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Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)

Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)

This is a condition characterized by low blood level of platelets. Platelets are known as thrombocytes that are colorless and help blood to clot by clumping and forming plugs.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of thrombocytopenia includes:Thrombocytopenia SYMPTOMS CAUSES TREATMENT

  • Pinpoint sized reddish purple spots know as petechiae on lower legs usually.
  • Increase bleeding time from cuts
  • Gum and nose bleeding
  • Heavy menstrual flow
  • Fatigue
  • Spleen enlargement
  • Urine and stool become brown coloured
Causes

Thrombocytopenia refers to platelet level below than 150,000 per microliter of circulating blood. Rarely this condition is inherited. It can be caused as a result of number of medications or other conditions. Some causes of thrombocytopenia are:

  • Enlarged spleen causing trapping of platelets
  • Leukemias
  • Some type of anemias
  • Hepatitis C, HIV or other viral illnesses
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Pregnancy
  • Chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • Bacterial infection
  • Immune thrombocytopenia
  • Certain medications like heparin, quinine, sulfa-containing antibiotics and anticonvulsants.
  • If platelet level become too low thrombocytopenia can be fatal
Diagnosis

Following are the steps to diagnose thrombocytopenia;

  • Blood tests
  • Complete general physical examination
  • Detailed medical history
Treatment

This condition can last for days or years. Treatment options include:

  • Mild thrombocytopenia don’t require any treatment
  • Blood and platelet transfusion
  • Medications like corticosteroids are generally prescribed
  • Surgery like spleenectomy is sometimes needed
  • Plasma exchange
Lifestyle and home remedies
  • Avoiding of activities that has high risk of injury
  • Limit the consumption of alcohol
  • Be alert when using over-the-counter medications like aspirin and ibuprofen
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