ITP :: When It’s More Than Just “Mom Tired”

This article is for informational or educational purposes only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals.

“You’re just tired because you have boys.”

“Oh, you’re tired because you are a mom with little ones running around.”

Have you heard those statements before from family or friends, or maybe you’ve quietly spoken these words to yourself?

In November of 2019, after months of feeling “off” and suffering from extreme exhaustion, I was finally diagnosed with a litany of issues: adrenal fatigue, systemic Candida, hypothyroidism, MTFHR mutation, hormone imbalances, plus a few other issues. I have worked hard at healing these issues with diet, supplements, medication, a few IV therapies, and other treatment options.

But just over a month ago, I was feeling the exhaustion creep in yet again.

tired mom on laptop while children play behind her, exhaustion ITP

Every few months, I see my doctor for bloodwork to keep an eye on my hypothyroidism, but my blood platelets and white blood count have been dropping each time. My doctor felt it necessary to do more in-depth bloodwork with a local hematologist, and to my surprise, I was diagnosed with ITP (or Immune Thrombocytopenia). Ironically enough, about a week before my diagnosis, I learned that Mandy Moore of the hit show This Is Us, also has ITP! So, what I am saying is that I am basically BFFs with Mandy Moore now.

What is ITP?

Healthline states that ITP, or immune thrombocytopenia, “is a rare blood disorder characterized by low platelet counts, which affect the blood’s ability to clot.” The National Organization for Rare Disorders states that more than 200,000 people worldwide have ITP.

What are the symptoms of ITP?

As with all diagnoses, symptoms can vary from person to person. I noticed that I was feeling sluggish and more tired than usual, and since my medication is at a good level for my hypothyroidism, the exhaustion is more than likely from the ITP.

According to my doctor, some symptoms of ITP include the following:

  • Small red bumps on your skin
  • Bruising easily
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Heavy cycles
  • Excessive fatigue

Again, so many underlying issues can cause extreme exhaustion and some of these other symptoms, so it is always best to do extensive bloodwork with your doctor. After years of struggling to figure out what was going on, I now know to ask for extensive annual hormone, thyroid, adrenal, yeast, and blood count checks.

There is a reason my white blood count and blood platelets are low, so my doctor ordered imaging of my abdomen, and thankfully, all those results came back clear! Additionally, he ran a few more tests to determine why the counts could be low, and I am awaiting those results.

How To Heal From ITP

Most often, ITP is just something you live with. In extreme cases, according to my doctor, medication may be recommended. However, my case is very minor, so I am working on my diet to increase my blood platelets and boost my immune system. I’m focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet, incorporating more leafy greens, and drinking more water, which I didn’t drink nearly enough of in a day! Apparently, coffee alone is not enough to suffice?!

In addition to abstaining from gluten, dairy, refined sugars, and alcohol (to heal the Candida overgrowth), I also try my best to avoid processed foods and certain ingredients that I know will cause inflammation and other health issues. So far, all of this has slowly helped me to feel better each day.

green salad, diet for exhaustion ITP

Rest as Needed

One thing that is challenging for me is allowing myself to rest. My body is tired and is letting me know with outward symptoms, so I must pay attention to it and allow my body to rest. So, fellow mamas: Listen to your body and rest as needed. If you need permission to chill on the couch or take a nap—here it is! Rest, eat well, and consult with your doctor if you feel like something more is going on.

Lauren Greci is a native North Texan who has lived in Dallas, Allen, McKinney, Denton, and Little Elm. After graduating from Texas Woman’s University, Lauren taught reading and writing in Allen ISD for five years, was awarded Rookie Teacher of the Year, and served on literary committees and curriculum writing teams. After the birth of her first son, Lauren transitioned to her new role as a stay-at-home mom. Now Lauren homeschools her two boys, Troy (9) and Clark (5), and loves gardening and cooking healthy food for her husband and kids. When she is not teaching, cooking, or writing, you can usually find her at local coffee shops, scoping out new healthy restaurants, cycling, and reading. Their favorite place to be as a family is outdoors on the local lakes or taking family vacations in the mountains. Lauren was the editor at a local magazine and wrote articles for a few publications before publishing her first book, Mercy in the Mess: How God Revealed His Character in My Mess and How You Can Find Him in Yours. Lauren is passionate about sharing the Good News of Christ with others through her book, blog, and podcast. Website // Facebook // Instagram // Podcast