Low Platelet Count – Everything You Need to Understand It

How is it defined?

Low Platelet count is known medically as thrombocytopenia. Platelets are the type of cells in the blood that help promote clotting when there is bleeding due to trauma or injury. Platelets basically plug the holes of blood vessels that are leaking by forming clumps of cells.

Low platelet count can be caused by many factors. Leukemia and autoimmune disorders can reduce the body’s platelet levels. Medications can also be a cause due to the many side effects they have. But a low platelet count can greatly improve by eliminating the causal factors and improving life style. There are effective herbal remedies that are also beneficial. Conventional medicine treats thrombocytopenia by the use of medications, surgery and many times if blood loss is great a transfusion may be necessary.

Signs and Symptoms to Look For When There Is A Low Platelet Count

1) Too much bleeding after a dental repair or surgery

2) Abnormal menstrual flow that is too heavy

3) Bleeding gums is a common sign

4) Unstoppable bleeding from minor cuts

5) Stool and urine may have blood

6) Petechiae may be present. This almost always is seen more in the lower extremities. It appears like small blood dots under the dermis (skin). Or like a microscopic bruise.

7) Too much bruising without any form of trauma or bruising easily is also a sign

What usually causes low blood platelets?

The accepted range for blood platelets is around 150,000 to 450,000. The bone marrow produces a new set of platelets every 7-10 days. Aspirin and other medications can cause trouble by thinning the blood and preventing the bone marrow from producing platelets.

The spleen can destroy them

The spleen’s normal function is to trap and eliminate old and bad cells so they can be replaced by good ones. If for some reason platelets are abnormal, then the spleen will destroy large amounts of them. This happens in ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura also known as Immune thrombocytopenia). In ITP, antibodies may be attached to the platelets which cause the spleen to destroy them.

In traditional medicine the spleen is taken out to prevent this problem. But this does not attack the cause of the problem. Many people who have low platelet counts still have trouble even after their spleen is taken out. But this is just like trying to fix a chair by breaking its leg. The correct thing to do is to find ways of preventing the body from building abnormal antibodies.

The body is not producing enough platelets

Different diseases such as leukemia and certain types of anemia where the bone marrow is not working correctly may also develop a low platelet count. Too much alcohol, chemotherapy and viral infections such as HIV can also cause this problem.

Platelets are destroyed due to many factors

1) For some reason pregnancy can cause mild thrombocytopenia

2) Autoimmune disorders could be a major cause of thrombocytopenia

3) Lupus can also cause thrombocytopenia

4) Infection in the blood

5) A condition known as hemolytic Uremic syndrome can be a common cause

6) TTP. Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia is a condition where the body clots all over and uses up the platelets.

Serious complications can result from low platelets

Internal bleeding and bleeding in the brain can happen if platelets go lower than 10,000 in the blood. This is rare because many doctors attack the problem rapidly before it gets to that level.

Certain herbs are very useful in preventing and controlling problems of low platelet count. Herbal and natural remedies can help regulate the immune system preventing platelet destruction