There is so much about how our bodies work that we take for granted. The careful concert of organs, systems, and structures that allow us to breathe, walk, talk, and function is a symphony of tiny miracles. Each is dependent upon the other for us to remain in optimal health. When one microscopic component of our body goes awry, we can become very, very sick.
Such is the case with the blood vessel. If laid end to end, an adult has 100,000 miles of blood vessels, according to The Franklin Institute, and yet, how often do we think about blood vessels?! Probably not at all — unless there’s an issue with how they function, like idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP).
September is ITP Awareness Month and time to pay tribute to those amazing blood vessels that keep life flowing. Organizations, like the Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, want to spread awareness for this condition that affects about 120,000 people in the US.
Idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura is a rare autoimmune disease that causes the destruction of platelets in blood vessels. These platelets are vital to maintaining the structure of the walls of the blood vessels and for coagulation. Without enough platelets, a person is prone to bruising or bleeding. In people with ITP, the immune system attacks the platelets, destroying the integrity of the cell. Although there are a number of methods for treating ITP, there is no cure or standard therapy since each person tends to respond differently.
What can you do to increase awareness for ITP throughout September and beyond? With a wealth of information and resources, The Platelet Disorder Support Association (PDSA) is a great place to start.
Help Find the Next Treatment: If you or someone you know suffers from ITP, there are several ongoing clinical trials for new therapies.
Contribute to the Registry: There’s also an ITP registry, sponsored by PDSA that hopes to provide health care professionals and researchers with first-hand information about people with certain conditions like ITP and other platelet disorders, individually and as a disease population, to increase our understanding of that condition over time.
Spread the Word: Sign up for PDSA’s newsletter or download free education materials, diet and exercise tips and more.
Show Your Support All Year Long: Find ITP jewelry, t-shirts, tote bags and more at the PDSA store— and get 20% off all purchases made in September!