Thrombocytopenia is a medical condition that involves low platelet count. Ranging from mild to severe, it is characterized by bleeding, since thrombocytes or platelets are low. In physiology, platelets are responsible for blood clotting; thus, they play a role in preventing excessive bleeding and fluid loss.
Mayo Clinic lists three probable causes of low platelet count. As per the publication, these causes include trapped platelets, decreased production, and increased breakdown. Platelet trapping happens when the spleen becomes enlarged. In anatomy and physiology, it is located just below the rib cage on the left side of the abdomen and its role is to combat infection and filter waste material from the blood. Its enlargement, which may be due to certain medical conditions, may lead to platelet accumulation; as a result, the number of platelets in the circulation is reduced.
Another cause of low platelet count is decreased production. According to the publication, factors that contribute to reduced platelet reduction include leukemia, certain types of anemia, chemotherapeutic medications, alcohol consumption, and viral infections like hepatitis C.
Platelet breakdown also contributes to low platelet count in the body. Platelets may be destroyed secondary or bacteremia, the presence of bacteria in the blood. It can also be a result of medical conditions like pregnancy, hemolytic uremic syndrome (a rare disorder, which is associated to Escherichia coli, a bacteria that can be obtained after eating raw food), and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (a rare disorder caused by sudden clot formation in the body; a number of platelets are noted as reason for the said clot formation).
As per EMedicine, inherited hemostatic disorders are rare. According to the publication, the prevalence of such disorders, which include von Willebrand disease, has been approximated at one case for every 1000 to 5000 population. To add, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura or ITP stands as one of the most common autoimmune disorders, with its acute self-limiting variant occurring at five cases for every 100,000 population.
Signs and Symptoms
Along with visible bleeding, low platelet count presents several symptoms. According to Mayo Clinic, the symptoms include easy or excessive bruising (purpura), petechiae or pinpoint-sized reddish-purple spots (usually on the lower legs), prolonged bleeding from cuts, bleeding from the nose or gums, blood in the urine or stools, heavy menstrual flows, weakness, enlarged spleen, and jaundice or yellowing of the skin and sclera (the white part of the eyes).
While medications are available to manage low platelet count, the following remedies can also be used.
Papaya leaf is one of the remedies for low platelet count. According to Rapid Home Remedies, papaya juice has been used by various ancient medicines like Ayurveda, as treatment for thrombocytopenia and other medical conditions that lead to low platelet count, which includes dengue hemorrhagic fever. As per the publication, the papaya leaves extract considerably boosted the platelet count of patients diagnosed with dengue fever.
To prepare, as per the publication, the papaya leaves are chopped and crushed using mortar and pestle. Next, the juice or extract from the paste of the leaves are obtained with a cloth or with the palms. Honey can be added if the juice is bitter. The procedure is done at least two times a day.
Spinach is another remedy for low platelet count. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, spinach contains vitamin K, which is used in the treatment of disorders associated with thrombocytopenia. As per the publication, the vitamin plays a role in adequate blood clotting, making it useful in the reduction of excessive bleeding.
To prepare, the person boils four or five leaves of fresh spinach in two cups of water. Next, it is allowed to cool and half glass of tomato juice is added. The preparation is consumed for thrice a day, as per the publication.
Thrombocytopenia or low platelet count is not as serious as tuberculosis or cancer; however, it has to be managed. It is vital to seek medical consult with a health professional for proper assessment, planning, implementation, or advice.