Immune thrombocytopenia, formally recognized as Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, is a type of thrombocytopenia defined as an isolated platelet production in an individual with healthy bone marrow. The disorder is characterized by excessive bruising and bleeding. The bruises usually appear as a red-purple rash. Two distinct clinical conditions manifest as an acute syndrome in children and chronic syndrome in adults. The chronic disorder manifests longer for even more than six months with the specific cause being unknown.
The acute syndrome often follows infection and spontaneously resolves within two weeks without treatment. Most of the ITP symptoms result from a low platelet count, which leads to excessive bleeding. In some occasions, bleeding may occur underneath the surface of the skin appearing like a bruise that might make you dispose of the signs assuming it’s something else. For the body to regulate bleeding and form clots, it requires an average normal platelet count.
Some of the signs and symptoms of ITP might be seen as unusual. So, be keen with the following symptoms and communicate with your doctor in case you have any concern:
1. Small bumps on the skin that appear red-purple
The most common symptom of ITP is a skin disorder that is known as petechiae. This is protruded red bumps on the skin that occurs as a result of underneath bleeding. At first, petechiae will appear as a red rash, but ITP bumps are more scattered, slightly raised, and have pinpoint size. If you see an unusual red rash, you need to notify your doctor for further checkup.
2. Gum bleeding
When we talk about skin, the word gum may not come to mind quickly. According to the National Blood, Heart, and Lund institute, gum bleeding is categorized as one of the external bleedings. You will find your gums bleeding during routine teeth cleaning or in the course of other dental procedures. Although, this sign is more likely attributed to gingivitis instead of ITP.
3. Unusual nosebleeds
Nosebleeds occur when delicate nose skin starts to bleed. With ITP, nosebleeds can frequently be occurring. WHO defines frequent nosebleeds as those that occur at least once a week. In case you encounter unusual nosebleeds despite being healthy and having a moist nose surface, you should communicate with your healthcare provider.
4. Blood in the stools or urine
Having low platelet counts in your body, which might be as a result of ITP, can cause bleeding in your urine or stools. Initially, you might confuse the blood in the urine as a sign of another infection. However, a bladder infection is usually accompanied by other infections, such as:
• Frequent urination
• Lower back pains
• Abdominal pain
5. Excessive fatigue
The red blood cells are responsible for transporting energy and oxygen within the body parts, which helps your body organs and tissues to function to their optimal. It takes time for the body to replace blood lost during bleeding. As a result, you will feel excessively fatigued. Signs of fatigue include:
• Feeling to sleep more than normal
• General lack of energy and power to carry out daily activities
• Feeling tired during the day despite having a better night sleep
6. The takeaway
Understanding the symptoms of ITP is very crucial for the safety of your health. If you experience any of the above symptoms, seek medical assistance as early as possible to prevent them from getting worse. Your doctor will ensure you receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment.