What causes low platelets? Most of us have had a blood test and been told that this is a concern. Platelets are required for clotting blood in our body by clumping together. You can experience some complications if your platelet count is so low. Low platelets are sometimes the cause of a more severe condition that should be treated before platelet levels will go back to normal. The medical term for a low platelet count is thrombocytopenia.
What are Platelets?
Platelets or also known as thrombocyte cells are known as small, oval, spherical cell fragments without a nucleus. They’re formed in the bone marrow and play a vital role in blood coagulation.
The standard quantity of platelets in our blood is at least 150-450×109/L of blood. The lifetime of these reaches up to 7 to 10 days. They’re degraded in the bone marrow, spleen and liver.
The spleen is a selected place of isolation in our body where the keeping of blood cells is done, consisting of platelets. Typically, the spleen sequesters at least one-third of newly generated platelets.
What are the Symptoms of Low Blood Platelets?
The major symptom of low blood platelets or a platelet decrease is obvious bleeding under the skin. It will show as red dots in your lower legs. Your skin will bruise immediately when a light injury takes place. Blood in the stool or urine or bleeding of the gums is another indication that the platelet count is low. Other severe conditions will establish unexplained bleeding, which is impossible to prevent. As platelet drop, less clotting capability exists.
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What Causes Low Platelets?
Low platelets are a typical disease that can happen to everybody. However, how many individuals are familiar which causes this condition? If you do not know or only know a bit, here is the list of the common causes of low platelets.
When we talk about the typical causes of low platelets, hypersplenism should be mentioned. The platelet counts of a person who experience from hypersplenism fall under 30000/uL. A platelet count that is less than this must compel the research for further and different etiology.
Often, it may be represented in leukopenia or anemia. However, in other cases, it can be presented in the cases of thrombocytopenia.
- HEPARIN – INDUCED THROMBOCYTOPENIA
It’s vital for each patient who is experiencing from low platelets to concern about heparin-induced thrombocytopenia as they’re susceptible to raise the risk of thrombosis. Thrombocytopenia may be developed from 1% to 5% of patients. In the majority of cases, it is what causes low platelets in six to ten days after the start of medication with heparin. It’s why it’s known to be one of the common causes of low platelets.
One of the major causes of low platelets is alcohol. Why? Although reduced platelet count can be because of the suppression of the bone marrow brought by alcohol, two vital factors cause this problem. They are folate deficiency and hypersplenism that is because of chronic liver disease. Apart from that, to safeguard your liver health, you need to stay away from alcohol.
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- CANCER-RELATED CAUSES AND OTHER RADIATION SPECIFIC
Low platelets can be a serious complication of cancer medication. Some cancer-related causes of low blood cell include:
Chemotherapy: Some chemotherapy drugs can ruin your bone marrow. Your bone marrow creates blood cells that grow rapidly, making them sensitive to the effects of chemo. Further, chemotherapy skills most of the cells in the bone marrow; however, the cells recuperate with time.
Radiation Therapy. If you get radiation therapy to big areas of your body and particularly to the big bones, which include the most bone marrow, like legs, torso, and pelvis, you might suffer low levels of white and red blood cells.
Cancers that spread. Did you know that cancer cells, which break off from a tumor could spread to other parts of the body? It includes the bone marrow. The malignant cells can relocate other cells in the bone marrow, which makes it hard for the bone marrow to generate blood cells the body requires. Plus, it is a strange cause of low platelets.
Cancer of the bone marrow and blood. Bone marrow and blood cancers like leukemia grow in one’s bone marrow and do not permit normal blood cells to cultivate.
Anemia is a condition, which is considered to cause low platelets. Anemia reduces the number of active platelets by destroying red blood cells, leading to low platelets. The body is more likely to consume an extraordinary big amount of blood platelets during this time though temporary. Anemia isn’t just a condition which is known that lead to low platelets. The use of certain drugs and medication, like what mentioned above, have also been known to reduce platelets among users.
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- FOOD SUBSTANCES
Specific substances within foods like mushrooms are also included in the list of what causes low platelets. Often utilized in the Chinese culture for medicinal uses, mushrooms have been considered to cure mild to severe conditions of insomnia, fatigue and dry coughs.
In spite of its capability to work as anticoagulants, the consumption of mushrooms results in thinner blood that leads to low platelets. Irrespective of this disadvantage, mushrooms are advantageous, particularly in the treatment of illnesses like coronary heart disease.
- DRUG USAGE
Using drugs and medications, like pregabalin are also considered to result in platelets to count very low. This type of drug is utilized to cure convulsions and neuropathic pain. It is sometimes the major culprit of a condition called as thrombocytopenia that also results in abnormal platelet.
Other controlled medications like anti-viral drugs, antibiotics, and anti-malarial drugs are also main contributors of low platelets among patients. While the consumption and use of some drugs and medications affect blood counts, some substances within foods also have negative effects.
Pregnancy is also a condition that causes low platelets. The body is more likely to consume an unusually big amount of blood platelets during this period, although temporary. The body responds to those changes by blood clotting that inevitable results to the destruction of several amounts of platelets that equals a low platelet count.
Even though pregnancy is a case which often results in low platelets, anemia is also recognized to have its drastic effects on platelet count too.
- SEVERAL MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Several medical conditions are also a key contributor to low blood platelets. This condition often categorizes some medical illness and auto-immune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and HIV. Low blood platelets can also lead to bacterial and viral infections, too.
Further, lymphoproliferative illnesses such as lymphatic leukemia and lymphoma can be linked with the immune-mediated thrombocytopenia that is one of the major causes of low platelets. However, the outcome of this illness can be because of decrease of the platelet infiltration of the bone marrow or because of cancer treatment cytostatic. Although it is categorized in the patients who have a solid tumor, the connection is still occasional.
Infection is one of most low platelet counts causes, which has been acknowledged in patients. The major cause of low platelets is viral in type. Among other examples include HIV, CMV, and infectious mononucleosis. Most of the cases, the medical history of the patient may display recent symptoms continuous with a viral infection.
Furthermore, thrombocytopenia can be active in patients who have HIV where it may be non-immunological or immune-mediated in origin; however, it appears that most cases have displayed that the decrease in platelet count has led from the ineffective production of platelets instead.
Can Low Platelets Cause Death?
Internal bleeding is a significantly dangerous condition, which can happen if the platelet count falls under ten thousand platelets per blood microliter. Severe thrombocytopenia may cause some bleeding within your brain that can be fatal.
If you have experienced any warning indications, like prolonged bleeding periods, cardiac tamponade, skin eruptions, and internal hemorrhage, it is essential to inform your doctor about your concerns and symptoms.
Bear in mind that bleeding, which won’t stop under any cases is recognized as a medical emergency. If you or somebody you know have encountered bleeding, which can’t be controlled by at-home first-aid methods, like applying pressure to the area, ask for immediate assistance.
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How to Prevent Low Platelets?
If you have mild thrombocytopenia, you might be able to increase your platelet count through supplement and diet. Nevertheless, if you have a low platelet count, you tend to require medical treatment to prevent any complications.
Herbs and supplement aren’t checked by the FDA and thus aren’t regulated for purity or quality. Always talk to your health specialists before taking those to be certain you do not have interactions with treatment or medications approaches.
Folate is a Vitamin B, which aids the cells, including blood cells. It shows naturally in most foods, and it is added to others in the form of folic acid. Some great sources of natural folate include:
o Orange juice
o Kidney beans
o Black-eyed peas
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- Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 aids keep the body cells healthy at all times. B-12 deficiency has been linked with low platelet counts. The perfect sources of Vitamin B-12 are more likely to be animal-based foods like:
o Beef Liver
- Vitamin C
It helps the platelets groups function together and effectively. Vitamin C also helps absorb iron that may also help to boost platelet counts. Good sources of Vitamin C consist of:
o Red or green bell peppers
Iron is important to the ability of the body to generate blood cells. According to a study in 2012, it was discovered that it amplified platelet counts in patients who have iron-deficiency anemia. One could find increase levels of iron in specific foods, comprising:
o Pumpkin seeds
Foods that Lower Platelets
While there are foods that can increase your platelet count, some including beverages can decrease it. Foods that can reduce your platelet count composed of:
o Cow’s milk
o Cranberry juice
o Quinine – found in a tonic water
How Can You Cope with Low Platelets?
Your platelets will fluctuate from time to time. You need to take necessary steps to keep your body health if you have low platelets. For instance:
- Prevent Injury
Most day-to-day activities put you at risk of scrapes and cuts. A low platelet makes even slight abrasions serious. A low white blood cell can turn a small scrape into a starting point of a serious infection. Thus, make sure to utilize an electric shaver instead of a razor to prevent nicks. Always be gentle when blowing your nose and brushing your teeth.
- Eat a Healthy and Balanced Diet
The body requires all the nutrients and vitamins it can get to heal itself. Select plenty of vegetables and fruits. If you are undergoing treatment and you experience from mouth sores or vomiting, you can experiment to find foods you can endure.
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- Avoid Germs
You need to avoid excessive contact to germs if you can. Make sure to wash your hands often or make use of a liquid hand sanitizer. Stay away from people who are ill and avoid crowds. Have someone else to tidy the litter box, fish tank, or birdcage. Plus, do not eat raw eggs or meat.
If you feel tired, you need to rest and stop. The body is working very hard to combat the cancer cells and heat the healthy cells ruined by the treatment. You need to plan your most significant tasks for the time of the day whenever you feel most active.
To sum up, the above are the common causes of low platelets and essential things you need to know to improve your blood count. These are the essential information you need to know about what causes low platelets. If you know what causes it, you’ll surely know how to handle and stop it right away. Proper prevention is always necessary.