Mild thrombocytopenia is a condition marked by a low platelet count. Many people experience no symptoms, and the condition resolves on its own. Treatment, if needed, depends on the underlying cause.

Platelets are a type of blood cell that help your blood form clots and stop excess bleeding. The normal blood platelet count for healthy adults is 150,000–450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. Anyone with less than 150,000 platelets per microliter has thrombocytopenia.

Thrombocytopenia is typically considered mild if a person has between 100,000 and 150,000 platelets per microliter of blood. People with mild thrombocytopenia are less likely to have serious complications such as internal bleeding, and they may not require treatment.

This article reviews the symptoms, causes, and treatment of mild thrombocytopenia.

Is mild thrombocytopenia curable?

Mild thrombocytopenia often resolves on its own. When treatment is required, it’s usually successful.

The exact outcome and length of time treatment will require generally depends on the underlying cause. A doctor can give you an idea of what to expect in your specific situation.

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It’s common for people with mild thrombocytopenia not to experience any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can include:

There are various possible causes for mild thrombocytopenia. It can happen when your platelets become trapped in your spleen and can’t circulate correctly. Or it can occur when your body stops making enough platelets, or when your immune system attacks the platelets your body does make.

Mild thrombocytopenia can also be a side effect of some medications and medical treatments, including antibiotics and blood thinners.

It can also be a complication of certain health conditions, including:

Radiation treatment and exposure to arsenic and other toxic chemicals may also cause mild thrombocytopenia.

People with mild thrombocytopenia don’t always need treatment. Mild thrombocytopenia can sometimes resolve on its own in a few days or weeks.

When treatment is needed, your doctor might focus on the underlying cause or condition. For instance, treating a hepatitis C infection, if that’s the underlying cause, can help resolve complications.

If a medication or treatment is causing your mild thrombocytopenia, your doctor might change your treatment or adjust the dosage.

If your mild thrombocytopenia is causing symptoms, your doctor might recommend a specific treatment plan. The treatments will depend on the type of thrombocytopenia you have (for example, whether it’s resulting from an immune disorder or something else).

Your doctor might also advise you to take steps at home to help protect yourself and manage your mild thrombocytopenia. Recommendations include:

  • Avoiding alcohol or only drinking in moderation. If you drink alcohol, it can slow down platelet production.
  • Avoiding contact sports or other activities with a high risk of injury. This type of activity raises the risk of excess bleeding, and it might not be the best choice for someone with mild thrombocytopenia. Your doctor can help you understand what activities are safest for you.
  • Practicing good dental hygiene. Improving your gum health can lower the amount your gums bleed.
  • Being cautious with pain medications. Many over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, can stop your platelets from working correctly. Ask your doctor what OTC medications are safe for you.

Thrombocytopenia is considered mild if a person has between 100,000 and 150,000 platelets per microliter of blood.

People who have mild thrombocytopenia don’t always have symptoms and don’t always need treatment. When symptoms occur, they can include easy bruising, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, fatigue, and cuts that bleed for too long.

Multiple underlying causes can lead to mild thrombocytopenia. When treatment is needed, it typically focuses on the underlying cause. Corticosteroids can help increase blood platelet counts and may be used to treat some cases of thrombocytopenia (such as those caused by an immune system disorder).

At-home lifestyle steps, such as lowering alcohol consumption (if applicable), can also help.