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What is the ITP blood disorder?

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Quick Answer

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura is a blood disorder that leads to excessive or easy bruising and bleeding due to low platelet levels, explains Mayo Clinic. This condition affects both adults and children, though it is usually chronic in adults.

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The treatment of ITP depends on the symptoms, age and platelet count of the patient, states Mayo Clinic. If there are no signs of bleeding and the platelet count isn't low, there is usually no treatment necessary. If symptoms of ITP are more serious, medication or surgery may be recommended.

Symptoms of ITP include superficial bleeding, excessive bruising and prolonged bleeding from cuts, claims Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms associated with ITP include spontaneous nose bleeds, blood in the urine or stools, bleeding gums and fatigue. Women may experience a heavy menstrual flow as a result of ITP, as well.

The cause of ITP is not known, as of 2015, but it is known that those with this condition have immune systems that malfunction and begin to attack the platelets of the body, according to Mayo Clinic. When this occurs, the spleen removes these platelets from the body, which means the blood cannot clot. A normal platelet count is higher than 150,000 platelets per microliter of circulating blood, but with this condition, people usually have counts below 20,000.

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