Tuesday, September 15, 2015

September is ITP awareness month

    Earlier this year I wrote about my ITP struggles this year. Seriously?! I'm in the hospital... and My ITP journey. Well, September is ITP awareness month. ITP or Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
is a rare autoimmune disorder. In autoimmune diseases, the body starts an immune attack toward one or more organ systems and in ITP patients, platelets are the target. Platelets are tiny blood cells that help your body form clots to stop bleeding.

    A normal platelet count is between 150,000 and 400,000/microliter of blood.  If someone has a platelet count lower than 100,000/microliter of blood with no other reason for low platelets, that person is considered to have ITP.

    With few platelets, people with ITP often have bleeding symptoms such as spontaneous bruising, petechiae (pe-TEEK-ee-ay), tiny red dots on the skin, or for women, heavy menses. More severe bleeding symptoms include blood blisters on the inside of the mouth, blood in the urine or stool, or bleeding in the brain.

    Treatments for the disease vary depending on the platelet count, severity of symptoms, age, lifestyle, personal preferences, and any other associated diseases. Some of the treatments are antibiotics, anti-D  treatments, chemotherapy, corticosteroids, splenectomy, and more. However, some people may choose to not treat their disease and live with low platelets.

    While most cases of ITP are controlled, it can be fatal in a small percentage of ITP patients.

To read more on ITP please visit these sites:
www.mayoclinic.org
www.itpfoundation.org
pdsa.org


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