Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is the condition of having a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) of no known cause (idiopathic). As most causes appear to be related to antibodies against platelets, ITP is also known as immune thrombocytopenic purpura or immune-mediated thrombocytopenic purpura. Often ITP is asymptomatic, however a very low platelet count can lead to visible symptoms, such as purpura (bruises), or more seriously, bleeding diathesis.
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01/30/2013: Ironbutterfly from Buffalo, NY, USA: "My boss's son was just diagnosed with purpura.... had recently helped someone move from a very dusty place.
Doctors jus tput him on a heavy course of steroids. I am wondering if it is a heavy metal poisoning."
12/07/2010: Foofoo from Dallas, Tx: "My daughter was just diagnosed with ITP (super low platelets; hers are 8, should be 200-400). No known cause, no known cure is what the pediatric hematologist told me. NOT ACCEPTABLE. She also has low hemoglobin (9.7, should be 12-15), and low white blood count (4.0, should be over 6). She is not on any medications and has no other medical problems. What can I do to help her? She is almost 6 years old. I have her on B12, C, multi vitamin, thymus supplement, fresh organic carrot/romaine/parsley juice, NanoGreens, organic Goji juice, organic Acai puree, organic blackstrap molasses, acidophillus, no processed foods, no refined sugar (only a little panecho), little grain, all organic natural foods (If God didn't make it, she doesn't get it. ) No improvement so far. What am I missing?"Replies
12/08/2010: P from Nyc replies: "Look into beets, I read they build up blood count."
12/08/2010: Lauren from Oviedo, Fl replies: "How about giving her some fish oil and coconut oil? I know coconut oil can increase white blood counts. Good fats are extremely important for young kids' developing brains as much as all of the other wonderful foods you're already giving her."
12/10/2010: Brooke from Montgomery, Tx, Usa replies: "Wow - that is low! Has she been diagnosed with anything else? Anemia, and auto-immune disorder, or anything like that? Blood starts at the second and third sphincter muscle. Has she had an injury to her spine or her coccyx? I would start her on a Blood building diet - mostly liver, tripe, and things like that. The Offals is what they are called. I make a beef heart soup and my boys don't even know it! There are many ways to mask the taste of them. Do NOT fry them, but boil or broil them. Also supplement her diet with cod-liver oils and lamb instead of beef. If you want to give her beef juice that would be great -it supplies the body with a lot of iron - to make it - get an atlas jar and lid - put a low fat to no fat piece of red meat in that and put the lid on - but not too tight. Get a pot boiling with water and put a towel in it, then put your jar. Let this boil for about 30 min - to 1 hour and throw out the beef, keep the juice. Put any spices in it to make it taste better and have her sip it really slowly 3x a day or more. What you are trying to do is have her body absorb the juice before ever getting into the stomach. Go online and look for it, and also look for the blood building diet."
12/20/2010: Foofoofoo from Dallas, Tx replies: "Yes, anemia, no auto immune. MD thinks she was exposed to a virus of some kind and it settled in her blood. No confirmation on anything without a bone marrow test. To invasive. No, no injury to spine. Sees chir regularly. Everything I've read says that liver is bad for ITP. Not to much meat, either. To hard to digest. Omega 3's are o. K. , but not omega 6's. Hard to find accurate info on internet on what to eat and what to avoid. One site says load up on blueberries, another says avoid them like the plague, for instance.
Since western medicine can do nothing for her, I've taken her to an eastern medicine doctor. We did NAET to clear her allergies and are now working on "body talk". Strange to a person used to western medicine, but I'm open. Anybody have any experience with these? Any other suggestions from ITP people?"
12/20/2010: Foofoofoo from Dallas, Tx replies: "Fish oil is no good for ITP people. Coconut maybe. I've been giving her olive oil for added callories. Have added an avocado a day for good fat as well."
01/13/2012: Assad from Quetta, Pakistan (balochistan) replies: "My son he is also diagnosed with ITP, his age is 2years and his complete blood count (CBC) shows a low number of platelets 20000. And now I have started giving him iron syr and folic acid tab. and a diet plan for him 1 glass milk in morning, one egg after an hour one folic acid tab, brown rice or wheat in lunch and a iron syr, after that one date and some times orange, apple or banana, and at night beef, or white meat or meat fried in oil. And thanks God he is showing much more improvements. Remember I gave my son warm water not cold water."
02/21/2012: Judy from Seffner, Florida, Usa replies: "I am a 59 year old female. I was diagnosed with ITP back in 1968 when I was 15. My platelet level rose after a course of treatments with Prednisone, but went low again after lowering the dosages.
I guess, at the time, the treatment was to remove the spleen. In the spring of 1969 they removed mine, plus several "accessory spleens" which, I was told, was not uncommon.
My platelet levels immediately started to rise. I recovered quickly (oh, to be 15 again) and have not been troubled with it since.
At times, my white blood count is "slightly" elevated. I have not, to this point in my life, suffered from any lowered immunity problems and am in pretty good health.
My understanding now is that they treat this issue with antibiotics and/or steroids. Given the outcome of continued steroid use, I'm glad that things worked out for me with a relatively simple surgery.
Good luck to those who struggle with it."
04/28/2012: Robin from The Big Apple, Ny replies: "I've had itp since 1993. My platelets usually don't get severe but I bruise and bleed alot. I believe the platelets I do have are not that strong. For some reason I know my platelets are low when I crave apples. I drink apple juice, eat apples and apple sauce. They rebound faster the more apples I eat. The doctor thinks I'm nuts but it works for me. I don't want to give anyone false hope, I'm just saying what helps me.
Hang in there, ITPers, and stay strong!"
06/05/2010: Dal from Springville, Ut, Usa: "Greetings,
I recently discovered I have Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, ITP (low blood platelets). My platelet count was at 3000. I showed signs of bruising and red dots. The doctors ruled out cancer and other diseases but will continue to monitor this. Aside from this my body feels fine. I have be taking 4, 20mg steroid pills for 2 days since the diagnosis. My platelet count went from 3000 to 8000. Doctors will wait until the platelet count gets to safer levels to remove the steroids. At that point we will watch and see if my platelet count rises or drops without the steroid use. If it rises on its own, that's good. It might mean that I just have ITP. If it falls,that's bad and it might mean I have Chronic ITP...meaning I will need to continue steroid use which leads to side affects with long term use. Here is my question...Im prepared to deal with this either way. Are there alternatives to steroid use? And what has been the most effective way for you to manage ITP?"
06/10/2010: Baldwin from Portland, Oregon, Usa replies: "Hello Dal,
ITP can be very scary. I went through this with a young child (3 1/2 - 5 yrs old). He was treated with a number of products in a hospital setting: IVIG, Winrho and Steroids. After nearly a year and a half, I put him on a very high end Vitamin C made from sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid (100% natural fruit chew - 500mg) His recovery followed that month. He has maintained normal platelet levels since. There is not significant medical evidence to support the Vit C therapy and it does not help all cases, but it did coincide with our child's recovery.
I found the Platelet Disorder Support Association (PDSA.org) to be particularly helpful. They explain all the treatment options including natural therapies. Also, check out the link to the UK website for additional info.
Best wishes on your journey."
10/18/2010: Tom from Regina, Sk replies: "Dal & Baldwin:
That reference to Vitamin C seeming to make the difference is interesting, since it is known that HIGH doses of it do chelate heavy metals out of the body. A urine test can be had, btw, called a urine porphyry test that will detect the amount being passed thru and pulled out via the kidneys of course.
A good personal health questionnaire by any alternative practitioner would ask you, among other things:
Details of diet and stress
How old when ITP hit?
Does occupation expose one to heavy metals breathing (dust), or handling?
Any/all vaccines received in lifetime, but especially just several months before ITP onset
Any amalgam fillings replaced or put in just months before
Click on SEARCH of the big molecule in the center of main page. Enter "thrombocytopenia" in search box.
First in results list:
Page 3 excerpt:
Vaccines are a mixed blessing with regards to ITP. Vaccines decrease the incidence of the virus they protect against, yet they themselves have been linked to ITP. The most
Common vaccine implicated is the MMR vaccine. The incidence of MMR vaccine
Causing ITP is 1 in 20,000, while the rubella vaccine contributes to ITP in 1 in 3000. Vaccines present several potential problems to patients in that they are inactivated viruses, they introduce a foreign protein into the body, and they depress the immune system
For several days. Additionally, until recently,
All vaccines had been preserved with a small amount of thimerosal (mercury).
This article is from 2003, and written by an MD! So has your MD told you this about ITP?
Here is just one of many vaccine info supersites:
Any quick read will tell you that mercury has in fact NOT been removed now from all vaccines! Not by a long shot.
Also, note the distinction between the mercury found in fish (methylmercury), and that still put in many vaccines (ethylmercury):
Since I am only trying to give you one possible starting point of many, and which might have to be overseen with tests and such by a practitioner, the idea is to get you onto something cheap and harmless so you don't waste time.
Here is just one search result for "heavy metal chelation nutrients":
They are not in any order, like price or effectiveness, and it's obviously up to you if you even wish to pursue this angle. The Dr. Hoang article above also touches on other possible remedies like TCM & Chi energy balancing."
[QUESTION] 05/27/2009: Ash from Mississauga, Ontario: "ITP-Low Platelets:
Hello, I have a condition called ITP. I have low platelets and it's unknown why. I have been on predisone (steriods) and it does help but with major side effects. I was hoping you might have a natural rememdy to help increase my platelets. Thanks"Replies
05/28/2009: Luis from Cali, Colombia replies: "Ash:
I have taken Engystol (below tongue) with success, a homeophatic remedy from Heel to raise platelets quickly, in case of Hemorrhagic Dengue (a tropical viral disease trasmitted by mosquitoes.
01/18/2010: Shannon from Texarkana, Texas replies: "My sister was diagnosed with ITP disease. She was taking high dosages of steroids that was only helping slightly. She went to Baylor Medical Hospital in Dallas, Tx. for exploratory surgery, her Spleen was damaged from an auto accident years earlier and was never found in any type of X-ray or scans. Thankfully the Spleen removal was successful and has never had to take steroid medication since. Her platelet count will never be completely normal but they have increased tremendously. The only downfall from not having a Spleen is a weakened immune system."
[WARNING!] 10/17/2010: Gsmagirl from Nashville, Tn replies: "I feel badly for all the ITP sufferers. My father has had ITP for four years and let me assure you the treatments are WORSE than the disease. First of all, the condition is rare so it is very exciting for the doctors to have an actual ITP patient to experiment on. My Dad has had splenectomy, two rounds of chemotherapy(experimental, didn't work), and four years of daily prednisone. Before the prednisone he was losing weight, his clothes falling off of him. Now because of the steroids he must deal with obesity and the steroids have fried his adrenal cortex. No more adrenaline means low energy and chronic depression. (So they have Dad on anti-depressants now as well, plus he now must see an endocrinologist to monitor the adrenal gland) The splenectomy did not affect the ITP. We were told the effectiveness of splenectomy on ITP was 50-80%. I was absolutely opposed but my parents were very naive and they wanted to "obey" the doctors. I do not understand the previous commenter who stated that the "only" side effect of spleen removal is loss of immune system function. Only??? (that's what AIDS is, suppressed immunity, would you choose AIDS over ITP?) Another side effect of the long-term steroid use, besides the previous mentioned obesity and loss of adrenal cortex (both dangerous conditions in themselves) is osteoporosis. Steroid use causes osteoporosis!! This means my father has multiple compression fractures in his spine and can no longer walk without using a wheeled walker. He can no longer swim. I want to tell you that four years ago, my father had bruises and lethargy. They did not bother him enough to see a doctor. The ITP was discovered during a routine blood test. The treatments for ITP have left him a helpless cripple without even a spleen to help fight off minor colds, he is frequently bed ridden with every little bug. Four years ago my Dad worked during the week and played golf on Fridays. Maybe even two years ago he was still able to maintain his activities. Not anymore, there is not enough energy in his body to swing a golf club. All of these treatments are Bad Medicine. Print out my "rant" and show it to your doctor and let him explain to you what suppressed immunity means. Any doctor who told you taking steroids or giving up your spleen "only" causes suppressed immunity should lose their license. I hope a natural remedy can be found, and until then, if it were me I would suffer the bruising and lethargy before undergoing any of these treatments."
11/07/2011: Steve from Martinsburg, Wv Usa replies: "I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) in 2004, tested at 4,000 platelet count and received standard medical treatments (high toxic dose prednisone 180Mg daily; IVIG intravenous infusions for dropping levels and Winrho SDF (near fatal reaction).
Levels hung around 50-60,000 for a year and restricted from strenuous outdoor activities; started using alfafa supplement after researching animal medicine and noting that too much alfafa content in livestock feed leads to serious clotting disorders--exact opposite of ITP. Alfalfa also contains good natural level of Vitamin K constituents, which is used medically for some bleeding disorders and what patients taking blood thinners are advised to avoid in their diet!
Also switched to solely consuming distilled and/or reverse osmosis-treated water; local water supply has some issues with low level contaminants of agricultural pestcides and other micropollutants. Hence purified water for bodily intake!
Blood levels gradually rose up to 90,000-100,000, as confirmed through periodic CBC testing. Now after 7 years, had highest test to date just inside normal range (144,000 -15) last week.
Now watchful waiting--both above items with little if any risk, good solid basis that may help."
03/08/2012: Janis from Hudson's Hope, Bc Canada replies: "Cured ITP. After 27 years with platelets of 3,000. I tried everything to cure myself without surgery and drugs.
Things that may have caused it or contributed to it are, Vaccines, Amalgam fillings(removed in 95') & Chronic Constipation (healed this in 2006) This is known as "Leaky Gut Syndrome"... Once this was healed my platelets returned to normal.
Also had Chelation treatments in 2005 which may have helped with my healing. I would be happy to help others thru my email, with more info. Dj(at)hudsonshope.com..... Good Luck Janis"
05/14/2012: Zilverb from Seabrook, Tx - Texas, Usa replies: "This is how I cured (Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura). My platelets dropped to 7,000 and I had a platelet transfusion plus steroids that caused my eyes to develop cataracts. I was not pleased with further talk about removing my spleen and the low recovery rate with a high death rate at my age from brain bleeds. Children usually recover but as we age the rate of brain bleeds and death is very high.
I own an electromedicine machine (Known as a Rife machine or GB4000) and I noticed that they had a frequency for Werlhof's disease which is the old name for ITP disease. This verified that ITP is caused by microbes and I read elsewhere that parasites cause this disease.
To grow more platelets so that I would not have more treatments pushed upon me at the doctor's office, I took: Vitamin K (100 mcg) three times a day and Vitamin C (1,500 mg with rose hips) three times a day. To kill microbes I took baking soda (1/2-teaspoon to 1-teaspoon) in a cup of water with raw honey, crude blackstrap molasses, or pure maple syrup to maintain a pH level between 8.0 and 8.5 urine pH for 21 days. So one needs to have some pH strips. This baking soda treatment kills bacteria, virus, yeast, and mold. Maybe a few parasites but not enough. At the same time, I did Ted's parasite cleanse with Borax (20-mule team) for 30-days (5 days on and 2 days off). Use 1/8-teaspoon (1/4-teaspoon for people over 180-pounds) borax (sodium tetraborate, sodium borate, or disodium tetraborate) into 1 liter of distilled water. Drink throughout the day slowly to give parasites a dose over the day and keep them sick and die. Drink other liquid during the day because this is not enough for a person.
I did six (6) rounds of the baking soda with sweetener and borax water. I took the vitamin C and K the whole time. I expect to do maintenance rounds and I will be checked periodically to make sure I do not have any more episodes. My blood tests will tell me how often to do maintenance.
It is a good idea to do a 5-day liver gallbladder cleanse because this is quite a task for the body to rid itself of so many dead microbes. My platelet count rose steadily. My last platelet count was 292 thousand. Normal is between 150 and 450 thousand.
I am so grateful to EC for the help and support."