Bruising All over....and Other Medical Stuff

Updated on January 04, 2011
R.D. asks from Haysville, KS
8 answers

Ok, I have bruised pretty easily my whole life. My mom always thought I was probably a little anemic and I took vitamins. Since then I have found out that I have a genetic disorder that causes a b6/b12 deficiency (that none of my doctors but my OBGYN has ever even heard of), and I have hypothyroidism. I have also recently been to a urologist as I had several UTIs after my daughter was born. I kept feeling like I had to go to the bathroom but when I would try, there was nothing and it would immediately feel like I had to go again. He told me it was overactive bladder (after doing some other tests) and put me on Toviaz. Well, I have been on that about a month and every once in awhile I will still have that same feeling.
Anyway back to the bruising :) I have always bruised easily, but it seems worse. I am a teacher and today was my first day back. My right shin hurts so bad just from standing again all day, but it is swollen and there are bruises all over it. It always happens when I go back on Mondays or after a break (mostly to the right, but the left hurts as well). Yesterday my husband noticed a huge bruise on the inside of my right arm. It has a knot in it, and looks about the size of a man's thumb. Which looks horribe; all I can think is my husband and I were messing around and when he grabbed me, it left that huge bruise. However, I can't think of anytime that would have happened. It could have been my daughter pinching me too. Either way, it's another bruise. I carried my laptop case out to the car after work today and had it slung over my right arm. Now I have sharp, shooting pain all the way down that arm, and my elbow is killing me. Last night my left arm felt like I had somehow rubbed it raw; I don't know how to explain it. It felt like it had been rubbing against my clothes for a long time. It was really sensitve and anoyed thecrap outta me.
So...just wondering: anyone else had any of these problems with bruising? If so, what was causing it? I have blood drawn all the time for my thyroid (my mother had thyroid cancer so we keep a really close eye on me) , and I know I have specifically had tested for anemia before. I believe I was border line anemic. The doctor never really seemed too concerned about it. I know I need to call my doctor tomorrow and ask, but we just switched insurance and are on an HSA and so I really want to make sure I go in with the right questions to ask and any info. that may be helpful so I don't end up going ten million times. Thanks in advance :)

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So What Happened?

Your answers reminded me of something :) The genetic disorder I have is called an MTHFR mutation. My OBGYN immediately knew what it was and what tests to run (I am adopted, and when my bio. mom found out I was pregnant told me to immediately get tested for it.) Any other doctor I have ever seen looks at me funny when I tell them what it is called and they have never heard. of it. When I say it affects my b6/b12 they just go, oh ok and move on. I do know that it can cause blot clots, but from what I understand, only when you are pregnant or when you are having major surgery. There is no specialist anywhere in the area, so maybe I should call my OBGYN and ask what she suggets? I don't know...

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answers from San Francisco on

You need to go back to the doctor and try to get a referral to a hematologist. The bruising is likely related to MTHFR mutation. The kind of bruising you are describing is not normal. My understanding is the MTHFR mutation can be activated under "stress" and cause bleeding. Please go back to the doctor and insist on being seen by someone who knows about this.

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answers from Portland on

I used to have a low blood platelet count as a child....I can't remember the name of the condition...but it was EXACTLY as you describe. For a long time I took b6/b12 supplements and was very close to needing a blood transfusion when it cleared up. I was only in the 3rd grade, so that's all I remember (besides having blood tests taken every three days, sometimes everyday...but they made the cotton ball and tape look like a bunny so it was alright!).

Oh yeah, it wasn't anemia. Too few platelets!

Not sure if this luck with this. Just find a doctor that will look into your blood cell counts (all of them) and a doctor who takes this seriously. Because if you think about what a bruise is, and why you are bruising easily, this could be problematic for parts of your body that aren't as visible, like organs and such. Try not to freak out too much, but make sure you have your blood work monitored.

Good luck:)

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answers from Wichita on

my aunt has a clotting disorder, she will literally clot while giving blood, in the tube. she bruises very easily. it helps her to be on an asperin regime, but you'd probably want to talk to your doctor before starting one.



answers from Kansas City on

On the bladder stuff. I had exactly all that you described even down to the overactive bladder meds. I finally found an urologist who did more testing and they discovered that I had a VERY high amount of acid in my urine. This is what was causing the symptoms I was having. I eventually even had acidic stones in my kidneys (they look like and can feel like kidney stones). You might ask them to test your urine for acid levels. I actually was just given a vitamin I can order to fix the problem. I am so much better and this went on with me for over 6 years before I found a good urologist that did more testing rather than just trying to fit my symptoms into what they thought it was! By the way, this can lead to gout later in life so if this is what you have you will want to get it under control!



answers from St. Louis on

The MTHFR mutation puts you at risk for blood clots and can be a cause of frequent miscarriage due to clots in the placenta which is why it is the realm of OB-GYN's. Anemia simply means low red blood cell count and is never associated with bruising or bleeding by itself - it makes you pale and tire easily. Most likely you are having a problem with some aspect of your clotting system - like low platelets or even von Willebrand's disease (if this has been a lifelong problem). Any internal medicine physician should be able to investigate these problems so I would go to that person, not your OB.



answers from Washington DC on

When I was 24 I was diagnosed with ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura). I had lots of bruising that was unexplained and became progressively worse. I would stand in the shower and count the bruises. Some would be hand prints from where I had touched myself when I crossed my arms. It took several visits to my doctor at the time to get to the right person to diagnose me. The first time he accused my husband of beating me and drew a platelet count. He ignored the low results claiming that it the blood sample was probably contaminated. 6 weeks later I had a weird rash (later identified as petichiae, small pinpoint bruises under the skin that occur when the platelet count gets below 50,000). He ignored the rash and drew another count and told me to take iron because I was anemic (well of course I was, I was bleeding, hence the bruises). I had horrible pains in my left side (my spleen) and went back again and he drew another level. Then he called me in a panic because my platelet count was 8,000 and normal is 350,000. He had a referral made to a hematologist who I saw the next day. by that time my gums were blue. No one knows why my immune system went haywire and attacked my platelets as invaders. I think you should ask for a referral to a hematologist. I don't know if you have thrombocytopenia, but if that doctor hadn't ignored the blood count the first time, he would have saved me a lot of agonizing and expensive treatment that I had to have because my count had dropped so low. The hematologist specializes in blood disorders and can get to the bottom of why you are bruising so easily.



answers from Kansas City on

agree that you need to at least have a CBC done with white, red cell counts as well as platelet counts. I do think that it is a good idea to see a hematologist as this could indicate a more serious problem than just anemia. Good luck.



answers from Philadelphia on

Re: the bladder issue... I had the same symptoms and was on meds for overactive bladder... To make a long story short the urologist eventually found out I had a stricture (kink) in my uretha. He found it when he went to do a scope on my bladder and could not get the scope through my uretha. He numbed me then stretched it out and I have been great for about 2 years now. It took him about 1-2 minutes total to correct and I had suffered for 8 months.
best of luck getting to the bottom of your bruising and bladder issues!