• Vitamin C In The Emergency Department: Nose Bleeds

    Posted June 17, 2013: by Bill Sardi

    A published report explains the case of a 10-year old boy presented to the emergency department of a hospital in Philadelphia with a six-month history of bloody nose (epistaxis).

    The child also exhibited bleeding gums and red eyes (subconjunctival hemorrhages). The child was not taking any medications.

    The child was diagnosed with hepatitis (liver inflammation) and started on steroid drugs to relieve symptoms.  Elevated liver enzymes declined.  Not at any point in the 7-page report on this patient was scurvy suggested, even though the patient exhibited overt signs of vitamin C deficiency (gums, eyes).  Steroids deplete vitamin C and represent inappropriate medication.

    A common reason for misdiagnosis of bloody nose is the lack of recognition that aspirin depletes vitamin C which then weakens blood capillaries which results in hemorrhage.

    Surveys reveal a larger percentage of patients with blood nose were taking medications that thin the blood (inhibit blood clotting), which includes aspirin. Indeed, aspirin has been found to be a major risk factor for bloody nose.

    The risk for bloody nose is nine-fold greater among aspirin users.  Aspirin users are twice as likely to be admitted to a hospital for this condition.

    Physicians frequently believe high blood pressure is a factor that induces bloody nose.  But recent studies dismiss hypertension as a factor that increases risk for blood nose.

    In 1975 doctors William Coffey and C.W.M. Wilson wrote in The British Medical Journal that hematemesis (vomiting blood) is likely induced by aspirin-induced scurvy (vitamin C deficiency).  These doctors presented evidence that vitamin C levels decline with advancing age and that aspirin worsens that problem.  They noted that many medications deplete vitamin C including tobacco, alcohol, iron, oral contraceptives and even antibiotics.  They noted that “aspirin is one of the most powerful drugs that produce ascorbic acid (vitamin C) deficiency.”

    While their report does not address bloody nose, it does reveal the fact doctors have been overlooking vitamin C deficiency as a cause in all the various forms of hemorrhage, regardless of their anatomical location.

    Indeed, aspirin users exhibit more than double the risk for brain hemorrhage.  But there is also little recognition that vitamin C depletion may be a primary underlying factor in hemorrhagic strokes.

    The obvious escapes recognition.  Even if vitamin C deficiency is not a primary cause of bloody nose, bloody noses do not occur if blood capillaries are strong rather than weak.  This basis understanding escapes practical use in the medical clinic.  Who has the time to track down the cause when a patient experiencing severe loss of blood?  An assumption should be vitamin C deficiency may be involved and mega-vitamin C therapy will cause no harm.

    Vitamin C therapy should be employed as a therapeutic challenge without blood testing for low blood levels of this vitamin.  The patient often has no time for blood testing, only immediate therapy.  The use of blood coagulants and nasal packing may be immediately effective, but does not appropriately address a common underlying cause of this frequent problem.  The current therapy for bloody nose is just another evidence of modern medicine’s aversion to nutritional medicine. Mothers of children with chronic bloody noses should give supplemental vitamin C.  It may save an expensive trip to the emergency room.     ©2013 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.

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