by Louis Cruz
Low Platelet Count (Thrombocytopenia)
How is it defined?
Low Platelet count is known medically as thrombocytopenia. Platelets are a certain type of cells that have the job of promoting a clot reaction when there is bleeding or when you are injured or cut. They are basically known as the cells that clump and clog holes in blood vessels that are leaking.
Low platelet count can be caused by many factors. Diseases such as leukemia and immune disorders can reduce platelets. It can be a result of an adverse reaction to a medication such as heparin.
Low platelet count can improve drastically by eliminating the cause and improving life style. There are effective herbal remedies also. Conventional medicine treats thrombocytopenia by the use of medications, surgery and many times if blood loss is great a transfusion may be necessary.
Common symptoms and signs to look for if you suspect low platelet count
1) Excessive bleeding after dental work or an operation
2) If you are a woman you may experience abnormally heavy menstrual flows
3) Bleeding gums is a common sign
4) Cuts tend to bleed too long
5) Bloody urine or stool
6) Bleeding under the skin known as petechiae. This almost always is seen more in the lower extremities. They look like small little dots of blood under the skin. Or like a microscopic bruise.
7) Too much bruising without any form of trauma or bruising easily
What are the most common causes of low blood platelet count?
The normal level for blood platelets is a range of 150,000 to 450,000. Blood platelets are produced in the bone marrow about every 10 days. Medications such as aspirin can prevent your body from producing platelets and cause more bleeding since it is a blood thinner.
Spleen is destroying the platelets
The job of the spleen is to trap and destroy old cells so the body can replace them with new ones. If for some reason the platelets are abnormal, then the spleen will destroy large amounts of them. This happens in ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura also known as Immune thrombocytopenia). The platelets may have antibodies attached to them that cause the spleen to destroy them more actively.
Conventional medicine takes the spleen out to prevent this. But this is not getting to the root of the problem. Many people who have low platelet counts still have trouble even after their spleen is taken out. This is like fixing a chair by breaking its leg. The correct thing to do is to find ways of preventing the body to build abnormal antibodies.
Some people do not produce 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. Other factors that reduce platelet production are overconsumption of alcohol, drugs for treating cancer, viruses and AIDS.
Platelets destruction for different reasons
1) Pregnancy has been connected with a form of thrombocytopenia that is usually mild
2) As mentioned before ITP destroys platelets through the immune system
3) Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders such as Lupus can do this also
4) Infection in the blood
5) Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome which many times result from E. coli contaminated food can cause a low blood platelet count due to damage to the kidneys
6) TTP. This is a condition where tiny clots are formed all over the body using up the platelets in the blood
Major problem with low platelet count
If the blood platelets are too low (fewer than 10,000) you can be at risk for an intra-cranial bleeding or other forms of internal bleeding. This is rare because many doctors attack the problem rapidly before it gets to that level.
Natural remedies offer a good alternative for people suffering with low platelet counts due to ITP or idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura. Natural herbs help the body to stop producing abnormal antibodies.