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Thrombocytopenia

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Questions for Your Doctor

  • What's causing the problem?
  • What are my treatment options? Which do you recommend?
  • Do these treatments have side effects? What can I do about them?
  • How will we know if the treatment is working?
  • When will I start to feel better?
  • What do you expect for my case?
  • Does this condition put me at risk for anything else?
  • Do I need to see a specialist?

Treatment

Finding the cause of your thrombocytopenia will help your doctor decide how to treat it.

Platelet counts generally return to normal when you stop taking certain drugs. Or you may need to take vitamin B12 or folate.

If your thrombocytopenia is from an infection, treating the infection helps.

Steroids, such as prednisone, and other drugs can help treat idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Mild ITP usually goes away without any treatment.

If you have severe thrombocytopenia, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove your spleen.

Up to 5% of healthy women get thrombocytopenia when they're pregnant. It usually gets better on its own after the baby is born.

Taking Care of Yourself

You can still do a lot of things, but you may need to make some changes to your lifestyle to prevent getting hurt or cut. For instance, avoid sports such as football and downhill skiing.

Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, to give your body the nutrients it needs. Ask your doctor if you should avoid food with quinine and aspartame: tonic water, bitter lemon, bitter melon, some diet sodas, and sugar-free foods.

You probably shouldn't take medicines that make bleeding easier, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

Check with your doctor if it's OK for you to drink alcohol, and if it is, how much.

What to Expect

Your case may be different from someone else's. Your doctor will watch you to see how you're doing.  If your case is mild, you may not need any treatment. But even people who do need treatment can lead full lives.

Find out as much as you can about your condition so you can best manage it.

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