What Causes Mysterious Bruising?

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Pale, Sick-Looking Young WomanWhat causes mysterious bruising? Are you noticing bruises on legs, arms, and other parts of your body you never noticed before? Mysterious bruising could be a simple sign of clumsiness or forgetfulness. You may just not remember what you’ve bumped into.

However, if bruising is frequent and bruises on legs, arms and other parts of your body don’t go away after a couple of days, there could be an underlying medical cause. Let’s take a look at the five most common causes of mysterious bruising.


ITP or idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura is something I have personal experience with. ITP is an autoimmune disorder characterized by low platelets, easy bruising and bleeding. Like most autoimmune diseases, there is no clear definable cause. Some believe like I do, that ITP is linked to gluten intolerance. I have both. This disease tends to strike young women most.

My platelets have since stabilized since I’ve cut gluten and the prescription medication, depakote from my life. (Gluten intolerance produced symptoms of bipolar disorder, which I do not have.) A blood test at your doctor’s office will determine if you have ITP. Meanwhile, there are plenty of natural remedies for ITP to try, including a gluten-free diet.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease characterized by a slow onset of joint pain, stiffness, dry eyes and mouth, eye burning, itching and discharge and easy bruising. If these symptoms sound familiar, you might have rheumatoid arthritis. A blood test can diagnose RA. There are plenty of natural treatments for this autoimmune disease.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Mysterious bruising can also be caused by iron deficiency anemia. This condition is characterized by the body not producing enough healthy red blood cells. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, headaches, brittle nails, lightheadedness, feeling faint upon standing, paleness, easy bruising, sore tongue and dark, tar-colored stools. A blood test can determine if this condition is the cause of your symptoms.

Iron deficiency anemia can be corrected naturally through diet and supplementation of nutrients. In severe cases, a series of blood transfusions may be necessary.


Diabetes is another condition associated with easy mysterious bruising. Symptoms of this disease include excessive thirst and appetite, fatigue, frequent urination, blurred vision, nausea with or without vomiting, slow-healing sores or cuts, easy bruising, frequent vaginal infections, dry mouth, itchy skin, especially in the groin area.

Some of these symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have diabetes. Mystery symptoms can be hard to pin down. A blood test can determine if you have diabetes. If it’s type II, it may be able to be controlled through diet, lifestyle changes and supplements.


Don’t panic. Leukemia is only one of many causes of easy bruising. Symptoms of this type of cancer include fatigue, frequent infections, paleness, painless lumps in the underarm, neck, groin or stomach, pain or feeling of fullness in the ribs, easy bleeding or bruising, fever, bone and joint pain or tiny red spots under the skin.

Again, a blood test can tell for sure. A bone marrow biopsy may also be conducted to conclusively determine if the cause of your easy bruising is due to leukemia.

Mysterious bruises on legs, arms, back or any other part of your body could be due to any number of reasons. These are the five most common. Don’t panic or make yourself crazy wondering if you’re dying. No matter what the cause, there’s a natural treatment out there for you. After you’ve received a diagnosis, you’ll be well on your way to effectively treating the cause of your mysterious bruising.

Next: What Causes Red Bruises on Arms and Legs?

About Author: Jaime A. Heidel
  • Marie

    My daughter is 13 years of age has been suffering with a sore throat on and off since the middle of may 2012,along with sore throat she has had sore head, dizziness, lightheaded, too hot, too cold and feeling sick, she is now suffering with sore sides(under ribs) for 6 weeks , she finds it hard to sit in class at school and some times needs to leave class to get to stand up as the pain is sore sitting. I have taken her to the doctor and hospital which they tried to find out what the problem was,Mainly for her throat,they done her bloods for Glandular Fever which came back clear! she had a camera inserted to look at her throat and they found nothing! she had an ultra sound on her throat and nothing was found! They were going to do an abdominal ultra sound on her an then cancelled it as they started to think it is all in her head! The doctor sent her to speak to someone to see if anything was going on and she didn’t find anything bothering my daughter apart from being sore and tired from wakening every night from her sore throat! she has been treated for acid of the stomach and thrush of the throat but she still has symptoms . The latest addition to her symptoms, she now has a bruise that came from nowhere on her right hand,its been there for 5 days now and it has been changing color a lot and now has a wee white lump in the middle, the lump seems to be getting bigger? I will also add that her sides seem to get worse after eating breads pasta etc!could she be Gluten intolerant????????????
    Many thanks

  • admin

    Hi Marie,

    I’m not sure what could be causing your daughter’s symptoms right off the top of my head. Gluten intolerance can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including sore throat and bruising. From what I looked up, it might be pancreatitis associated with gluten intolerance or just a type chronic allergic reaction to something. It could be her thyroid as well. I would start by completely eliminating processed foods from the diet. This includes anything with high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, and food dyes. Eliminate gluten for a couple of weeks as well to see if there’s any improvement.

    If changing her diet does nothing to resolve the issue, I would suggest taking her to an endocrinologist to check for glandular problems such as thyroid disease or other hormonal or developmental issue. You might also want to book an appointment with a homeopathic or naturopathic doctor in your area as well to assess her symptoms and see what could be causing the problem.

    You’ll get there. It’s so easy for doctors to say your child is just “making it up for attention” if they can’t immediately find something wrong but there is an obvious problem and you’ll get to the bottom of it.

    ps: Something is really screaming thyroid disease at me so check that first.

    I wish you and your daughter the best of luck!


  • rachelle lahman

    My mom has been having bruises in her arms..it’s not frequent though..she mentioned that she’s feeling faint whenever she bows her head..and she also has migraine for the longest time..should i have her blood checked immediately?


  • admin


    Yes, I think you should. It could be anything from a medication reaction to meningitis. She should go to the doctor immediately just to be sure it’s nothing serious.

    Best of luck to you both,


  • so my friend brooke has some pretty wierd buises everywhere and its kinda freakin me out so yeah what should we do about her issues and what could it be?

  • admin

    Hi Hannah,

    If she’s a minor, she should talk with her parents about taking her to a doctor. They can do blood tests to find out what’s causing her bruising.

    Best of luck to you both,


  • Juli

    I am 15years old, i have hypothyroidism and i take medication for it.
    However, i have been noticing many random bruises all over my body
    I have searched the side effects of my
    Medication and none involve random bruising
    I told my mom and she wanted to take me to the hospital.
    I told her i was fine and i think i am. If its nothing why spend
    Hundreds of dollars on medical bills? I figure i can ask
    The internet. Eventually i will go to the docter for a check up.
    But till than i could really use a second opinion
    Thank u.

  • lorein asence

    good day …i have experienced unusual legs bruises..but base on my cbc the result is normal…what would be the possible test should i undergone for this unusual leg bruises to know the causes? thanks. ..lorein

  • admin

    Hello Lorein,

    Have you had your platelet count checked?


  • anon

    sounds like your daughter may have mono be careful of too much physical activity if it is, her spleen could be swollen, which can possibly rupture.

  • markie

    hi to all,,can you help me for my prob coz im so nervous about bruises,,this past few days july 24 my mom feel nothing over half of her body then she cant feel anything so my sister decided to see a doctor immediately,,the doctor said she is highblood then she need to take some medicines..then after 2days we noticed that she had a lot of big purple bruises all over her body even on her face….omg!!!whats that mean???????what is the best thing we can do for that???

  • admin

    Hi Markie,

    Thank you for contacting me. I’m very sorry you’re mother is going through such a rough time. Since I am not a medical doctor, I cannot give you medical advice so what I will do is turn you over to Dr. Craig A. Maxwell. He is an osteopathic physician based in Ohio who can do an over-the-phone or online consultation with you to determine the cause of your mom’s symptoms.

    Here is his contact information: http://askdrmaxwell.com/services/nutritional-consulting/

    Best of luck to you both,


  • markie

    hi jaime,,thank you so much for your reply..hope this things will be okay..godbless and thankyou..
    always takecare!!!

  • Jen


    So the past couple of days i have been studying for exams so i have been sitting (especially sitting indian style)for most of the time but I did get up and go to the bathroom and up the stairs to my apartment every night and i have been drinking plenty of fluids. This morning when i shaved my legs i noticed a bruise on my leg in the shape of a line with light bruising around the line (it has been 5 cm by 2cm) located right above the elastic of my sweat pants on the back of my leg towards the area where the knee hinges and since i first spotted it it has gotten darker filling in a full circle and a line is no longer visible and has been painless to the touch it does not feel like a bruise that is caused by trauma which usually hurts when touched I am concerned that it could be a blood clot or loss of circulation due to the little movement Ive had and do not know if this is of concern and am getting a little concerned since I know for fact I have not fallen or hit myself since i’ve just been sitting and studying. I am a 21 year old female 5’2” and I have not taken any medications of any sorts in the past months I also do not drink alcohol. I do not know if the rare appearance of this bruise is of concern.

    Thank you,

  • admin

    Hi Jen,

    It could be something as simple as a circulatory issue caused by your pants. If the condition worsens, I would suggest seeing your doctor. If you’d prefer an online consultation, I work closely with a doctor out in Ohio who can speak with you wherever you are in the world: http://www.askdrmaxwell.com/online-doctor-ask-health-question/

    I wish you the best and good luck with your studies!


  • Nicole Rascoe

    A few weeks ago I woke up with a severe bruise on the back of each of my arms. After about a week it finally went away. I just thought that I did something and didn’t remember hitting there. Although it is a kind of tough area to hit. I dismissed it. And then last week the same thing happened and I know that I did not hit them, and I woke up this morning and know I have a bruise behind one of my knees?

  • admin

    Hi Nicole,

    I would make an appointment with your doctor to check for ITP, anemia, or the like just to be on the safe side.

    I wish you the best.


  • Lori Potter

    I’ve been getting bruises for months. I think I’m going to have to see my doctor. I thought I was just being absent-minded!

  • Linda

    Hi my name is Linda I am 37 .I have noticed that my body is being cover with bruise .everyday I noticed I have more and more.I have been to the drs and she did do blood work and she said that I was on board line what did she mean

  • admin

    Hi Linda,

    I’m sorry for the delay in response. If she said ‘borderline’, it could be that you have the symptoms of one of the diseases mentioned in the article but your counts are not low or high enough to get an official diagnosis of said disease. I would seek a second opinion from an osteopathic physician or a naturopathic physician if your doctor won’t be clear with you. Be an advocate for yourself too. Ask questions. Be sure you completely understand your condition before you leave the office.

    I wish you the best.


  • Rubye

    I woke up this morning with a slight feeling of pain on the lower left side. After I finished my shower I asked my husband could he see anything on the left side. He gasped and said that there is a orange looking bruise there. I would remembered if I hit my back on something, I told him not that I can recall
    He took a pic of it and I was very scared of what I saw. If it has not gotten better by monday, I will ha e to make an appt. I don’t know what this is.

  • Jaime A. Heidel

    Hello Ruby,

    I’m sorry you’re going through this health scare. I would definitely recommend seeing a doctor about it, just to be safe.

    Wishing you the best,