Taking care of your body should be one of your primary concerns every single day. The more thought you put into it, the happier and healthier you will be. We all want to live a long life, with minor health complications, and to do that, you need to be conscious of how your body works and what you put into it. Today we are focusing on a certain aspect of the body, platelets, and how they work. We want to see if there is a correlation between taking aspirin and lowering the platelet count in the body.
What Are Platelets?
Before we answer the main question of the day, we want to dive into what platelets are and what they do in your body. These are truly amazing cells that have a lot of work to do throughout your lifetime. The average human has anywhere between 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter in their bloodstream at one time. These tiny cells are plate-shaped (like small circles) and they flow through the bloodstream. Their primary function is to clot the blood and heal damaged tissue if there is a wound or injury to the body. For example, if you fall while riding a bike, and scrape your knee, platelets will race to the area to clot the blood to prevent you from bleeding out. One of the coolest things about platelets is that they actually change shape when approach an injury – they grow tentacles (like an octopus) to combine with other platelets. Chemicals are released around an open bleeding wound that turns the platelet cells sticky, so they can bring the damaged tissue together.
If you’ve ever wondered why a small cut heals so fast and stops bleeding, it is because of the platelets. Without them, the cut would continue to bleed without stopping. Platelets are known to have a lifespan of between 8 to 12 days, depending on your body type. While many people will go through their entire life without worrying about platelets, for many it is an ongoing struggle. If you have too many platelets it can be a problem, and if you have too few it can be a problem as well.
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Having Too Few Platelets
Thrombocytopenia is condition when people have less than 150,000 platelets per microliter in the blood stream. Some cases are mild, while some stretch to the more severe. Without having enough platelets, this can lead to prolonged bleeding and lack of healing in the body. Symptoms usually include nose bleeds, bruising around the body, and bleeding of the gums while brushing your teeth. If this sounds like you, it is important to take the steps necessary to raise the platelet count. If you even have small signs or symptoms of thrombocytopenia it is crucial that you seek the advice of a doctor as they can put you on the path to raising the platelet levels in the body. This condition is sometimes genetic, but it can also be caused by changes to the body due to conditions such as pregnancy or cancer. A lot of cancer patients deal with low platelet levels, and this is why doctors closely monitor them and make sure they have enough.
On the other side of things, you can have too many platelets in the body (more than 450,000 per microliter) which can also do quite a bit of damage. The primary function of platelets is to create blood clots, and if there are too many platelets in the body it can directly lead to heart attacks or clotting of the lungs or brain. In any case, it is crucial that this is being monitored.
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The Aspirin Effect
So, does aspirin have a link to the lowering of platelet counts in the body? The answer is yes. Aspirin directly interferes with the clotting of the blood throughout the body. This is why the majority of people on daily aspirin intakes usually have had a stroke or heart attack in the past, or their doctor has realized they are at risk of developing clots in the future. Aspirin goes into the bloodstream and affects the platelet count to decrease the amount of clotting. Daily aspirin intake can save your life, but it should only be taken if prescribed by a doctor. Just a warning however, is that due to the taking of aspirin every day, you may be subjected to more bleeding, especially if you cut yourself or if you are having your period. Side effects will always be an issue whenever taking any kind of medicine, so it’s best to talk with your doctor to see what is going to benefit you the most.
So, aspirin does lower the platelet count in the bloodstream, but while that may sound bad it really isn’t for those who need it. When researching your own platelet level, it is crucial that you have a doctor guide you towards the resources that are going to benefit you the most, whether that be regular monitoring or taking different medications. Aspirin therapy isn’t for everyone, and there is a lot of discussion around the medical community as to whether it is good for you or whether to stay away from it. The best thing you can do is consult with your doctor and follow their advice. Learning how the body works and what affects it is an important factor in maintaining a healthy life.
Platelets are incredibly important, and they help your body when it comes to injuries and bleeding. If you have a low count, an easy fix that you can do yourself is to include papaya plants or fruit in your diet. They have a direct correlation to raising the platelet count and it can be done without any medication or injections of any kind. We recommend keeping an eye open for symptoms of a low platelet count, consulting your doctor, and adding papaya in some form to your daily diet.