Blood constitutes for 7% of the human body weight. There are three types of blood cells – red, white and platelets or thrombocytes. Each of these blood cells has different functions. When you injure yourself and there is some amount of bleeding, platelets form a clump to make your blood clot. However, your body is unable to perform this function if there aren’t enough platelets in your blood. This can sometimes prove fatal in extreme cases.
Why Do You Have A Low Platelet Count?
In a healthy body, a platelet lives for about 10 days. A low platelet count is typically characterised as thrombocytopenia. Depending on its latent cause, this condition can vary from mild to severe.
Your platelet count may be low when –
- You suffer from medical conditions like leukaemia, cirrhosis or myelodysplasia
- The bone marrow fails to produce enough platelets
- You consume too much alcohol
- You are folate, iron or Vitamin B-12 deficient
- You are exposed to radiation, toxic chemicals, chemotherapy
- You have contracted viral infections including chickenpox, HIV and Epstein-Barr virus
- Your body is destroying too many platelets
Symptoms Of A Low Platelet Count
The symptoms vary depending on the advancement of the condition. This can include severe bleeding which can prove fatal if not treated. In some cases, people may not even experience any symptoms.
If you suffer from a low platelet count, you may experience these symptoms –
- Bleeding gums
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Blood in stool or urine
- Rashes with red or purple dots known as petechiae
- Red, brown or purple bruises known as purpura
In extreme cases, you may even suffer from internal bleeding. If you do, consult a doctor immediately.
How To Increase Blood Platelets Naturally
While some cases of low platelet count are severe and need immediate medical attention, there are some that can be cured by treating the cause.
Here’s a list of foods that you can try that will increase your platelet count and enhance the natural blood clotting method –
1. Foods containing Vitamin K –
Vitamin K is a very important nutrient that enhances the platelet levels and makes blood coagulate faster.
2. Milk –
Milk is a rich source of Vitamin K which is essential for proper blood clotting
3. Raisins –
Not only are they delicious, but raisins are also rich in iron that strengthens the body and normalizes the platelet count
4. Pomegranate –
This fruit is good for the blood. Moreover, pomegranate is packed with nutrients and minerals that work as an energy boost
5. Garlic –
It helps in purifying the blood and increasing the platelet count
6. Beans –
Packed with Vitamin B9, beans help in increasing the platelet count. The other rich sources of Vitamin B9 are oranges, spinach and asparagus
7. Lean meats –
Chicken, turkey and fish are rich sources of zinc, Vitamin B-12 and protein which are known to boost platelet count
8. Papaya leaves –
Boiling papaya leaves in water and drinking the solution is effective when there is an alarming decline in the platelet count in cases of dengue
A low platelet count does not necessarily mean that you need treatment. The condition sometimes clears itself up. However, it is always best to get a professional opinion before self-medicating. Let us know more effective ways of increasing platelet count in the comments section.