Elevated platelets are characterized by the overproduction of platelets in the body. The average level should only be between 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. Exceeding this amount can cause various health problems. This condition is also referred to as thrombocytosis and can be the cause of disorder of the thrombocytes, or platelets.
Platelets are the components of the blood that functions in blood clotting. They need to be at the proper level so they can flow seamlessly into the bloodstream. About 40% of them are collected in the spleen while the others go along with the other cells of the blood. They are produced in the bone marrow in the form of a disc.
However, they change their shape when a person gets wounded to clog in the affected area and form a clot. When the specified threshold of platelet count is not met, it could affect the blood clotting process that is happening in the body. Take note that no other organ of the body can replace the importance of platelets.
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Having too many platelets can cause blood clotting in the blood vessels. It results in blocking of the path of the blood, preventing it from flowing going to the heart. Therefore, the blood cells cannot transport easily to the different parts of the body because of abnormal blood clotting.
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You should worry if the elevated platelets are showing various symptoms like:
- Blurred vision
- Chest pain
- Redness of hands and feet
If you feel a severe headache, you must call your doctor right away. It can be a sign that clotting occurs on the blood vessels of your brain or other sensitive organs of your body. For people with a platelet count of more than one million platelets per microliter of blood, excessive bleeding can also occur. It is considered an emergency if any of the following problems arise:
- Nosebleed over 10 minutes
- Bloody stool
- Bleeding on the gums
A blood clot that affects the arteries of the brain can lead to stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). In this case, the flow of the blood in the brain is interrupted. This problem can cause major complications such as difficulty in speaking, blurred vision, and weakness of the arms and legs.
It is essential to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of these symptoms of stroke. It can be risky to the person’s life if these issues that exist are not treated immediately. In rare cases, thrombocythemia can lead to complications like myelofibrosis.
It is a condition that leads to the damage of the bone marrow until it progresses to the enlargement of liver and spleen. A high platelet count can also develop into acute myelogenous leukemia, which is a cancer of bone marrow and white blood cell that can be fatal to humans.
Some viral infections can cause the platelet level to get higher. It includes tuberculosis, pneumonia, osteomyelitis, and pyelonephritis. In this case, the production of platelets tends to be out of control. The bone marrow is rushing to produce more of these elements to cope up with the body’s needs while fighting the bacteria.
The elevated platelets can be due to the state of the body that is recovering from surgery. Its immune system is trying to fight off the elements during this stage. It can be due to inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Iron deficiency anemia
Take note that the red blood cells should be higher than the platelets. In this condition, the body has greater than 1000 x 10(9) platelets/liters of blood. However, this problem can easily be treated by an iron replacement therapy to normalize the platelet level which can take effect within ten days.
Typically, the spleen collects about 40% of platelets while the remaining of them travels all throughout the body. When the spleen is enlarged, it will have the ability to gather more platelets than the regular range. As a resolution, the doctor will recommend the removal of the spleen. The platelet level can increase to more than 1000 x 10(9) platelets/liters of blood after this process. The platelet count will normalize after a few weeks or months.
- Essential thrombocytosis
Not all elevated platelets have an underlying cause. The essential thrombocytosis is one in which the reason for its existence is unknown. Experts assume that it came from a genetic mutation. In this case, there is a significant production of platelets.
Having a high platelet count can bring your life at risk. These elements can clog up in the blood vessels preventing the blood from flowing properly. It is the reason for stroke and heart attack for most men. It is a condition that anyone should not take for granted. Here are various ways to prevent its occurrence.
Take doctor-prescribed medicines such as:
Hydroxyurea – this medicine suppresses the bone marrow from producing too many numbers of platelets. However, it is essential that he also needs to monitor the function of your liver as well as your blood count. Although it can be an effective treatment, it may also provide adverse effects like nausea, discolored nails, and hair loss.
Interferon alfa – this medication can be naturally found in the immune system. It responds to the virus effects by getting rid of these elements. Just like other drugs, it also has side effects like headaches, dizziness, and sleepiness.
The doctor may also recommend a plateletpheresis during emergency cases. It is a procedure that removes the excess platelets from the body. It is often given to stroke patients and to those who have high platelet count after surgery.
At home, you can also do some methods that will improve your platelet count. Start by avoiding trans fats and deep-fried meat. Try eating raw garlic because it is known to decrease the platelet count. Practice a healthy lifestyle by including exercise in your routine. We all know that this activity has a lot of benefits to offer. Therefore, taking good care of the body is one of the effective methods to promote proper health.