Signs & Symptoms

Learn about your chronic immune thrombocytopenia (chronic ITP) symptoms so you can stay in control

The symptoms of chronic ITP

Because people with chronic ITP have low platelet counts, their body does not heal wounds properly. That means they may have a number of symptoms, including:

Bruising

Prolonged bleeding from wounds

Visible red or purple dots

Spontaneous nosebleeds

Bleeding gums, often during dental work

Blood in urine or stools

Unusually heavy menstrual flow

Feeling tired or fatigued

Are your chronic ITP symptoms something to worry about?

The table below helps break down the different categories of chronic ITP symptoms. Always check with your doctor if you have any doubts or concerns about what you’re feeling.

Chronic ITP symptoms

Mild: Keep an eye on it

  • Occasional nosebleeds that can be stopped by applying pressure
  • Blood blisters in the mouth
  • Small bruises
  • A few petechiae (tiny red or purple dots on the skin)

Moderate: Let your doctor know

  • Nosebleeds lasting longer than 15 minutes
  • Bleeding from the gums, lips, mouth, esophagus, or intestines
  • Blood in the urine, stool, or vomit
  • Large, new bruises (bigger than about 2 inches)
  • Lots of new petechiae

Severe: See your doctor right away

  • Continuous bleeding from the gums, lips, mouth, or throat
  • Suspected internal bleeding (brain, lung, muscles, joints, other)
  • Many large, new bruises or petechiae

Tips on dealing with bleeding

Did you have an accident and get a cut or scrape? Follow the R.I.C.E.* protocol to stop the bleeding:

 

REST

  • Avoid using the injured area for 24 to 48 hours
  • Take it slow and resume activity gradually so the wound does not reopen
  • If necessary, use a supportive device such as a sling or crutch to keep the wounded area protected

ICE

  • Ice the area to shrink blood vessels and control bleeding
  • Apply ice 20 minutes at a time as needed for 48 to 72 hours
  • Do not put ice directly on your skin. Put it in a plastic bag and then wrap that bag in a towel or cloth before applying to the affected area

COMPRESS

  • Wrap the injured area with an elastic bandage to bring swelling down and stop bleeding
  • While the bandage should fit tightly, it should not be so tight that it cuts off your circulation

ELEVATE

  • If possible, keep the injured area lifted to reduce swelling
  • Depending on where the injury is, you may have to limit your activity for a few days

If the injury is more serious or the bleeding does not stop, contact your doctor immediately.

Source: National Hemophilia Foundation. R.I.C.E.
https://stepsforliving.hemophilia.org/sites/all/themes/stepsforliving/pdf/rice.pdf. Accessed September 24, 2019.

 

*R.I.C.E., Rest Ice Compression Elevation.