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Your doctor’s advice that your platelets are ‘still a bit low’ implies that you are in the mild category, which is reassuring. The most common reason in otherwise healthy people is immune thrombocytopenia, when the body creates antibodies to the platelets.
Blood clots in the system may also be using them up (e.g.
A second test showed my platelets were still a bit low. Platelets, which are produced in the bone marrow, are fragments of cells that play a role in blood clotting. When deciding the diagnosis, we first have to consider whether the patient is otherwise healthy, with no symptoms — as in your case — or whether they already have a condition or are acutely ill.
Could I have something seriously wrong with me, such as cancer? The normal platelet count is 150,000 per cubic millilitre of blood.
I have gradually lost all the hair on my head and body.
My doctor has sent me for blood tests to check my thyroid and iron levels — but nothing is unusual.
But even though this may induce hair growth, there is a high likelihood of relapse, and the drug has side-effects (including sleep disturbance, high blood pressure and a risk of diabetes).
However, one study did find that combining steroids with minoxidil, a drug that can help stimulate hair growth applied as a lotion or cream, can prolong the results.
You have a variant known as alopecia universalis, in which all head and body hair is completely lost.If the cause is a bone marrow disorder, this will affect other types of blood cells as well — yet your tests didn’t appear to show any other abnormalities.Viral illnesses — such as German measles, mumps, chicken pox, hepatitis C and glandular fever — can also lower platelet production, but usually this resolves as the patient recovers.About one in 50 of us develops the type that affects the scalp, but the alopecia universalis variant is rarer.The disorder occurs when the immune system starts to attack the hair follicles.
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Your doctor quite rightly carried out tests for these, which perhaps should be repeated in a year.