Chronic ITP Damages Your Blood Cells
The immune system doesn’t always act as the protector of the body that it’s supposed to be. Sometimes the immune system incorrectly interprets parts of the body as being a threat to its health. In turn, it will attempt to eliminate these parts of the body. These diseases are classified as autoimmune diseases.
Chronic Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is one such autoimmune disease. This condition is one in which the immune system doesn’t approve of a person’s platelets. In turn, it will attack the platelets, which can drastically reduce the amount of platelets found in blood. In turn, this affects the body and can cause problems like severe bruising. Learn more about chronic ITP and how it can affect the body.
Causes of Chronic ITP
As mentioned, ITP is an autoimmune system. This means that the body’s immune system is attacking itself instead of the dangerous things that can get inside of the body. Specifically, chronic ITP is caused by the immune system attacking the platelets specifically.
There are many triggers which can cause the immune system to start to occur. People who suffer from HIV may find it common. Hepatitis can also cause chronic ITP.
The most common group of people who get ITP are young women. However, people who have gotten lupus or rheumatoid arthritis are also more likely to get ITP. It’s not limited to adults either. Children can get ITP as well. They tend to get ITP after they have suffered from viral issues like flu or the mumps.
Symptoms of Chronic ITP
Many people can suffer from chronic ITP in silence. The symptoms don’t appear except in cases where platelets would need to get involved. Quite simply, if those situations don’t come about, then how would the symptoms show up? When symptoms do arrive they tend to be related to bleeding or blood in some fashion. Symptoms include:
- Bruising - The bruising is caused with very minimal contact, and can occur excessively.
- Petechiae - This is a specific type of bleeding that really looks like a rash. Little pin sized dark red spots appear just under the skin. This will usually occur on a person’s legs.
- Blood in Stool - Blood within a bowel movement is common. It’s also possible for blood to appear during urination.
- Excess Menstruation - Some women will find that they have very high and unusually heavy menstruation periods.
- Extra Bleeding - Some people will bleed excessively from their gums during tooth care. It’s also common to get excessive levels of nosebleeds.
Treating Chronic ITP
Treatment depends on how severe a case of ITP is. Mild cases tend toward a wait and see situation. Platelet levels will be monitored with regular checks. Oftentimes children will find that their ITP goes away on its own!
More severe cases will often start with medication. There are some simple over the counter medications that help milder cases. The goal of medication treatment is to increase the level of platelet development in the body.
Severe cases can require surgery to get rid of the spleen in the body. When the spleen is removed, the platelet destruction will stop or decrease to a manageable level. There are many side effects to living without a spleen, so this is for truly serious cases only.
No information on this website should be used to start the use of dietary supplements and vitamins, natural and herbal products, homeopathic medicine and other mentioned products prior to a consultation with a physician or certified healthcare provider.