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Low platelets and rib pain - a little worried about HELLP syndrome

(5 Posts)
lucysnowe Fri 24-Jun-11 12:59:53

Hi all

I've just gone for a blood test as the doc said my platelet count was a little low (I don't know by how much). I am also borderline anaemic.

The issue is I have also been experiencing constant pain just under my ribs on the rh side and apparently that and the low platelets are symptoms of HELPP syndrome.

BUT the rib pain is not particular very severe, just chronic, and I don't have any other symptoms of HELPP, no swelling at all, and bp and urine all normal.

I'm just wondering if I should worry or at what point should I worry?

Any advice appreciated - thanks!

Blumers Fri 24-Jun-11 16:13:52

I've had borderline anemia in all three of my pregnancies and chronic rib pain as well on my rhs. It is really bad at times and makes it hard to sleep. Never caused any other problems or been a symptom of anything more serious, and goes after the birth. No doctor has been able to figure out what it is but I am pretty sure it is because your ligaments relax due to the pregnancy hormones (the same thing that gives people the pelvic problem - SPD or something I think) and then your ribs get out of alignment and hurt. Plus the baby can be putting pressure on there but for me it starts around 20 weeks when my uterus is way lower than my ribs so isn't just that. I also cracked/ broke some ribs when I was 19 playing rugby and I think the old injury gets irritated when my ribs jiggle around when the ligaments loosen up. I found a heat pack (for back/muscle pain) works a bit or paracetamol if it is really severe. But in the end like most crappy pregnancy symptoms giving birth is the cure. Mention it to your dr but don't panic.

lucysnowe Fri 24-Jun-11 18:44:43

Thanks Blumers for your message. Yes can you tell I am panicking a bit? smile

Would you mind telling me how your rib pain 'was' (if you can remember), and was it alleviated by Gaviscon or whatever? Mine is kind of 'sore' and doesn't seem to be linked to indigestion (which would make sense if it's more of a ligament thing), and it comes and goes a bit, but there's always a bit of pain there. I am just a bit freaked it's my liver or something. I didn't have anything like this with DD, but this DC is transverse and his head is apparently right under my right ribs. OTOH DD was breech (what awkward children I have). I am 29 wks btw.

I also wondered if there was a specific platelet count associated with the syndrome, i.e. v. low? I wil get the blood results on Mon and then I can be a bit better informed...

malteser1981 Fri 24-Jun-11 21:46:52

If your doctor suspected HELLP you would be hospitalised for observation. The typical pain is epigastric pain, which although is just under your ribs, is like very severe heartburn and typically would be acute and severe in onset. It would not be relieved by gaviscon. Although low platelets <100 can be a symptom of HELLP, in the absence of deranged liver enzymes, hypertension and proteinurea it is extremely unlikely. There are numerous causes for low platelets, ITP being one. I hope that the results on monday are reassuring. In the meantime speak to your local maternity assessment if you have any symptoms (headaches, visual disturbances, oedema, epigastric pain or reduced fetal movements.) HTH

lucysnowe Sat 25-Jun-11 14:03:54

Hi malteser that does help a lot, thanks.

I was panicking a bit because some webpages said you can have the syndrome without any symptoms except the platelets and rib pain. I will see what my count is on Mon and if it's below 100, discuss with GP.

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