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Crohn's Disease Forum » Extra Intestinal Manifestations » Skin » Thrombocytopenia (Low Platelets)


12-10-2013, 12:34 AM   #1
SarahBear
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Thrombocytopenia (Low Platelets)

I was talking to someone with IBD who mentioned having small, round bruises all over their body. I often have similar bruises, although mine are almost entirely on my legs. These bruises seem to appear more frequently when I'm feeling worse, but all doctors I've mentioned it to say, "Well, maybe you just bruise easily." But I don't. There's no obvious cause for these bruises.

The person I was talking to mentioned that someone told her it looked like she had low platelets. I looked it up, and found that symptoms associated with low platelets are:
  • Easy / unexplained bruising
  • Prolonged bleeding from cuts
  • Excessive or bleeding from gums
  • Excessive bleeding after a surgical or dental procedure
  • Heavy menstraual periods
  • Blood in urine / stool

I experience most of these symptoms.

Does anyone else have any experience with low platelets, or know anything about a connection between Crohn's and thrombocytopenia? I intend to bring it up with my doctor(s) next chance I get, but at the moment, I can't justify going in just for this as it doesn't seem to be a danger to my health at the moment and it's not a new occurrence, so I thought I might as well see if anyone has any information.

Thanks!
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Last edited by SarahBear; 12-10-2013 at 01:04 AM.
12-10-2013, 01:01 AM   #2
SarahBear
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Also, as the appearance of the bruising may be a factor, here's an image of my bruises. They always look like this when they appear, and just occur in different areas on my legs and in different sizes. I almost always have at least one or two small ones. It's also not abnormal for them to occur in a line (like the three lower ones) that looks like fingerprints (but trust me, it's not), but that might be a coincidence.

12-10-2013, 01:06 AM   #3
Catherine
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All know is I mentioned my Sarah had some unexplained bruised to the GI, they mentioned that if continue they would do a blood test (to check clotting factors?)
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DX - CD 1/12, asthma
Small bowel to small bowel fistula

Meds: ), azathioprine 200mg, Mesalazine 1.2g x 2, seretide 250 x 2 (asthma), ventolin (as needed)

Currently no supplements.

Has previously taken Multi B, Caltrate, B12 & Iron

Prednisolone (from 30 mg 01/02/2012 to 17/06/2012, 30mg 24/10/12-28/12/12, 50mg 24/1/13-27/4/13)
12-10-2013, 01:07 AM   #4
SarahBear
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All know is I mentioned my Sarah had some unexplained bruised to the GI, they mentioned that if continue they would do a blood test (to check clotting factors?)
It sounds like they were considering low platelets, then. Did it stop? Did hers look anything like mine?

Thank you for your response!
12-10-2013, 01:09 AM   #5
Catherine
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No they would check something else. Her platelets are tested aleast every two months as they are part of the full bloods.

The bruising no where as bad as yours, more she didn't remember the injuries occurring. And after showing her then swimming coach, he said they were caused by hitting the lane ropes while swimming. Eg bruising of knuckles.

Last edited by Catherine; 12-10-2013 at 02:39 AM.
12-10-2013, 02:35 AM   #6
Catherine
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Low platelets can be a side effect of 6mp
12-10-2013, 03:09 AM   #7
valleysangel92
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Hi bear,

My mum, brother and two sisters all have thrombocytopenia to some degree.

They have the genetic form (I escaped it) and my sister's both have regular monitoring. My eldest sister is the most severe.

They get some bruising that look like yours, and one of my sister's had trouble at work once when someone thought her partner was hitting her from the type of bruising she had.

It's a simple thing to check, they just need to do a FBC, and clotting factors , if low, they repeat over a time to see if it's resolving itself or if it's more permanent.

I will warn you, when my brother was being diagnosed, he had to have a bone marrow test, I'm not sure about the rest of my family but I think it was because he was diagnosed later (22-23 my sisters were diagnosed as children) . This freaked my brother out (everything did back then) but they said it was totally routine.

Depending on the cause, and the level of thrombocytopenia, you may need to have iron supplements regularly.

Day to day, it doesn't really bother my family , they just bruise easy and have to warn doctors before having any procedures. My sister's do have very heavy periods. They have a warning card that they carry with them.

I hope this helps a little .
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Non CD meds - Gabapentin, paracetamol, ventolin
12-10-2013, 04:27 AM   #8
Catherine
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Clotting factors was the test our GI mentioned.
12-10-2013, 02:36 PM   #9
SarahBear
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Thanks, Catherine and Nicola!

I guess a lot of medications can cause low platelets, but I'm not on any right now so it's not a factor for me.

Nicola, in my case, most people seem to assume my bruises come from sex - probably because they often look like fingerprints. I think that's why all of my doctors have been dismissing it so easily. Your sister's situation sounds frustrating!

Thanks again for the information! I'm definitely going to bring it up with my doctor next time I go in. It doesn't sound like a big issue, which is good, but I like to know what's going on with my body!
12-10-2013, 04:00 PM   #10
carrollco
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Hi! My husband has immune caused thrombocytopenia pupura while I have Crohn's. We were both diagnosed within one year of each other which begs the question of an envionmental trigger. Anyway, he is doing great, he just has low platelets which run 60-100. The doc said to not worry unless it goes below 50. He gets some bizarre bruising, but feels wonderful. He gets bi-yearly blood tests but so far hasn't needed any transfusions. He says he rather have low platelets than Crohn's.

Louann Carroll
www.louanncarroll.com
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Trying the natural method that's not working so well right now. I DO NOT recommend this to anyone.
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Methotrexate--had kidney/liver damage
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12-10-2013, 05:36 PM   #11
highlandsrock
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Hi SarahBear

I was diagnosed with low platelets in June 2008 having been on Azathioprine for Crohn's for 9 years. The general concensus is that the Azathioprine was the cause. Since then I have stopped taking the drug but the platelets have continued to drop and are currently at 60. The strange thing is that I appear to have no symptoms and the haematologist tells me not to get hung up on numbers.

It seems to be difficult to get a definitive answer but I've recently undergone a bone marrow biopsy which will hopefully give us some more clues. If you have a look at the last couple of posts on my blog I go into a bit more detail.
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12-10-2013, 05:44 PM   #12
valleysangel92
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Hi SarahBear

I was diagnosed with low platelets in June 2008 having been on Azathioprine for Crohn's for 9 years. The general concensus is that the Azathioprine was the cause. Since then I have stopped taking the drug but the platelets have continued to drop and are currently at 60. The strange thing is that I appear to have no symptoms and the haematologist tells me not to get hung up on numbers.
Generally numbers don't seem a big deal unless you are having surgery or are pregnant. My sister has just had a baby and all through her pregnancy her platelets were 40-60, and they never really get much higher than that. The only time the thrombocytopenia has caused anyone any problems was when my eldest sister bled out during delivery of her first child, other than that, it has just been a case of 'tell your doctor and don't use blood thinners ' .

From our experiences, once they rule out anything sinister they just keep an eye on it and only interfere if they really have to.
12-11-2013, 06:14 PM   #13
highlandsrock
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A low platelet count did delay my reversal operation by a few weeks as the surgeon wasn't prepared to operate without a letter from the haematologist giving the all clear.

I've now been told that if I need to have any procedure that could lead to bleeding, ie. a tooth extraction, there has to be a supply of platelets available just in case I need replenishing. That means any major dental work will need to be done at a hospital, not by my local dentist.
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