Do you ever remember tripping over the floor, cutting the knee and the bleeding suddenly stops? And have you ever wondered who are the heroes here to stop this bleed? Platelets of, course! These substances are very clever to seal off the open wound in minor injuries! If you want to know about platelets, you are in the right place! Let’s dig back to our high school science. P.s – No, it will not be boring chap! And in the end, I will tell you how to improve platelet counts naturally!
1. What Are Platelets?
Platelets are produced in the bone marrow in the same cases like red blood cells and white blood cells. Since platelets are too small, they make up a tiny fraction of the blood volume. They contain proteins on themselves which allow them to stick to the injured site.
2. Why Are Platelets Important And What Is The Function?
When there is an injury or cut, the endothelial layer is broken. Firstly, it is the platelets that react first to the injury. The tough fibres and collagen which are present at the injured site attacks the platelet like a magnet and stimulate the platelet change. Lastly, this provides the initial seal to prevent bleeding and the leakage of red blood cells through the injured site.
3. What Is The Normal Platelet Count?
The normal platelet count in the blood is 1,50000 to 400000 platelets per microliter(mcL) or 150-400 X 109/L.
The average platelet count for men is 1,57000 to 3,71000 per microliter ( mcL).
The average platelet count for women is 1,35000 to 3,17000 per microliter of blood.
Can platelet counts vary from day to day?
Since the lifespan of platelets is just 10 days, your bone marrow creates millions of platelets each day. The range can vary from day to day due to diseases, age, gender etc.
4. What Happens If You Have Low Platelet Count?
Between 20,000- 50,000/mcL – There is more of bleeding when injured.
Less than 20,000/ mcL. – Bleeding occurs without injury.
Below 10,000/ mcL – severe/risky Spontaneous bleeding occurs.
Symptoms Of Low Platelet Count
- Prolonged bleeding from cuts
- Bleeding from gums or nose
- Abnormal bruising
- Blood in stools and urine
- Heavy menstrual flows
- Enlarged spleen
Low platelet count is caused by decreased production/increased breakdown of platelets due to
- Viral infections
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Bacteria in the blood
This condition is called thrombocytopenia.
At Which Platelet Count You Need Blood Transfusion?
When platelet counts drop below a certain level ( at or below 20,000/mcL), you need blood transfusion immediately. Doctors prefer blood transfusion at this level when you are bleeding.
How Long Does A Platelet Transfusion Take?
The platelet transfusion takes from 30-60 minutes.
What Are The Side Effects Of Platelet Transfusion?
- Hemolytic transfusion reactions
- Allergic/ septic reactions
- Circulatory overload
5. What Happens If You Have A High Platelet Count?
A platelet count higher than 450,000 per mcL is considered elevated. This is known as thrombocytosis.
A high platelet count can happen when something causes the bone marrow to produce too many platelets. This condition is called thrombocytosis.
Symptoms Of High Platelet Count
- Chest pain
- Tingling in the hands and chest
- Increased blood clots
High platelet count can occur after
- Excessive drinking
- Excessive physical activity
- Recovering from a recent injury
- Recovering from blood loss after surgery.
6. Foods To Improve Platelet Counts Naturally
Foods and home remedies to improve platelet counts naturally are
- Folate rich foods
- Foods rich in vitamins B12, C, D and K
- Iron-rich foods
1. Folate Rich Foods
According to the National Institute of Health, the daily requirement of an average adult requires a minimum of 400 micrograms of folate daily.
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Meat Liver,
- Kidney Beans,
- Orange And Orange Juice
2. Iron-Rich Foods Which Improves Platelet Count Naturally
The Pediatric Hematology And Cytology in 2012 have mentioned that iron-rich foods have increased platelet counts in iron deficiency anaemia patients.
Some Iron-rich foods are:
- Beef liver
- Kidney beans and white beans
- Dark chocolate
3. Pomegranate Improves Platelet Counts Naturally
The National Library Of Medicine mentioned that pomegranate have platelet aggregation properties. Scientifically, studies confirmed that pomegranate helps to increase platelet count.
4. Indian Gooseberries
Amlas are rich in vitamin C, rich in antioxidants and protect against the common cold. Additionally, they are effective in increasing the production of blood platelets and boosts the Immune system.
5. Vitamin B12 Rich Foods
Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to weak immunity and low platelet count. Also, the Journal Of Pediatric Neurosciences has mentioned that vitamin B12 rich foods improve the platelet counts naturally.
Thus, vitamin B12 rich foods are:
6. Orange And Orange Juice
To clarify, sources have mentioned that regular intake of oranges enhances platelet production. It is rich in vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant aand prevents radical damage to platelets.
The intake of kiwi fruit increases the antioxidant levels and reduces the falling of platelet levels. Also, kiwi fruit is rich in potassium and vitamin C which helps to improve platelet counts naturally.
8. Wheat Grass
Importantly, the study in the International Journal Of Pharmacy And Life Sciences have found that wheatgrass improves platelet counts naturally.
9. Papaya Leaf Extract
Even though it is present in the middle of the subject, it is very important to take note of! The Asian Pacific Journal Of Tropical Biomedicine confirmed that Carica papaya leaf is one of the medicinal plants to increase platelet count. People in the rural area have used papaya leaf as an alternative to treat dengue.
Sources have mentioned that either eating raw, juicing or boiling increases the platelet count.
10. Vitamin K Foods To Increase Platelet Count
Of course! Vitamin K is essential to improve blood clotting factors. According to PDSA survey reported by MNT, participants have shown improvement in increasing platelet counts and bleeding symptoms.
Daily requirement intake for males is 120 mcg while for females is 90 mcg.
Vitamin K Rich Foods
7. What Are The Foods To Avoid If You Have Low Platelet Count?
Alcohol is a natural blood thinner. It can aggravate the symptoms and further decreases the platelet levels. It may result in insomnia and depression.
Reduce the consumption of white refined sugar and other sweeteners. Thus, ugar shows alternation in the PH level of the body which is believed to promote disease.
Foods That Can Interfere With Blood Clotting
Drug-Induced Thrombocytopenia Can Be Caused By
- NSAIDs like aspirin etc.
- Statins etc.
Other Supportive Measures To Increase Platelet Count
Drinking lots of water- Most importantly, staying hydrated is very important! A hydrated body helps to support your body to increase platelet count.
It’s important to choose your food carefully when you have low blood count levels. Whenever you have a doubt, it’s good to discuss with your physician and follow the diet.
- Hopkins Medicine on platelets
- Rochester Encyclopaedia On Platelets