now find themselves spending a lot of time at home. Why not put new-found time to good use by improving your skills in the kitchen? That way you may gain relief from anxiety and boredom while providing yourself with a wholesome diet.

In general, eating healthy foods will keep your body strong, well-nourished and better equipped for living life to the full with hemophilia. And don’t forget to factor in that by using good nutrition to attain a healthy body weight, you reduce

  • the risk of obesity
  • the risk of joint damage
  • the frequency of bleeds
  • your general discomfort

Start paying attention to the amount of calories you consume and plan your intake dynamically. That is to say, if you have a large lunch, choose lighter options at dinner. Your healthcare professional can help you determine an appropriate daily amount of calories.

And here are 2 recipes you are sure to enjoy:

World Hemophilia Day - Let’s do this together!

This year, we’ll mark World Hemophilia Day (April 17) four months into a serious global health crisis – one imposing home-quarantine and social distancing on millions of people. The message for the hemophilia community seems clear: Use the Internet and social media to access support, offer advice, share experiences and raise awareness.

And remember, at a time of widespread loneliness, constructive conversations may not only be instructive but can come with mental-health benefits.

The message at the heart of World Hemophilia Day is that we must stick together as a community – to raise the standard of living and increase the quality of treatment for people living with hemophilia. This message is no less relevant at a time when everyone is at risk of a communicable disease like COVID-19. For more information on World Hemophilia Day, please click here.

Let’s help ourselves and each other get through this crisis by exercising precaution, forethought, cooperation and solidarity. By staying safe and sticking together.

Let’s help ourselves and each other get through this crisis by exercising precaution, forethought, cooperation and solidarity. By staying safe and sticking together.

Learn more

To learn more about how to manage hemophilia symptoms and promote general health, click here.

In this article you will find links to third-party material not owned or controlled by Novo Nordisk. We are not responsible for the content or the accuracy of the information provided and have no control over the privacy policies or terms of use of such third-party sites.