Laura Hamilton has recalled how she looked down in the shower to discover huge bruises on her legs, which led to a horrifying diagnosis.
The Channel 4 presenter, 38, who hosts A Place in the Sun, said she looked down while in the shower to discover he legs were covered in huge bruises but she had no idea at all where they had come from.
She told The Mirror how it started when her daughter Tahlia was just a baby, she said: "It was terrifying."
Laura continued by saying at the time she was on a very strict diet and had cut out carbs and sugar.
She continued: "I had been on quite a strict diet. I'd cut out sugar and carbs and I was the slimmest I’d been.
"I was exercising loads and felt in really good shape."
But it was then that Laura, who lives with husband Alex and children Rocco, five, and Tahlia, four, suddenly discovered the large bruises which ran up and down her legs.
Laura explained: "When Tahlia was about seven months old, I was due to drive to Portugal to film a fitness app, but a few days before I was due to go I started noticing all this bruising coming out on my legs."
She went on: "At first I wondered if the bruises might have been caused by my diet.
"I was always someone who bruised quite easily anyway, but it was more than normal."
After days of pondering and worrying about the bruises, Laura decided to confide in her mother-in-law who guessed it could be a blood disorder and ordered her to go and see a doctor.
Laura said: "I had a huge bruise under my elbow. The doctor was asking where they’d all come from and if I had any recollection of banging myself."
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She continued: "At the time, I had a seven-month-old baby and a young toddler jumping on me all the time, but even considering that, it was a lot of bruising."
Her GP had the same concerns as her mother-in-law and sent her to the hospital for blood tests.
When the results came back, they showed Laura’s blood platelet levels – which help blood to clot and allow wounds to heal – were dangerously low.
A normal platelet count is between 400 and 140 K/uL. Laura’s was only 23.
"The doctor explained that when platelets drop below a certain point, you’re at risk of internal haemorrhaging and bleeding on the brain," she recalled.
Laura was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), an autoimmune condition which causes the body to attack its own platelets.
A few days later, Laura had a follow-up appointment and was about to start the course of steroids, but there was a surprise in store for the medics in charge of her care.
"Unbelievably, just as I was due to start the course of steroids, my platelet count started improving by itself and I didn’t end up having to take the medication," she said.
But Laura knows the condition could return any time. “Once you've had ITP, it’s always there, so after you’ve had a flare-up it can happen again.”
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