ITP Symptoms and Early Detection

By Michelle Ponte

Nobody knows for sure why the immune system suddenly starts attacking the body’s platelets, but being aware of ITP symptoms can help you get a quicker diagnosis—and quicker treatment. If you think you have ITP, it’s important to see your doctor and get diagnosed as soon as possible—starting treatment right away will help you increase your platelet counts and reduce the risk of bleeding and bruising.

The following are some common ITP symptoms:
  • Petechiae, or small red spots on your skin that are caused by broken blood vessels.
  • Bruises where no injury has occurred. When you have ITP, low platelet counts can result in spontaneous bruises caused by bleeding.
  • You’re a woman and your period is heavier or longer than normal.
  • You experience inexplicable bleeding in your nose, cheeks, gums, urine or stool.
  • You feel unusually tired or even depressed.
Now what?

If you think you have ITP, it’s time to take action and work with your healthcare practitioner for an accurate diagnosis. In addition to reviewing your medical and family health history, your healthcare practitioner will likely give you a complete blood count test to check your platelet levels (normal levels are 150,00 to 400,000). Your doctor may also want you to see a hematologist, a doctor who specializes in blood diseases, to gain a greater understanding of what may have caused your platelet levels to fall.

For even more information, the Platelet Disorder Support Association (PDSA) provides in-depth information on its website. Go to to learn more about early detection and important next steps to take.

Published July 2011

ITP Basics
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ITP Causes & Risk Factors
ITP Symptoms
ITP Diagnosis
Your ITP Healthcare Team
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Top 3 Myths About ITP


ITP Treatment
Explore Your ITP Treatment Options
New ITP Drugs Foster Platelet Growth

ITP Platelet Tracker
How Well Is Your ITP Treatment Working?
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How Medication Can Help Your ITP
Treating ITP With Corticosteroids
ITP Drug-Safety Guide

ITP Features
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