The platelets or thrombocytes are blood cells that are responsible for proper blood clotting , helping to stop bleeding and prevent bleeding . A platelet count less than 150,000 mcl means that a person has thrombocytopenia , a disorder that suggests an abnormally low number of platelets in the blood.
What does it mean to have low platelets?
Having low platelets can trigger various diseases, bleeding and clotting problems, for this reason it is important to know the cause of thrombocytopenia in time to treat this condition and prevent major complications . There are many conditions associated with low platelets, to learn about them we invite you to continue reading the following eHealth article.
Causes of low platelets
Thrombocytopenia is a disorder that occurs when a person has a low level of platelets in the blood. There are several reasons why a platelet deficit occurs:
- A disorder of the bone marrow that prevents it from producing a normal number of platelets. Diseases that can damage bone marrow function include leukemia, anemia, and bone marrow aplasia.
- Platelets are trapped in the spleen due to abnormal enlargement of the organ. This condition is known as splenomegaly.
- The alcoholism and chemical management of chemotherapy can destroy platelets in the body.
Among the causes of low platelets are certain conditions and diseases that stimulate the destruction of platelets in the bloodstream more quickly, such as:
- The pregnancy is a condition that makes women more likely to have thrombocytopenia.
- The purple is a disease that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys platelets.
- The systemic lupus erythematosus and arthritis rheumatoid are other autoimmune diseases that cause low platelets.
- Thrombocytopenia can be medicated from the use of sulfa antibiotics, interferon, and anticonvulsants .
- Bacteria present in the blood can also cause low platelets.
- Dengue stands out among the diseases most related to thrombocytopenia .
- Low platelets can also be caused by HIV infection .
- Folate deficiency, low vitamin B12, and cirrhosis can cause thrombocytopenia.
Symptoms of low platelets
The lower the platelets in the blood, the more risk a person runs for health complications . For this reason, it is essential to recognize the symptoms of thrombocytopenia and act as soon as possible.
Symptoms can vary depending on each person and the cause, there are those who do not experience any symptoms and there are those who do. In any case, the most common signs of having low platelets are:
Fatigue is a symptom that many people go unnoticed, yet it prevents them from carrying out their daily activities normally and they experience unusual and abnormal tiredness. This symptom usually appears when platelets are starting to drop and levels are slightly below 150,000.
Loss of appetite
Low platelets are a condition that causes body weakness and people often lose the desire to eat. Lack of appetite also often manifests itself early in thrombocytopenia.
Hematomas and bruises
They are the main sign of a significant lack of platelets. Bruises start to come out very easily after any blow, this is because the blood is not clotting properly. Bruises can also appear without an apparent cause and this is usually a warning sign for many people, it is even possible that bruises appear on the gums due to tooth brushing.
Rash on the skin
When the platelets are low, a kind of dermatitis can be observed on the skin composed of very small red balls that appear on the arms, legs and back. This symptom is very common in people with dengue , chikungunya, or Zika .
Bleeding and bleeding
When platelets are at a critical level ( less than 10,000 ) the risk of bleeding in the gums, mouth and nose increases . When this happens it is important that the person is hospitalized and their health is monitored at all times.
Since the causes of low platelets are very diverse, symptoms not mentioned above and associated with other diseases may occur. For this reason, when faced with an abnormal platelet test, it is best to go to the doctor to evaluate the overall health of the body and obtain a diagnosis.
Treatment of Low Platelets (Thrombocytopenia)
The treatment of low platelets depends exclusively on its cause, so it is not always the same. Therefore, it is best to wait for the diagnosis and follow the medical indications to the letter . When thrombocytopenia is caused by conditions such as anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency, it is recommended to raise platelets through diet, as we will explain later.
However, when the cause of low platelets is much more complicated, such as dengue hemorrhagic fever, leukemia, or chemotherapy thrombocytopenia, a platelet transfusion may be necessary .
Of course, in these cases the transfusion represents a very effective and almost immediate treatment to reestablish platelet levels and bring them closer and closer to normality. A medical specialist may prescribe corticosteroid medicine for people with low platelets due to autoimmune disease.
The most important thing is to follow the medical treatment indicated by the specialist, therefore, it is essential not to self-medicate , since certain medications can negatively interact with some diseases. For example, the consumption of anti-inflammatories and aspirin in people with dengue can significantly compromise the health status of the person.
How to raise platelets quickly
Food plays a fundamental role in the health of the human body, and it is that through food we obtain, or not, all the necessary nutrients for our body to function properly. This is how eating a balanced diet and eating the right foods can improve the level of your blood platelets. Ask your doctor if you can complement your treatment by adding any of these foods to your diet:
- The iron – rich foods are essential to increase platelets. You can find iron in liver, green leafy vegetables, lentils, soybeans, blueberries, clams, cockles, passion fruit, red meat, medlar, beets, and tree tomatoes.
- Vitamin foods are necessary to strengthen your immune system, so you can include kiwi, orange, strawberries, guava, red pepper, coconut water, grapefruit, tangerine and nuts in your diet. These foods are rich in vitamins A, C, B, and K.
- Other recommendations are: to always stay hydrated, eat a healthy, low-fat diet, avoid physical exertion, and avoid consuming processed foods or foods rich in sugar.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.