Thrombocytopenia (platelet deficiency)

Thrombocytopenia is a condition that causes a lack of platelets (platelets) for some reason. The most obvious sign of thrombocytopenia is that it is easier to get bleeding.

Platelets are a type of blood cell, or rather part of another cell. Blood cells are cells and cell parts that move freely in the blood as it travels in the body. There are three different types of blood cells: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The platelets are much smaller than the other blood cells. They are really just part of a larger type of cell called megacocytes. Only a small part of the blood cells in the blood are platelets.

The main function of the platelets in the body is to stop bleeding in the blood vessels of the body. Platelets stop bleeding by clogging wounds. Quite a few of those who have a platelet deficiency have such a moderate deficiency that it does not produce any noticeable symptoms.

Symptoms of thrombocytopenia

You don’t usually get any symptoms of moderate thrombocytopenia. However, the symptoms increase as you get platelet deficiency. Often, you tend to get more severe symptoms from the condition that causes a lack of platelets. When you get such severe thrombocytopenia that it causes symptoms it is for example:

  • Easier to get bruises
  • Easier to start bleeding nosebleeds
  • More severe bleeding than normal for example tooth brushing
  • Bleeding from the intestine (in some cases)

Causes of thrombocytopenia

Some causes of thrombocytopenia are:

  • Decreased platelet production in the bone marrow
  • ITP, an autoimmune disease that causes the body to destroy its platelets
  • Spleen enlarged
  • Drug
  • Other diseases that lead to decreased platelets in the blood

The causes are usually divided into factors that lead to decreased blood cell production and factors that reduce the blood cells that are in the blood.

Examination and diagnosis

One can measure the number of platelets in the blood by a so-called platelet test. The platelet test is part of a complete blood state (FBC), a series of tests that are common when performing a complete health examination. If the study finds that you have a platelet deficiency, a more comprehensive examination is done to find the cause.

Treatment of thrombocytopenia

In some cases, the lack of platelets can go away by itself. Other times you need different types of treatment. The treatment of thrombocytopenia depends on the underlying cause of platelet deficiency. Cortisone is a common treatment. In acute conditions, platelets may need to be injected directly into the blood through a so-called platelet transfusion. If you suffer from a lack of platelets, do not use medicines containing acetylsalicylic acid.

When should you seek care?

Seek medical attention from a doctor for bleeding that you experience as abnormal.

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