Low blood platelets symptoms

Updated April 17, 2017

Low blood platelet count can have many causes, but it's symptoms are all relatively similar. Platelets generally stop the flow of blood by assisting in the clotting process, so a low platelet count can lead to excessive or unexpected bleeding, both internal and external. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of low blood platelets, discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Effects of Low Blood Platelets

Platelets are cells in the bloodstream that assist in the clotting process. In other words, when you get a scrape or a cut, platelets rush to the site of the wound and help to stop the blood from flowing. If you have low blood platelets, your blood will not clot as easily.

Possible Causes

There are several underlying issues that may cause your blood platelet count to drop. For example, certain autoimmune diseases, blood poisoning, chemotherapy, or leukaemia. Pregnancy can also cause your blood platelet count to drop. If you are experiencing any of these conditions in addition to the symptoms below, consider the possibility that your blood platelet count may be decreasing.

Bleeding from Skin

One of the most obvious symptoms of low blood platelets is excessive external bleeding. For example, your gums or nose might spontaneously start to bleed, or a cut may continue bleeding for an abnormally long period of time. In addition, heavy bleeding during surgery may be caused by low platelets.

Internal Bleeding

If you have a low blood platelet count, you may sustain excessive bruises. In addition, you may find tiny red pinpoints on your skin (especially on the lower legs) that are a sign of superficial internal bleeding.

Other Symptoms

Other symptoms of low blood platelets include heavy menstrual flow and blood in urine or stool. Either of these are symptoms worth mentioning to your doctor.

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About the Author

Keren (Carrie) Perles is a freelance writer with professional experience in publishing since 2004. Perles has written, edited and developed curriculum for educational publishers. She writes online articles about various topics, mostly about education or parenting, and has been a mother, teacher and tutor for various ages. Perles holds a Bachelor of Arts in English communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.