Platelets are crucial components of our blood responsible for clotting, which prevents excessive bleeding when we get injured. Maintaining a healthy platelet count is essential for proper blood clotting and overall well-being. While low platelet count, also known as thrombocytopenia, can be caused by various factors, there are several natural methods and remedies that may help increase platelet count. In this blog post, we will explore effective and safe ways to boost platelet count naturally.
Understanding Platelets and Thrombocytopenia:
Before delving into natural remedies, it’s essential to understand the role of platelets and the factors that may cause a low platelet count. Platelets are produced in the bone marrow and circulate in the blood. When an injury occurs, platelets rush to the site and form a clot, preventing excessive bleeding.
Thrombocytopenia can be caused by various factors, such as certain medications, infections, autoimmune disorders, nutritional deficiencies, and chronic diseases. Mild cases may not cause noticeable symptoms, but severe thrombocytopenia can lead to bleeding complications and require medical attention.
CAUSES FOR A DECREASING PLATELET COUNT
A decrease in platelet count, a condition known as thrombocytopenia, can occur due to various factors. It is crucial to identify the underlying cause to determine the appropriate treatment and management. Below are some common causes of a decreased platelet count:
- Bone Marrow Disorders: The bone marrow is responsible for producing platelets. Certain disorders, such as aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and leukemia, can disrupt platelet production and lead to thrombocytopenia.
- Viral Infections: Some viral infections, like dengue fever, Zika virus, and HIV, can cause a transient decrease in platelet count due to the virus’s direct effect on platelet production and destruction.
- Medications: Certain medications can induce thrombocytopenia as a side effect. Drugs like some antibiotics, anticonvulsants, diuretics, and chemotherapy agents may affect platelet production or increase platelet destruction.
- Autoimmune Disorders: In autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys platelets, leading to a decreased platelet count. Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is one such condition.
- Pregnancy: Some pregnant women may experience gestational thrombocytopenia, a temporary decrease in platelet count during pregnancy.
- Vitamin Deficiencies: Deficiencies in essential nutrients like vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron can affect the bone marrow’s ability to produce platelets.
- Liver Disease: The liver plays a role in regulating platelet counts. Certain liver conditions, such as cirrhosis and hepatitis, can lead to a decrease in platelet count.
- Alcohol Abuse: Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the bone marrow and lead to a reduced platelet count.
- Certain Cancers: Certain cancers, such as lymphoma and multiple myeloma, can cause thrombocytopenia due to their effect on bone marrow function.
- Inherited Disorders: Rare genetic disorders like Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome and May-Hegglin anomaly can result in decreased platelet counts.
- Sepsis: Severe infections, especially those progressing to sepsis, can cause disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), a condition where platelets are excessively consumed, leading to thrombocytopenia.
- Hypersplenism: In some cases, an enlarged spleen can trap and remove platelets from circulation, leading to decreased platelet count.
It’s important to note that thrombocytopenia can vary in severity, and the symptoms may range from mild bruising and petechiae (small red spots) to severe bleeding in more critical cases. If someone experiences symptoms of thrombocytopenia or has concerns about their platelet count, they should seek medical attention promptly for proper evaluation and diagnosis. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition.
What normal PLATELET count for kids, adults and seniors
The normal platelet count can vary slightly based on the reference range used by different laboratories and healthcare facilities. However, here are general guidelines for normal platelet counts in kids, adults, and seniors:
- Kids (Children):
– Newborns (0-1 month): 100,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter (μL) of blood.
– Infants (1-12 months): 150,000 to 450,000 platelets/μL.
– Children (1-17 years): 150,000 to 450,000 platelets/μL.
– 18 years and older: 150,000 to 450,000 platelets/μL.
- Seniors (Elderly):
– The normal range for seniors is generally the same as for adults, from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets/μL.
It’s important to note that platelet counts outside of the normal range do not necessarily indicate a specific health condition. Mild variations can occur for various reasons, such as recent infections, stress, or even recent physical activity. Additionally, some individuals may have naturally lower or higher platelet counts without any adverse health effects.
If a platelet count falls significantly outside the normal range or if there are any concerning symptoms, healthcare professionals may conduct further tests and investigations to identify the underlying cause. Any concerns regarding platelet counts or overall health should be discussed with a healthcare provider for proper evaluation and appropriate management.
Herbs that can help in platelet count:
- Papaya Leaf Juice:
Papaya leaf juice has gained attention for its potential to increase platelet count, particularly in cases of dengue fever, where platelet levels tend to drop significantly. Studies suggest that papaya leaf extract contains bioactive compounds that may stimulate the production of platelets and help in increasing their count. It is believed to support the bone marrow’s function, where platelets are produced. Additionally, papaya leaf juice possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which may aid in reducing inflammation and promoting overall healing during illnesses that cause thrombocytopenia.
- Aloe Vera:
Aloe vera is renowned for its numerous health benefits, and it may also contribute to maintaining a healthy platelet count. It contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall immune function. By boosting the immune system, aloe vera can help the body combat infections and conditions that may lead to platelet depletion. Additionally, aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties may help in managing inflammation-induced thrombocytopenia.
Guduchi, also known as Giloy or Guloncho, is a well-regarded herb in Ayurvedic medicine for its immunomodulatory properties. It is believed to enhance the body’s defense mechanisms, leading to improved immune function. By bolstering the immune system, Guduchi can help fight off infections and reduce the risk of conditions that may cause a decrease in platelet count. Moreover, its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may also play a role in supporting healthy platelet levels.
- Gotu Kola/Thankuni Pata:
Gotu kola, commonly known as Thankuni Pata in some regions, is an herb known for its positive effects on circulation and blood flow. It contains compounds that support the integrity of blood vessels, improving blood circulation throughout the body. By enhancing blood flow, Gotu kola may help ensure efficient transportation of platelets to sites of injury and promote their proper functioning. Additionally, improved blood circulation aids in maintaining a balanced platelet count and preventing clotting issues.
Pomegranate is a nutrient-rich fruit packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It is considered beneficial for cardiovascular health, and its effects extend to platelet function as well. Pomegranate has been shown to have antiplatelet activity, meaning it can help prevent excessive platelet aggregation, which is essential for avoiding unwanted clotting. At the same time, pomegranate supports platelet health by providing essential nutrients required for their proper function and longevity.
While these herbs are known for their potential benefits in supporting platelet health, it’s crucial to emphasize that they should not replace professional medical advice or treatment. If someone is experiencing low platelet count or related health issues, they should consult a qualified healthcare provider for proper diagnosis, treatment, and personalized guidance. These herbs can be used as complementary support alongside medical care to enhance overall well-being.
Natural Ways to Increase Platelet Count:
- Balanced Diet: A well-balanced diet plays a crucial role in maintaining optimal platelet health. Include foods rich in essential nutrients like vitamins B12, C, and K, as well as iron and folate. Foods such as leafy greens, citrus fruits, lean proteins, nuts, and seeds can contribute to a healthy platelet count.
- Papaya Leaf Extract: Papaya leaf extract has gained popularity for its potential to boost platelet count. Studies suggest that papaya leaf extract may stimulate the production of platelets. Consult a healthcare professional for the appropriate dosage and usage.
- Amla (Indian Gooseberry): Amla is a powerhouse of vitamin C and antioxidants that can help support platelet production. Consume fresh amla or drink amla juice regularly for its health benefits.
- Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia): Giloy is an Ayurvedic herb known for its immunomodulatory properties. It may help stimulate platelet production and improve overall immune function.
- Wheatgrass: Wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll, vitamins, and minerals, making it a potential aid in increasing platelet count. Consider drinking wheatgrass juice regularly for its health-boosting effects.
- Pumpkin: Pumpkin is a good source of vitamin A, iron, and zinc, which are essential for platelet production. Include pumpkin in your diet through soups, salads, or roasted dishes.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity can improve blood circulation, support healthy platelet function, and overall well-being. Engage in moderate exercises such as walking, yoga, or swimming.
- Stress Reduction: Chronic stress can negatively impact platelet count. Incorporate stress-reducing practices such as meditation, deep breathing, or spending time in nature to promote platelet health.
- Avoid Alcohol and Smoking: Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can impair platelet function and decrease platelet count. Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake to support healthy platelet levels.
- Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for optimal blood circulation and platelet function. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain healthy platelet count.
While natural remedies can be beneficial, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional before trying any new treatment, especially if you have a diagnosed medical condition or are taking medications. Low platelet count can be caused by underlying health issues that require medical attention and treatment. Natural remedies can be used as complementary support but should not replace professional medical advice.
Maintaining a healthy platelet count is vital for effective blood clotting and overall health. By incorporating a balanced diet, specific herbs, and lifestyle changes, you can naturally support platelet production and function. However, always consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and to rule out any underlying medical conditions. With proper care and attention, you can take proactive steps to ensure optimal platelet health and overall well-being.