Essential thrombocythemia is a disorder where the body produces plenty of blood platelets or thrombocytes and it is also known as primary thrombocythemia. The common symptom is headache. Women over age 50 are more susceptible to this condition.
Symptoms of thrombocythemia
The first indication of this condition is the development of a blood clot or thrombus, but it can happen anywhere in the body. With essential thrombocythemia, they happen in the brain, hands and feet. The symptoms will depend on where the clot will form.
- There is dizziness or light-headedness along with chest pain
- Headaches, weakness and fainting
- There are changes in the vision
- Experiencing numbness or tingling of the hands and feet
- Mildly enlarged spleen
- A red, throbbing and burning pain can be felt in the hands and feet or erthromelalgia
Essential thrombocythemia can cause bleeding when the platelet count is high is more than 1 million platelets per microliter of blood. The bleeding takes the form of nose bleeding, bleeding from the mouth and gums, blood-streaked stool and bruising.
Causes of essential thrombocythemia
A bone marrow which is the spongy tissue found inside the bones contains stem cells that becomes a red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets. The platelets will travel through the blood vessels and they stick together to form a clot that will stop bleeding when blood vessel is damaged such as a cut in the skin. A normal count of platelet ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood.
In essential thrombocythemia, the bone marrow makes plenty of platelets forming cells called megakaryocytes which release plenty of platelets into the blood. Some of the platelets will not function normally that will cause abnormal clotting or bleeding.
Complications that essential thrombocythemia can cause the following:
- Complications during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, high blood pressure, premature delivery, and placental abruption which involve the premature parting of the placenta from the uterine wall and a sluggish fetal growth.
- A clot that will cause blockage of blood flow to the brain and will cause stroke.
- A clot that causes obstruction of blood flow to the heart can cause a heart attack. It is vital to be prepared to carry out the appropriate steps during a heart attack by enrolling in a first aid course.
Treatment and home remedies
- Eat healthy foods rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruits and low saturated fats. Avoid consuming trans fats and maintain a normal weight.
- Perform moderate physical activities or exercises at least 30 minutes. Take a brisk walk every day as well as biking and swimming.
- Avoid becoming overweight or obese since it will increase the pressure in the veins found in the pelvis and legs and there is a high risk of having high blood pressure and the danger of blood clotting.
- Quit smoking
- Avoid playing contact sports or doing activities that could cause the affected person to fall.
- Use a soft toothbrush and waxed floss for the teeth.
- Avoid shaving cuts and shave using an electric razor in order to minimize having cuts.
- Be careful in using knives scissors and other sharp tools.