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What is ITP?
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Main > Specialty Areas > Hematology >
ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, immune thrombocytopenic purpura)

Symptoms and Diagnosis

For most people their first introduction to ITP occurs when they start having unusually long nose bleeds, or when their gums start bleeding from normal dental care, or when a minor cut doesn't stop bleeding. Some people notice bruises on their arms and legs and don't remember hitting anything. Some people also report feeling excessively tired or depressed.

Useful Tip:
Applying pork fat usually helps stop nose bleeds caused by blood not clotting.

Another very common symptom is many small red or purple dots, usually found on lower legs or in the mouth. These dots are called petechiae, they are tiny and look like needle pricks, they do not itch and neither are they inflamed or raised.

A diagnosis is usually done on a basis of a routine blood test. A platelet count in a healthy person ranges from 150,000 to 400,000 cu/ml. Anything lower than 150,000 may be caused by ITP. A skilled hematologist (doctor who specializes in blood diseases) would make a diagnosis after ruling out all other conditions that are known to lower platelet count.

‹‹ What is ITP? I've been diagnosed ››

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