Excerpt from The Clare County Review mentioning the PDSA fundraiser.
About Immune Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP)
Overview of ITP
ITP is a rare autoimmune disorder that happens when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys platelets by producing antibodies against platelets. Platelets help your blood clot, which stops bleeding. The immune system also appears to interfere with cells responsible for normal platelet production.This leads to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding, in addition to initiating a daily roller coaster of emotions and ongoing medical management.
ITP isn’t contagious and can’t be passed from one person to another.
Symptoms of ITP
Symptoms of ITP vary greatly from person to person. Some ITP patients may show no symptoms. In general, the lower your platelet count, the more symptoms you may have including:
Easy or excessive bruising (purpura)
Bleeding from the gums or nose
Blood in urine or stools
Petechiae (pe-TEEK-ee-ay), tiny red dots on the skin caused by broken blood vessels or leaks in a capillary wall
Unusually heavy menstrual flow
Feeling tired or fatigued
Prolonged bleeding from cuts
Profuse bleeding during surgery
Treatments for ITP
Treatment is based on your platelet count and symptoms. In some cases, treatment isn’t needed. Treatment may include a number of approaches, such as medications to boost your platelet count or suppress your immune system or surgery to remove your spleen which may destroy platelets. Some people find that the side effects of treatment are more burdensome than the effects of the disease itself.
Lifestyle Changes with ITP
Your doctor may advise you to make some lifestyle changes, including the following:
Avoid certain over-the-counter drugs that can affect platelet function including aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and the blood-thinner warfarin (Coumadin).
Limit your intake of alcohol because consuming alcohol may adversely affect blood clotting.
Choose low-impact activities instead of competitive sports or high-impact activities to decrease risk of injury and bleeding. Head impacts could cause bleeding in your brain.
Watch for signs of infection. If you've had your spleen removed, be alert for any signs of infection, including fever, and seek prompt treatment. Infections can be more serious in people without spleens.