Low Platelets Associated with Other Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases that have been shown to cause low platelets include:

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common autoimmune condition and the leading cause of hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid. ITP may be difficult to treat when associated with thyroid autoimmune disorders, such as Hashimoto’s. In such cases, treating the underlying thyroid disorder may significantly improve platelet count and can either cause remission of disease or improve response to standard ITP therapy.

Resources and research providing insight into Hashimoto’s impact on low platelets include:

Celiac (Coeliac) Disease

Celiac (coeliac) disease, also known as gluten intolerance, is an autoimmune disease of the small bowel caused by a cross-reaction to the gluten in wheat, barley, rye and similar grains.

Resources and research providing insight into celiac disease include:

Celiac Disease Foundation
Beyond Celiac
Gluten Intolerance Group

Evans Syndrome

Evans syndrome is the combination of autoimmune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and autoimmune destruction of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia).

Resources and research providing insight into Evans syndrome include:

Evans Syndrome Foundation

Antiphospholpid syndrome (APS)

Antiphospholip antibodies, those that attack particular cell membranes, can lead to blood clots in the veins and arteries. From 20 to 70 percent of people diagnosed with ITP also have APS, and approximately 25 percent of people with APS develop thrombocytopenia. Due to this, it is important to test for both anticardiolipin and lupus anticoagulant.

Resources and research providing insight into APS include:

APS Foundation of America, Inc.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Approximately 25 percent of patients with SLE, commonly called Lupus, develop thrombocytopenia for a wide variety of reasons related to the pathology of the disease.

Resources and research providing insight into SLE and low platelets include:

Lupus Research Alliance
Lupus Foundation of America

Thyroid disease

Both an over-functioning thyroid gland and an under-functioning thyroid gland have been associated with thrombocytopenia.  Thyroid problems are more prevalent in people diagnosed with ITP than the general population.  Sometimes restoring normal thyroid level increases the platelet count.  It is important to check for thyroid levels and anti-thyroid antibodies.

Resources and research providing insight into thyroid disease and low platelets include:

American Thyroid Association



back to top

Charity NavigatorGuideStar Seal NORD Member BadgeTHSNA logo