written by: bevs lim
• edited by: Donna Cosmato
• updated: 5/18/2011
Low platelet count, also known as thrombocytopenia, occurs as a result of several medical conditions. Several healthy foods can alleviate the symptoms of this condition.
slide 1 of 8
Platelets are blood cells produced by the bone marrow whose main function is to manage bleeding. Thrombocytopenic is a medical condition of having low platelet count. This is caused by chemotherapy, medications (like aspirin), viruses (for example, dengue fever), diseases (such as cancer,) and immune disorders (lupus erythematosus).
Other drugs can also affect platelet counts, like sulfa, heparin, and quinidine. Low platelet count in some cases (80%) are self-limited in nature and can be treated with rest and eating healthy foods to increase platelet count; but in some cases, mostly in adults, it is nvariably chronic and requires medical treatment and platelet transfusion.
Platelets contain cytoplasmic compounds and granules, which enable them to adhere to each other and stick to damaged or torn blood vessels. They circulate for 10 days before normally being eliminated by the spleen and liver. People need an adequate number of healthy functioning platelets, about 150,000 to 300,000 in each cc of blood, to prevent the red blood cells from leaking from uninjured vessels and to thwart hemorrhage. Low platelet count and poor quality platelets often manifests in symptoms of petechiae, bruising, and bleeding.
slide 2 of 8
Foods That Help Raise Platelet Count
Remember though, that while there are foods that can naturally help with alleviating Thrombocytopenic, other factors such as allergies, viruses, and parasites should also be taken into account. The following foods can improve with low platelet count.
Omega 3 fatty acids: all foods containing omega-3 are useful in battling low platelet counts. This so-called “king of fats", which includes cod liver oil, flax seed oil, tuna, wild salmon, and free range eggs, cannot be biologically produced by the human body.
Omega-3 improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation, may lessen the threat of cancer, and increases the ratio of high density lipoproteins (HDL - good cholesterol) to low density lipoproteins (LDL - bad cholesterol). It also enhances and strengthens the body’s immune system and boosts platelet levels.
Organic vegetables, which are full of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals - such as broccoli and other dark leafy greens, like kale and spinach - help raise the platelet count and stimulate the body’s internal mechanism. Try to eat vegetables raw – cooking them removes some of their nutrients.
Berries: these little forest gems contain phyronutrients, which not only help in building up low platelet counts and keeping your immune system in tip top shape, but also neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are group of atoms that theoretically cause inflammation, cellular damage, and aging. Try to eat berries raw – cooking them reduces the amount of nutrients.
Organically grown tomatoes are nutrient powerhouses, which are packed with vitamin and minerals (vitamin C and potassium,) and antioxidants (lycopene). They are low in calories, sodium, and cholesterol, as well as being fat-free and high in water content. Try to eat tomatoes raw – cooking them removes some nutrients.
Increase consumption of red meat, apples, bitter gourd, potato skins and beetroots. Take it slow as first (you might not be able to hold the food down due to platelet deficiency,) and as your platelet count starts to improve, add more complex food into your diet like bone marrow.
*Thoroughly wash raw food before consumption to avoid parasitic worms and viruses, as they are known to cause platelet counts to drop.
slide 3 of 8
Herbal Remedies To Increase Platelet Level
Herbal medicines also help in restoring the normal platelet level. Here are a few examples:
One popular concoction is the bitter extract from papaya leaves. Pound two leaves with pestle and mortar to obtain approximately two tablespoons of papaya extract. Remember, the juice is bitter, and you may need to drink a lot of water to drown the taste, but it is worth it.
Some claim that Euphorbia hirta or tawa-tawa, Australian asthma weed, cat’s hair, or snake weed helps them cure dengue fever. This is no truth in this claim, however, but tawa-tawa does have natural properties that promote blood platelet development, stabilize the membranes of blood vessels, and prevent internal bleeding. Boil the leaves and let cool; drink 1 cup every hour for 24 hours.
slide 4 of 8
Tips to Improve Platelet Count
Here are additional tips to help you increase your body’s platelet count:
Avoid refined foods like saturated fats, sugars, grains, aerated drinks, and other processed foods as these may cause your platelet count to fall.
Do not drink alcohol.
Eliminated all foods you are allergic to or that can cause inflammation.
Take 1000 mg of vitamin C daily. This is the easiest way to get antioxidants in high dosages into your body. Vitamin C is water soluble and can be absorbed easily by your body, so the antioxidants immediately start building up the immune system and enhancing platelet counts.
Thrombocytopenic is a serious medical condition and should be monitored by a physician. When your platelet level drops further, you may require medical intervention.
slide 5 of 8
Increasing platelet count is very important, especially if it is associated with internal bleeding. Serious medical conditions related to platelet count drop should be reported to your physician immediately and given medical intervention. In minor cases, however, you can help your body get back to its normal state of equilibrium by ingesting healthy foods to increase platelet count and keeping your body functioning at its peak efficiency.
This is not medical advice and is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure any ailment. Check with your physician first before following any advice you have read on BrightHub.com. Consult your physician before you start, stop or change anything that has been previously prescribed to you.
slide 7 of 8
Andrew Mason - http://farm1.static.flickr.com/13/19191446_ee8c0fe4f6.jpg