HHT (Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia) and a low salicylate diet

Some facts about HHT:

  • It is a rare inherited condition, affecting about 1 in 5000 people
  • characterised by frequent nosebleeds and small red spots that are vascular malformations called telangiectasias - most noticeable on the tongue, fingers, hands, nose, lips, mouth, throat and conjunctiva
  • also known as Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome
  • first recognised in 1896 as a disorder affecting the blood vessels and therefore separate from haemophilia which affects the blood’s clotting ability
  • can be associated with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in various internal organs including brain and lungs and these can be lifethreatening. Bleeding from the digestive tract can result in anemia

HHT patients are advised to avoid anti-coagulant drugs including aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen because they interfere with normal clotting and can increase bleeding. So could a low salicylate diet help patients with HHT?

A reader’s story: [387] HHT (Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia) and a low salicylate diet (March 2006)

Our family has been largely failsafe for the past couple of years due to our daughter’s behaviour, but an added side benefit seems to have emerged. My husband has a rare disorder called Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) which causes his capillaries to balloon and bleed easily. His blood count is always very low and like all HHT sufferers, nosebleeds have always been part of his life. He has had far fewer nosebleeds since he's avoided salicylates and that's the only change that he's made. I wonder if it could be that the lack of salicylates decrease the bleeding? He can't ever take aspirin, so I suppose it makes sense, but if my suspicions are correct, then other HHT sufferers might benefit as well. I would think that it's worth investigating and I will certainly share it with anyone who is interested or concerned. – Chris, NSW

More information about HHT from More information about a low salicylate diet and HHT from Chris: (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Introduction to food intolerance

The information given is not intended as medical advice. Always consult with your doctor for underlying illness. Before beginning dietary investigation, consult a dietician with an interest in food intolerance. You can see our list of experienced and supportive dietitians 

© Sue Dengate update March 2006