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How can low platelets counts be improved?

Q: My 33 years old friend is having a low platelet count for the last 3 years. He suffers from high fever and body pain. Is it a life threatening condition? What are the causes of this problem and how can it be cured?

A:Since your friend has low platelet count for almost 3 years now, the most common cause would be idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) where there may be defect with the immune system in the body and it produces antibodies that attack and destroy platelets. Most individuals can have varied symptoms from mild bruising to severe bleeding. The treatment involves confirming by a bone marrow examination, splenectomy, steroids or other medication.

Fever is not a usual feature of diseases with platelet disorders. The body fights infections with the help of white cells in the blood. If your friend has frequent fever also, other causes like autoimmune disorders, chronic infections including hepatitis, haematological (blood) disorders, splenic enlargement due to various causes etc need to be ruled out.

Treatment and long-term management will depend on the cause identified.

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