Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)

Overview of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura is an immune system disease that can affect the platelets in the blood. The platelets in the blood are responsible for normal blood clotting. However, in the case of ITP normally blood clotting is affected and the condition is also known as immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).   

In the case of ITP, the normal blood clotting process is affected, and in case of any injury or bruising blood doesn’t clot and the bleeding can go drastically dangerous. The disease is often characterized by the appearance of purple-colored bruises known as purpura. 

The problem can affect men, women, and children and is associated with different other conditions. ITP can be characterized as acute (one that lasts less than 6 months)  or chronic (lasting more than 6 months). 

Signs and Symptoms of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)

Some of the common symptoms of ITP include: 

  • Easy bruises
  • Unstoppable  bleeding
  • The appearance of purple-colored patches
  • Nose Bleeding 
  • Blood in urine
  • Bloody stools
  • Heavy menstruation

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Causes of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)

There is no exact cause of ITP known to us. Though there are many causes that trigger this immune response. Some of the causes that trigger this immune response include viral infections in children. Other than this, ITP can occur alongside other conditions including infections, immune diseases, pregnancy, medications etc.

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Risk Factors of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)

The condition is usually genetic and people of certain groups are considered to be at risk of developing the problem. Some of the population groups carrying sickle cell genes include Africans, Americans, Indians, Mediterranean people.

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Prevention

The condition is initiated by an immune response that you can’t prevent. However, proper can minimize the damage and complications due to the disease. You need to be mindful of any medication that you are consuming. Further, make sure you don’t have prevalent infections and don’t get injured frequently. 

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Diagnosis

When it comes to the diagnosis of ITP, knowing about your medical history and careful examination of your medications does the job. Other than this, the following procedures can help with the diagnosis of ITP:

CBC: Complete blood count is one of the most common procedures performed to diagnose the presence of platelets in your blood sample. Your blood profile reveals the shape, size, and count of platelets in your blood.

Blood and Urine Tests: These diagnostic procedures aid in the confirmation and identification of any possible infection. Further, it also assists with the calculation of the bleeding rate.

Treatment of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) | When to Consult a Doctor

There are many treatment options for ITP. Though your physician can choose a treatment plan depending upon the clinical manifestation of your disease. Keeping in all you treatment requirements in mind, your physician can come up with the following treatment options:

Medication

There are certain medicines that can slow down platelet destruction thus preventing uncontrolled bleeding. Steroids are particularly important in this regard but should only be used as recommended by your doctor. 

Immune Globulin Treatment 

Gamma immunoglobulins are another effective treatment option for IPT. These immunoglobulins are capable of inhibiting platelet destruction which is responsible for IPT. 

Infection Treatment 

As already discussed, IPT can occur due to IPT. In this case, infection treatment comes as an effective treatment approach against IPT.

Platelet Transfusion

Among people who have a severely lower platelet count, platelet transfusion can help to get control uncontrolled bleeding.

Spleen Removal

This surgical treatment is effective in case of severe ITP. The spleen is the site where platelets destroying proteins are synthesized. So, in the case of severe ITP splenectomy (spleen removal) is an effective way to treat ITP.  

If you experience problems of excessive bleeding and excessive bruising, then consult a medical professional as soon as possible.

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