These 3 Symptoms Could Be A Sign Of An Underlying Blood Issue

Don't ignore these signs.
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If you often find yourself feeling dizzy, fatigued and experiencing headaches, the issue could actually lie in your bloodstream.

These symptoms, when combined, could be an indicator of thrombocytopenia – also known as a low blood platelet count – according to the Heart Cells Foundation.

Platelets play a vital role in our daily wellbeing as well as clot formation, but a low platelet count could lead to reduced energy levels and could also be a sign of an underlying condition.

While a normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 per microlitre of blood, a count lower than 150,000 is considered thrombocytopenia, according to OneBlood.

Thrombocytopenia might occur as a result of a bone marrow disorder such as leukaemia or an immune system problem, suggests Mayo Clinic. Or it can occur as a result of taking certain medications. It can affect both children and adults.

Signs of a low blood platelet count

As well as fatigue, dizziness and headaches, some of the signs of thrombocytopenia can include:

  • Easy or excessive bruising (purpura)
  • Superficial bleeding into the skin that appears as a rash of pinpoint-sized reddish-purple spots (petechiae), usually on the lower legs
  • Prolonged bleeding from cuts
  • Bleeding from your gums or nose
  • Blood in urine or stools
  • Unusually heavy menstrual flows
  • Enlarged spleen.

If your doctor suspects you may have a low platelet count, they’ll recommend the best treatment plan for you. This could be as simple as small lifestyle changes (like cutting down on the amount of alcohol you drink) or you may be prescribed steroids or other medications to help boost your platelet production.

If medicines don’t work, you may be offered a blood or platelet transfusion, or surgery to remove your spleen (if that is found to be the cause of the issue).

Causes of low platelet count

According to Heathline, there are a range of potential causes of low platelet count including:

  • Aplastic anaemia
  • Vitamin deficiencies such as B12, folate, and iron
  • Viral infections including HIV, Epstein-Barr, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox
  • Exposure to chemotherapy, radiation or toxic chemicals
  • Consuming too much alcohol
  • Cirrhosis
  • Certain types of cancers such as leukaemia and lymphoma
  • Myelodysplasia
  • Genetic conditions such as May-Hegglin and Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes
  • Some pregnant women develop mild thrombocytopenia when they are close to delivery.

If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of a low platelet count, it’s essential you speak to a healthcare professional, especially if your symptoms are serious, including wounds or cuts that won’t stop bleeding or blood in your stools or urine.

If you are at risk of developing this condition due to a medical condition or family history, it’s essential you get regular checks, too.

This story has been updated.