The consumption of alcohol adversely has a number of effects on the various types of our blood cells along with their designated functions.
For example, regular and heavy levels of alcohol consumption can cause a general suppression of the healthy production of blood cells and their precursors, which will not mature into functional cells needed by our body.
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It has been found that alcoholics and those who frequently consume alcohol generally have red blood cells that are defective and prematurely destroyed. This behavior can result in anemia.
Alcohol also has an effect on the function and production of white blood cells, especially on those that work to defend the body against bacteria that may invade.
Last but not least, alcohol has a negative effect on components of our blood-clotting system, including platelets. Therefore, alcohol consumption increases a patient’s risk of experiencing a stroke.
Check Out: Top Tips For Controlling Those Platelets!
How Do Platelets Work?
Platelets are very important disc-shaped cells that saves you from the risk of severe bleeding. It is a lifesaver blood component, so you must be responsible enough to keep it in the best count and condition.
Your blood platelets are estimated to survive in the body within 8 to 12 days. Platelets have a crucial role to ensure that blood can clot if needed. It also contains growth factor that supports the repair of damaged body tissue.
When your body tissue is impaired, it can release chemicals. That is the reason why platelet become activated and changes their shape and become sticky. Through their activation, the platelets clump together and stick to the impaired tissue. It is known as the ‘platelet plug’ that starts from the process of clot formation to stop the bleeding.
Platelets are important components of your blood to maintain your body’s normal function. Without it, you can bleed to death. Thus, platelets play a crucial role in blood clotting and coagulation.
Moreover, it also works along with red blood cells and white blood cells. These blood components are important to maintain the normal function of your blood flow. You may not be aware of it, but platelets and other blood cells have their functions and lifespans.
Platelets are the smallest, but it is the most important factor when it comes to blood clotting. If the platelets are not properly regulated, blood disorder or dysfunction may happen. The general lifespan of platelets lasts for ten days. Furthermore, the normal count of platelets within the human body ranges from around 150,000 to 450,000 per microliter of blood. The level of your platelet count can depend in various organs and locations in the body. In some cases and medical conditions, the count of your platelets may increase or decrease in the blood.
When your platelets count changes, you can develop thrombocytopenia. If this happens, you must take action since it can lead to risks of bleeding. Moreover, this situation can also trigger other illnesses that are detrimental to your overall health. Among the best solutions to deal with a low blood platelet count, is to set a balanced diet. Many low platelet treatment foods, along with powerful natural supplements, can help you to boost the count of your platelets.
On the other hand, the increase in platelet count is the condition called thrombocytosis. Well, how long do platelets live? The lifespan of your body’s platelets can depend on the things that you do and experience in your daily life. The following are the factors that greatly contribute to your body’s platelet count.
What Does It Mean to Have Low Platelet Count (Thrombocytopenia)?
When you lack blood platelet count, the condition is called thrombocytopenia. Some of its symptoms are bruising and frequent bleeding of the nose, GI tract, and gums. Your platelet count can decrease when something is avoiding your body from platelet production. Some of its causes are the following:
- Too much alcohol
- Several types of cancer like lymphoma and leukemia
- An inherited medical condition
- Kidney infection or dysfunction
- Chemotherapy treatment for cancer
Alcoholism and Hematological Complications
Those who use and abuse alcohol are at higher risk for a myriad of medical complications, notwithstanding those that affect the blood and bone marrow, which produces blood cells and platelets. It can be helpful to mitigate the effects of excessive alcohol consumption on your platelets with a good, powerful, and effective supplement regimen.
The adverse effects on the body’s hematopoietic system are both indirect and direct. Directly, results of excessive alcohol consumption include toxicity of the bone marrow, precursors of blood cells, white and red blood cells, and platelets.
The indirect effects include deficiencies in the body’s nutritional balance that impair the function and production of various blood cells.
Both indirect and direct effects of alcohol can result in severe medical problems. For example, an impaired red blood cell count, function, and production that results in anemia can cause lightheadedness, shortness of breath, fatigue and symptoms of tiredness, abnormal heartbeat, and a reduced mental capacity.
A decrease in the function and number of white blood cells will increase the patient’s risk of a serious infection, while an impaired platelet count, function, and production will interfere with the body’s healthy blood clotting capabilities leading to symptoms such as nosebleeds or even bleeding in the brain.
Finally, heavy alcohol consumption will also cause abnormalities in plasma proteins required for blood clotting, leading to the unnecessary formation of blood clots in the body. There are many ways to naturally raise your platelet count, especially after excessive alcohol consumption, but in the case of alcohol, it is important to use abstinence as your primary course of action.
Alcohol and Coagulation
Blood clotting, also known as coagulation, is a physiological process vital to the body to ensure the entire integrity of our vascular system. This process involves thrombocytes, or platelets, along with other dissolved plasma proteins.
When a person experiences a cut or injury to a blood vessel, their body signals the body’s platelets to gravitate to the injury site. Here, they aggregate and bond, forming a temporary plug to prevent excessive loss of blood.
The platelets achieve this by secreting proteins that initiate a chain of events with other proteins found in the blood, resulting in fibrin formation.
Fibrin is a stringy type of protein that bonds together to form a tight mesh over the injured vessel. Here, blood cells become trapped and plug the wound.
At several different levels, alcohol can interfere with these processes, causing things such as an abnormally low platelet count, diminished fibrinolysis and impaired platelet function.
Changes to these processes can have serious medical effects, such as a raised risk of strokes.
Learn: How Your Blood Makes Clots
A frequent complication of alcoholism is thrombocytopenia.
This affects between 14 and 81% of hospitalized and acutely ill alcoholics alone with 3 to 43% of non-acutely ill. Other than AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) alcoholism is the leading cause of thrombocytopenia today.
Besides the most severe cases, patients do not typically endure traits of excessive bleeding.
Thrombocytopenia derived from alcohol use is generally transient, meaning that platelet counts will typically return to normalized levels within a week of abstinence from alcohol. Patients therefore, do not require therapeutic intervention other than alcohol withdrawal.
Only patients whose thrombocytopenia is associated with severe and excessive bleeding require a platelet transfusion.
Alcohol not only has an effect on the healthy production of platelets, but also has an adverse effect on their function.
Consequently, patients who endure unsafe levels of alcohol consumption can easily exhibit a wide array of platelet-related abnormalities upon hospital admission.
This can include decreased platelet blood clotting activity and secretion, impaired aggregation of platelets, and prolonged bleeding in the absence of thrombocytopenia.
Since alcohol effects the normal functioning of the blood-clotting system, it can also interact with prescription and over-the-counter medication that prevents coagulation or prolongs bleeding.
For example, alcohol will potentiate the prolongation of bleeding caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, indomethacin, or ibuprofen, more particularly when the ingestion of alcohol occurs with the ingestion of these medications.
The result is a raised risk for symptoms such as gastrointestinal bleeding. Similarly, this pairing can also induce fecal blood loss.
The ability of our bodies to use coagulation to prevent excessive bleeding is balanced by the fibrinolytic system.
This system helps to ensure the healthy blood flow of peripheral tissues and organs through the appropriate dissolution of fibrin clots.
The overall effect on the fibrinolytic systems by alcohol is somewhat controversial. While older scientific studies reflect an increase in the body’s fibrinolysis activity, more recent controlled studies revealed a decrease in fibrinolytic activity following immediate and prolonged alcohol ingestion.
What are some solutions for alcohol-induced thrombocytopenia?
The first and foremost solution to raising a low platelet count caused by alcoholism is to cure the alcoholism itself. However, if your low platelet count is caused by another underlying illness, then mitigating alcohol consumption in conjunction with other prescribed treatments can improve the condition. Even so, in the most extreme cases not caused solely by alcohol, further measures are required.
The importance of platelet transfusions
Platelet transfusion is the most effective treatment for those who patients who are suffering from low platelet count or nonfunctioning platelets. Bleeding among patients can result in death and other serious health complications. Fortunately, with the help of platelet transfusion, they can now have the chance to live more. Excessive bleeding can happen due to high dose chemotherapy, major surgery while on drugs, bone marrow transplantation and more. Through blood transfusion, patients can now attain their required blood platelet count and improve their health.
Can a platelet transfusion help the platelet count?
Platelet transfusion has no use if the patient has a strong antibody that can destroy the platelets. It happens in Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpora or ITP. The patient’s immune system can eat up their own platelets and any transfused platelets. These patients are required to take a therapy that modifies their immune system.
Low blood platelet count is very dangerous to your health. So, you must do something about it to avoid possible diseases that are detrimental to your health. For you to better understand how platelet works, the following are some of its functions:
Platelets are important cells that circulate in your blood. It binds together to recognize impaired blood vessels. For example, if you got injured and got a cut, the platelets bind on the area of the injury that causes a blood clot. The principal role of the blood platelets is to stop us from bleeding.
Extreme bleeding can result in other serious diseases and even loss of consciousness and life. Fortunately, with a healthy platelet count, you can live healthier. Meanwhile, platelets change its shape upon its activation. Platelets change their shape, and it can be only seen with the use of a microscope.
Can Natural Supplements Aid in Elevating Platelets?
Papaya leaves are a known alternative treatment that can raise the amount of platelets in your blood. They also have a positive effect on your immune system. The leaves especially, have a lot of benefits to your overall health and have been adopted in non-western societies to treat a variety of blood borne tropical diseases. For instance, there is a viral disease endemic to the tropics called “dengue fever.” Dengue is a flu-like viral infection that can be deadly if the person struck with the illness is not treated properly. If you’ve contracted dengue, your platelet count will drop significantly. However, doctors have determined that by ingesting papaya leaves and/or the fruit itself, it replenishes the platelets and also makes them stronger. The components of papaya help to fortify the membrane of the cell and reduce the effectiveness of the attacks from the virus.
Now that you know the amazing effects of eating all of the components of papaya and how it directly correlates to increasing your platelet count, you need to learn how to prepare and take it. There are multiple ways to ingest papaya and we have gathered a couple of methods that you can try.
The first way to take papaya is to take your papaya leaves (medium sized should do the trick) and dry them out after thoroughly washing them. Once dry, cut them into smaller pieces and put them in a pan with 2 liters of water. Bring them to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Wait until the water is reduced by half and then strain the resulting liquid into a glass. Now you have a perfect papaya extract that you can drink or mix into something. Be aware of the bitter taste though!
Another way to take papaya is to eat the ripe fruit every day. This is usually the most common way to eat papaya and usually the most delicious. You can also make juices or smoothies with it, to enhance flavor and boost your health. If you do have mild low platelets, drink papaya juice 2-3 times a day, and watch your immune system strengthen and your platelet count rise.
If you want to get it straight from the source, simply take some papaya leaves and crush them up. This will create a juice extract that you can drink direct 2 times a day (only 2 tablespoons). This tastes awful, is extremely bitter, but is 100% healthy.
A too low platelet count is not healthy. Therefore, you must keep track of your platelet count to ensure your health. Thus, abnormal function of your platelets can lead to more serious health complications like heart attack, strike as well as other cardiovascular diseases. It is important to consult the advice of your doctor to monitor the function of your blood platelets.
The normal platelet count falls from 150,000 to 450,000 per microliter of blood. Its general lifespan is ranged about ten days. However, the platelet count can vary on the various locations and organs. On the other hand, the platelets can decrease or increase depending on the medical condition of the individual.
A number of clinical observations support the theory that alcohol has an adverse effect on the function and production of all blood cell types, including platelets.
Therefore, alcohol has been deemed directly toxic to bone marrow, which holds the precursor of all blood cell types as well as mature cells that are found circulating in the blood stream.
Furthermore, excessive and long-term consumption of alcohol can and does interfere with a variety of metabolic, biochemical, and physiological processes that involve blood cells.
While this can be somewhat balanced through diet, and also a good natural supplement regimen, the overall medical consequences of alcohol-related side effects can be extremely severe. These effects include fibrinolysis, impaired blood clotting, and serious bacterial infections.
These conditions can cause excessive internal and external bleeding, and place the patient at a higher risk of a stroke. However, abstinence can help in reversing any of alcohol’s effects on blood cell functioning and hematopoiesis.
Maintaining a balanced blood platelet count can help you to keep the normal function of your body. If you have a low blood platelet count, you can naturally increase your platelet level. Your platelet lifespan depends on the things you do, so make sure mitigate alcohol consumption to normal, healthy levels in order to live a healthy lifestyle.