June 14, 2022
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Thrombocytopenia is a bleeding disorder. People with the condition usually have fewer platelets in the blood than those without thrombocytopenia.
Platelets are a type of blood cell that the marrow produces. They help stop bleeding by helping with blood clotting.
When a person has a low platelet count, their blood may have issues with clotting, which may cause spontaneous and internal bleeding, rashes, and bruising.
In this article, we look at common causes of thrombocytopenia, lifestyle risk factors, symptoms, treatment options, and whether the condition is preventable.
Common causes of thrombocytopenia
Three factors can lead to a low platelet count. Each potential cause of thrombocytopenia may therefore fall under one of three areas.
1. The body not making enough platelets
A person’s body might not create enough platelets if stem cells in the bone marrow become damaged. It is the stem cells that eventually develop into platelets.
The following factors can cause stem cells to become damaged and platelet production to slow:
2. The body destroying platelets
Even if the bone marrow produces enough platelets, several factors can cause the body to destroy them, which can lead to thrombocytopenia. These potential causes include:
3. The spleen holding on to platelets
The spleen typically holds around a third of the body’s platelets. However, this organ can sometimes end up holding onto more, which reduces the platelets that can circulate in the blood.
The spleen can hold on to too many platelets if it becomes enlarged. Possible causes include:
Lifestyle risk factors
Some lifestyle factors may increase the risk of thrombocytopenia, including:
Can you prevent it?
Usually, a person cannot prevent thrombocytopenia. However, this depends on the cause of the disorder.
A person can take measures to help prevent health problems that have links to thrombocytopenia. These approaches include:
Symptoms of thrombocytopenia may include:
A doctor will treat thrombocytopenia depending on the cause and severity of the disorder. Treatments may include:
Common causes of thrombocytopenia include autoimmune diseases, certain medications, and infectious diseases.
Lifestyle risk factors may include heavy alcohol consumption and taking OTC medications that affect platelet count or thin the blood.
Usually, people cannot prevent the disorder. However, they may be able to decrease the risk of certain symptoms by avoiding medications that affect platelets and getting vaccinated against viruses that may cause the disorder.
Symptoms of thrombocytopenia include nosebleeds, bleeding gums, fatigue, and bruising easily. A doctor may treat the disorder using corticosteroids or TPO-RA medication, platelet transfusions, or surgery to remove the spleen.
Source: Medical News Today
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