The Questions I get Asked the Most.

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Feature image from FWISCOVERS

1. I am so confused!  Can you Help me?

I hope so, but not always.  Almost every email I receive begins with this sentence or something very similar to it.  I am not a doctor and I have not ‘cured’ my own ITP by drinking kombucha tea.  Chances are I probably can’t ‘help’ you in any physical sense.

But I would love to make you feel better and help to ease your mind about ITP.  My aim is to promote a more positive frame of mind, remove a lot of the fear and misunderstanding from ITP, help you to take practical steps to regain control of your life and hopefully make you laugh.

2. Can I still exercise and go to the gym?

The best way to answer this is to again speak from my own experience.  I exercise a lot.  I don’t go to the gym because I prefer to walk and dance.  If I was a gym person I would defiantly still go.  I prefer to walk, ride my bike around town and go to dance classes.  I do about 6 hours of ballet a week (I know what you’re thinking, she’s probably pretty good! But sadly no, I am still terrible).

But let me be clear.  This exercise is hard.  It hurts and I can feel it the next day.  I am sore and my muscles always ache.  It is not easy for me, but I try not to be discouraged or scared by how differently my body responds to exercise.  If I have a very bad run of low platelets and terrible side effects, I return to dancing via a few weeks of yoga first.

3. How long will it last?

There is no way to know how long your ITP will hang around for.  Generally vaccine induced ITP is acute and will be in remission after six months.  Other than that, there is no way to really know.

4. Will I give ITP to my kids?

In short, no.  While there is no scientific evidence that parents with ITP will have children with ITP, it has HAPPENED BEFORE.  There is a fine line between nature and nurture.  Babies born to ITP mothers may have a low platelet count shortly after their birth.  This is because they are still processing and recovering from antibodies in their mothers’ blood.

5. Have you ever had Rituxumab?

No. I personally have not had Rituximab.  I do have a number of friends that have taken it and have seen my mother go through two courses of the drug.  If you are looking for more information on Rituximab, I recommend you read THIS article.

6. Which treatments have you had?

I consider myself very lucky with the treatments I have had for ITP.  I have a prednisone responsive immune system and am able to mostly treat my ITP through steroids (though they have their own problems, I know).

7. Which Diet / Nutritional Philosophy do you follow?

I eat a very relaxed combination of the PALEO diet and the EAT RIGHT FOR YOUR TYPE diet.  My blood type is O.  Type O people are recommended to have a protein heavy diet, which is what I naturally crave.  So when I tell people that paleo really works for me, I need to be clear that it also fits well with my blood type.

When I say I am relaxed about what I eat, I mean that I don’t let my diet interfere with social occasions or refuse loving home made food.  I eat whole foods made from scratch.  My indulgence is cold press pear cidar and shoe string fries.

by Meg

Meghan Brewster is a writer and blogger. She is an ITP patient and launched ITP&Me in 2011. She is a coffee lover and a try hard dancer. @meghan_brewster

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