6 Signs You Might Have This Rare Bruising and Bleeding Disorder

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The rare bruising and bleeding disorder idiopathic thromocytopenic purpura (ITP) may not be high on your list of health conditions to stay up Googling until 1:00 A.M. After all, bruises are usually just a normal part of life, and your blood isn’t something you see unless you get a little haphazard with shaving, otherwise injure yourself, or have your period.

Sometimes, though, disorders like ITP can make these processes more complicated. ITP is an autoimmune condition that can cause people to bleed and bruise easily or excessively. It ultimately comes down to having low levels of platelets, which are cells that help your blood clot, according to the Mayo Clinic. According to the most recent estimates, 3.3 per 100,000 adults in the United States get diagnosed with ITP each year; and anywhere from 1.9 to 6.4 per 100,000 children are diagnosed with this platelet disorder each year.

Platelets are essential because they circulate in your blood and then bind together when necessary to form a blood clot.