No one knows what causes the immune system to mount an attack on platelets and, unfortunately, it is not known how to prevent the onset of ITP. There are, however, several signs and symptoms that may indicate ITP and, when directly defined, may assist in early detection. Signs and symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, and some with ITP may show no signs of having the condition. In general, the lower your platelet count, the more signs and symptoms you may have including:

SIGNS (things you see)

  • Petechiae – small, reddish-purple spots that look like a rash, but are not raised
  • Bruising or purpura - dark red or purple bruises (black and blue marks) with no known cause
  • Any bleeding that may be unusual, heavier, or lasting longer than usual:
  • Heavy menses in women
  • Frequent, heavy, or persistent nosebleeds
  • Bleeding inside the mouth on the cheeks (blood blisters) or from the gums with no known cause
  • Blood in urine or stool

SYMPTOMS (things you feel)

  • Fatigue
  • Depression