To value our lives, we need to do the steps that will make us healthy. We usually hear the words, “prevention is better than cure.” With this quote in mind, it is essential that we can control the diseases from existing on our body. It is the most cost-effective way that will help us avoid the expensive hospitalization and suffering.
We are also aware that blood is one of the essential parts of our body. Moreover, it gives us life that we currently enjoy. Without it, we will not thrive. We cannot do the activities that we love to do. Therefore, we should take care of it so that it does its function well.
As one of the major components of the blood, platelet plays an active role in the health of human. It is a particle that has a disc shape when inactive but spreads its tentacles during clotting. It has no nucleus, but it can detect the signal sent by the blood vessels when a person gets wounded. It is responsible for preventing the severe flow of the blood from the body.
Causes of low platelet count
An individual must achieve the average platelet count which ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 per microliter of blood. If these numbers are not achieved, the person can suffer from various illness. One of the diseases caused by low platelet count is thrombocytopenia.
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The thrombocytopenia is a condition in which the bone marrow cannot produce enough amount of platelets. Once this problem occurs, it can result in excessive bleeding. It will then be difficult for the bone marrow to replace the lost blood.
The bleeding can occur inside or outside the body. A patient with cancer, leukemia, kidney disease, and the malfunctioning immune system can experience this condition. Even pregnant women are prone to this problem as well. Some medications may also have an adverse effect which causes this condition to occur.
Since the platelet can only live for ten days in the body, the bone marrow needs to reproduce a new platelet again to replace the lost ones. However, if there are times that these elements are destroyed before they are completely developed. As a result, the person will have to allow platelet count.
Aside from these reasons, a low platelet count may also be due to vitamin B12 deficiency. This vitamin is an essential nutrient for that aids in the proper function of cells. It can also provide support for the development of new platelets that are produced in the bone marrow.
The iron is also a vital mineral that helps in the production of blood. The deficiency of this substance can decrease the numbers of platelets being produced by the bone marrow. As a result, the patient can also experience fatigue and dizziness. Iron is not just a mineral that the platelet needs, but by the whole blood as well.
The environmental hazards can also be a culprit when it comes to the production of platelets. Your body is exposed to toxins because the pollution is tremendously growing. Sometimes, no matter how we take good care of our body and eat nutritious foods, we are prone to the effects of various environmental factors.
Problems can happen if we have a malfunctioning immune system. The virus, infections, and other harmful substances that we breath can destroy our cells as well as the elements that are responsible for the production of platelets and other blood components. These invaders often came from the chemicals, aromatic substances, solvents, and other pollutants.
Symptoms of low platelet count
Several symptoms may show up to detect if the person has a low platelet count. These signals may also be a sign that the patient already has a severe condition. It will let the medical providers find the appropriate treatment for this problem.
- Excessive bruising or purpura
- Petechiae, or rash characterized by purple dots
- Blood in urine and stools
- Excessive menstrual bleeding for women
How to increase a low platelet count
The low platelet count can be prevented or managed unless it becomes a severe condition. For mild cases, there are several simple ways you can do to recover and help your bone marrow produce the necessary amount of platelets. Thankfully, foods are one of the excellent ways to prevent the problem from getting worse. They contain minerals that the blood needs to reproduce.
Iron is the primary mineral that the blood needs to reproduce continuously. The deficiency of this substance can result in anemia. It is helpful not just to increase your platelet count, but it can also aid in the reproduction of hemoglobin, which is a protein found in the red blood cells that carry the oxygen to the body tissues.
If you lack iron, you will not have enough oxygen flowing inside your body. There should be an adequate amount of this mineral flowing in the bloodstream. In that way, the entire boy can utilize the oxygen traveling inside it. Without it, you can feel weak and fatigue. It can also make you crave with items that are not food like dirt. The person who is lacking iron is also characterized with pale skin and brittle nails.
Foods that are rich in iron are mussels, beef, lentils, dried fruits, and pumpkin seeds. It is vital to eat dark, green, leafy vegetables like spinach. You can also have nuts and iron-fortified cereals as your snacks.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps in the proper absorption of iron. It helps the platelets bind together efficiently during clotting. When the vitamin C and iron work together, both can effectively increase the platelet count of a person.
Some excellent sources of vitamin C are mangoes, red or green bell pepper, broccoli, pineapple, and cauliflower.
This substance, which is also called folic acid, is responsible for the production and repair of the DNA in the body. Aside from helping the body increase its platelets, it is also responsible for the creation of the red blood cells. The deficiency of this mineral can reduce the production of platelets. This problem can result in anemia.
It can also affect the function of the other parts of your blood if your body lacks folate. The deficiency of this mineral often happens during pregnancy. It should be treated immediately to prevent congenital disabilities. Usually, the doctor recommends taking supplements to sustain the mother’s folate needs.
One crucial fact that you must know is that the folate dissolves in water. It means that it is not stored in the cells and goes together with other elements that are eliminated from the body through urination. Therefore, you must continuously eat folate-rich foods as well as take supplements so that your body will have more reserve.
Make sure to eat dark green vegetables and drink citrus juice to obtain this mineral. Aside from that, avoid overcooking the vegetables that are high in folate because doing so can easily destroy this mineral. Include broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, citrus, tomato juice, bananas, eggs, peas, and melons in your diet.
Make sure always to include protein in your meal. It is an excellent source of the substances Vitamin B12 and zinc. Due to this fact, it aids in the optimum production of platelets in the body. They can be gained from chicken, fish, and turkey. So, if you are following a vegan diet, it is not wrong to have protein on your meal.
- Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a unique element responsible for increasing the platelet count. You must eat eggs, kale, and liver to sustain enough amount of this vitamins. They help in regulating the cells and promote their proper growth. You need this vitamin to replace the lost platelets that your body eliminates.
- Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is another nutrient that you must supply to your body. It is responsible for regulating your nervous system as well as promoting the proper growth and development of the parts of the blood, specifically red blood cells and platelets.
An individual with vitamin B12 deficiency can experience behavioral and mood changes, depression, dementia, and anemia. It can also cause the person to be weak.
You can obtain this mineral from dairy products and meat. Therefore, if you are following a vegan diet, it is essential to add these foods to your meal. Foods like eggs, milk, red meat, kidney, liver, cheese, and shellfish are good sources of vitamin B12.
- Vitamin A
Eating foods rich in Vitamin A is one of the effective ways that can increase the production of platelets. It does not only promote proper eyesight, but it also has a significant contribution to the development of protein in the body. It promotes proper growth and regulation of cells. This element is gained from sweet potatoes, carrot, pumpkin, fish, and liver.
Aside from getting the nutrients from foods, a physician may also recommend a few supplements containing the minerals and vitamins that the blood needs. He may prescribe iron, folate, and vitamin C to patients who have deficiencies. Due to several conditions, there are times that the body has difficulty in absorbing these minerals. The supplements can help support the easy and fast absorption of these nutrients.
There are also nutrients that we cannot obtain from food. It is the function of supplements. It supplies the missing minerals in our body. Here are a few of them.
Colostrum, a substance that came from a cow, is an excellent supplement for increasing the platelet count. It is because it contains proteins that the platelet needs to multiply.
We are aware that chlorophyll is a green pigment that helps the plants absorb sunlight. It is not just beneficial for the food production of the plants, but it can also combat the problems associated with low platelet count. It is commonly recommended for patients with thrombocytopenia.
The chlorophyll that specifically came from moringa and wheat grass are excellent options. They can increase the platelet count as well as the production of the blood and its components. The wheatgrass alone contains an average of 70% chlorophyll, while the moringa has four times more value than the wheatgrass.
- Papaya leaves extract
This supplement is not just helpful in increasing the platelet count’, but it can also improve the overall production of the blood. If it is not available, you can make homemade papaya leaves extract. You only need to boil the papaya extract in a medium heat between 10 to 15 minutes. Then, simmer it until half of its volume remains. You should drink this liquid twice a day.
Foods to avoid when you have a low platelet count
Not all foods are useful to the body. Some of them are not suitable to be eaten when you have a low platelet count. They can provide an adverse effect when you have this condition. It is, therefore, vital to know which of the foods and beverages in your diet that must removed.
The alcohol can contribute to the decreasing production of the platelets. It can reduce the production of megakaryocytes, a large cell in the bone marrow which is responsible for the production of platelets. Furthermore, it can also hinder the creation of folate which is an essential nutrient for the blood. Frequent urination due to alcohol intake can quickly eliminate the folate that the body should reserve. Other foods that you must also avoid are cranberry juice and cow’s milk.
The low platelet count may also become worse if the person has a disease. Various ailments can hinder the body from functioning properly. They can also prevent the bone marrow from producing enough amount of platelets. If the problem persists and the symptoms are getting severe, it is essential to seek for a doctor’s advice. In that way, he can recommend more effective steps to treat your health condition.
By following these simple ways, you can free yourself from the adverse effects of a low platelet count. It is vital to take care of yourself before your health condition is at risk. Avoid the foods or things that can trigger any problem to occur.