Thursday, September 25, 2014
Sport Purple for Platelets!
Today is National Sport Purple for Platelets Day! Please put on your favorite purple apparel to help raise awareness for ITP.
If you are not familiar with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP), it is a bleeding disorder that is not completely understood. It is sometimes called Immune Thrombocytopenia Purpura because they do know that it is an autoimmune disorder. In people that have ITP, the immune system attacks the platelets. Platelets are what allows blood to clot. Without enough platelets, you will experience bruising, spontaneous bleeding, and could even cause a brain bleed.
People who are diagnosed with ITP may need to make drastic changes to their life. I will never forget the first night the on-call doctor called me with my lab results. He told me that my platelet count was "dangerously low" and that I had to go to the ER right away. He also told me to be very careful not to bump into anything because I could have internal bleeding. So, obviously physical activity needs to be limited.
But, there are tons of other things that can cause your platelet count to decrease. Everything from medications, to certain foods, to natural herbs, and everything in between. It can be pretty frustrating.
As long as the count stays high enough, you can live a normal life, but on any given day, the count could come crashing down and every little bump ends up with a huge bruise and you wonder whether you should go to the ER or not.
There is no known cause or cure for ITP. There has not been a whole lot of research on it until recently. They are now beginning to understand ITP and have been able to develop some new treatments. This is why it is so important to bring awareness and to help educate not only the general public, but also health care professionals.
Please join me in Sporting your Purple in support of ITP and other platelet disorders!
To find out more information about ITP, I recommend going to pdsa.org.