ITP: Immune thrombocytopenia

Imagine waking up covered in bruises of unknown origin. Or getting a nosebleed in the middle of work that won’t stop.

ITP: Immune thrombocytopenia (previously called Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura) occurs in approx. 9.5 adults / 100 000. There are approx. 3.3 diagnosis each year for every 100 000 adults.

While this disease affects men and women equally, the age bracket of 30-60 has more women with the disease than men.

ITP is a diagnosis of “exclusion” — doctors have to rule out several auto-immune diseases and platelet-related diseases before they can diagnose ITP.

Originally titled Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, it was a bleeding disorder of unknown origin. In recent years, it has been re-categorized as Immune thrombocytopenia, with the understanding that it is an autoimmune disorder.

ITP can occur as an acute condition caused by environment, medications etc. The condition needs to persist beyond six months, and exclusion of other disorders must occur before diagnosis of ITP.

Common treatments include the splenectomy, (removal of the spleen – a treatment that is slowly becoming less- popular), IVIg of Immunoglobulins, corticosteroids, chemotherapy and more.

There is also evidence that ITP and other auto-immune disorders can be controlled or improved with the conventional medical treatments alongside, homeopathy, vitamins/supplements, and other alternative treatments like changes to diet (gluten-free is one such diet that has evidenced to affect auto-immune disorders).

To learn more about ITP visit https://www.pdsa.org/

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