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What do recurring bruises on arms indicate? - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 28-Feb-2014
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1542 Questions
User:Hi i keep having recurring bruises on my right and now left upper arm??
Doctor:I have read your query
Doctor:can you please tell me since how long this is happening?
Doctor:Hello, are you there?
Doctor:Hello Ms XXXXXXX are you there?
User:Hi yes, its been about 4 months
Doctor:okay, Before that you had never had this experience?
Doctor:May I know your age and occupation?
User:I do get light headed and fatigued my gp thought it may be ME but i dont feel that'
User:No never before! Im 47 and i work with restorative justice in victim support
Doctor:Have you had any blood tests done recently?
Doctor:How big are the bruises, how often do you see these?
User:No i havent, what does unusual bruising mra
User:Oops sorry usually mdan?
Doctor:Unusual bruising means bruising without any apparent cause
Doctor:and with minimal trauma
User:Thumb print size, round and every month
User:Not with any known knock or trauma its,weird
Doctor:Okay, you are saying every month, does that mean it happens on any particular day in relation to your menstrual periods?
User:Its just started happening alongside fatigu
Doctor:How soon do you feel fatigued while walking or doing any routine chores?
User:No i have had a hysterectomy and prior to that had early onset menopause
Doctor:Oh, ok
Doctor:that means, this happens approximately about a month once
User:I used to be very fit i did triathlons so not overweight at all i feel fatigued daily
Doctor:I strongly recommend you to get your blood tested
Doctor:The bruising is caused generally by low platelet counts
User:My gp thought it was ME but that doesnt explain latest sypmtoms
Doctor:and fatigue could be because of anemia
User:Ok, thank you but what does low platelet counts,mean?
Doctor:by ME do you mean Myalgic encephalomyelitis?
User:But i dont give up easy
User:I refuse to allow it to win
Doctor:ME is a diagnosis of exclusion, so common conditions need to be completely ruled out before labeling someone as ME
User:Good because i dont think i have ME
Doctor:Low platelet counts means, the small non nucleated cells in the blood that are responsible for stopping bleeding after any trauma are reduced
User:Although auto immune disorders are big in my famiky
Doctor:that could explain the low platelet counts if it is found that you have low platelet counts
User:I havent experienced any traum to my arms though i wake up with the bruises?
Doctor:low platelet counts can be because of either autoimmune disease, bone marrow suppression due to some medicines
User:Ok so what do i ask my gp?
Doctor:I do understand your concern
User:Thank you
Doctor:If you have low platelet counts, then you don't need to suffer any trauma
Doctor:You should suggest to your GP to order for a complete blood work up
Doctor:1. Complete hemogram
User:I am concerned because i wantcto understand this better
Doctor:or complete blood counts
Doctor:2. Peripheral blood smear
User:We are talking uk nhs??
Doctor:UK NHS
User:But happy to psy for private bloods,
User:If necessaru
User:Oops necessary
Doctor:UK NHS does include these basic tests
User:They dont usually like to go outside the norm!
Doctor:do not worry about that, if your GP makes a provisional diagnosis of thrombocytopenia(Low platelet counts)
Doctor:My dear, it is the norm. These tests are the most basic tests
User:Ah ok if they include these then fine. What do you think it could indicate
Doctor:Firstly, it would tell us if you indeed have low platelet counts
Doctor:that is where the next step will start
Doctor:If it is found that you have low platelet counts, then you will be advised to undergo further tests to find out the exact nature of the problem
User:What do low platelet counts mean though
Doctor:Low platelet counts mean, if you get even a small cut, the bleeding will not stop fast
Doctor:it will take quite a long time
User:Ok i will call gp and arrange for blood count thank you
Doctor:So, it is essential to find out if that is indeed the case
Doctor:Yes, you can start there
User:What is the underlying cause though?
Doctor:Underlying cause can be autoimmune disorders
User:Ok i will do that thank you for your help
Doctor:or bone marrow suppression due to medicines or other causes
Doctor:Is there anything else I can help you with?
User:Like leukaemia
User:Can you get late onset leukaemia
Doctor:not exactly, but some forms of leukemia
User:What s
Doctor:Yes, leukemia has a bimodal distribution
User:What other symptoms come with that?
Doctor:meaning, it can present in early life, or after middle age
User:What us bimodal dist?
User:Ah ok
Doctor:Symptoms are non specific
User:Any other symptoms?
Doctor:nothing particular late in the disease progression
User:But can a,blood work up show that
Doctor:but don't worry about that
Doctor:as you said you have a strong family history of autoimmune disorders
Doctor:i suspect it could be that
User:Im pretty healthy and eat well dont smoke etc
Doctor:You are running our of time
Doctor:You can recharge if you wish to continue
Doctor:Please continue your diet
Doctor:and lifestyle
Doctor:Are you back?
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