ITP is a disorder that can result in easy bruising and excessive bleeding. The bleeding results from an insufficient amount of platelets – the cells responsible for blood clotting. Formerly, the condition was known as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, as it is characterized by purple bruises and tiny reddish-purple spots that appear as a rash. Children who had previously suffered from a viral infection are more susceptible to immune thrombocytopenia, although they can fully recover after two to three weeks from being exposed to disease even without treatment.
In most occasions, ITP early warning signs are barely noticeable, but when they happen, they include:
• Bleeding from the gums or nose
• Excessive bruising and bleeding
• Heavy menstrual flow
• Bleeding underneath the skin resulting in pinpoint-sized spots that appear reddish-purple
• Blood in the stools or urine
People with mild ITP requires regular platelet monitoring and checkups. Children are more likely to heal quickly, even without treatment. Adults with ITP should seek immediate medical intervention as the condition may become severe or chronic if left untreated. Immune thrombocytopenia treatments include several approaches, such as medications to boost platelet count or surgery to get rid of the spleen. Your doctor will discuss with you the benefits and risks involved in every approach, such as:
There are over-the-counter drugs and supplements, which can boost platelet production while others inhibit production. Your health officer will discuss with you and recommend accordingly.
Medications that are more likely to be recommended include:
• Immune globulin: These are drugs that are administered through injection and are likely used during emergencies. The drug is also used before, during, and after surgery to increase the amount of blood.
• Steroids: These are supplements your doctor will initially suggest. Once your platelets count rises back to normal, you should discontinue the use of these drugs. This is because too much consumption of steroids increases your risk of infection.
• Drugs that increase the production of platelets: Medicines such as romiplostim and eltrombopag triggers the bone marrow to produce extra platelets. However, though, this type of drug can also increase the risk of clots forming in the blood.
If your condition is chronic or persists despite using medical treatments, your doctor, at this point, will suggest for an operation to remove the spleen. This treatment helps to remove the primary source of platelet destruction in the body, and as a result, the platelet amount is boosted. Unfortunately, the treatment doesn’t work better for everyone. Also, living without spleen increases your susceptibility to infections.
3. Lifestyle and home remedies
If you are diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia, you can minimize the risk of suffering by:
• Avoid playing contact games, which can increase the risk of bleeding. Discuss with your physician the safest activities you can carry out
• Take caution of possible signs. You should be cautious and alert if you experience specific symptoms, such as fever, and report to your doctor as soon as possible. People living without a spleen should be more observant as infection are more severe to them.
• Consult the type of over-the-counter medication you are using – nonprescription drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin impairs the normal functioning of platelets.
4. Emergency treatments
Immune thrombocytopenia patients can experience severe bleeding, although under rare circumstances. However, in case of severe bleeding, emergency treatment should be carried out. Emergency treatment typically involves transfusion of platelet concentrates. In some situations, steroids and immune globulin may be injected through a tube in a vein.