Over a year ago, Dr. Gerry Schwalfenberg of the University of Alberta reported in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health that he treated a case of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura by prescribing 4,000 IU of vitamin D/day.
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is characterized by a low platelet count with normal bone marrow. Platelets help the body with hemostasis, a process to make sure that damaged blood vessels stop bleeding. Since people with ITP have a low platelet count, they have trouble managing bleeding. Signs of ITP include excessive bleeding nose and gums and a purpura rash on the skin.
ITP is likely an autoimmune disorder where antibodies attack platelets, though it is not known for certain. The cause of ITP is not known. It affects only 2-3 people out of every 100,000 persons. The goal of treating ITP is to keep platelet count above the lower threshold.