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Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Chronic ITP is an autoimmune disease of primarily young to middle-age adults. twice as common in females as in males. It is relatively slow and subtle in onset and is not associated with preceding viral infection. ITP resolves spontaneously only rarely. It is the most common of all the autoimmune diseases in which the cell targeted by the immune system for auto-reaction has been clearly identified.

Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

In ITP, the autoantibodies are directed against platelets. Platelets are minute, disk-shaped components of the blood needed for prevention and control of bleeding. Platelets are formed in the bone marrow and are released into the blood. They have a limited life span before they are replaced by new platelets. In ITP, the platelets are prematurely destroyed by the antibody as if they were invading bacteria.

The symptoms are: skin rash on legs, small pinpoint bruises (called petechiae), excessive bruising, bleeding from the nose, gums or gastrointestinal tract or genitourinary tract (blood in the urine), heavy menstrual bleeding, and bruising/bleeding made worse by interference with platelet function (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen).

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs.

The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission.

As with all autoimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

The approach used in homeopathy is to attempt to restore the balance of the system using dilute solutions of natural substances specific to the disorder.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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