The human blood consists of several cells, like red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, all of which serve different purposes in the body. In this article, we will talk of platelets in particular, about their deficiency in the body, and how you can increase blood platelets through some methods.
How is platelet deficiency caused?
Before we delve into ways to increase platelet count, it is important to understand how this deficiency is caused in the body.
A low platelet count is often referred to as thrombocytopenia. This condition can be caused by certain infections or medications. These include leukemia, enlargement of the spleen, undergoing treatment of cancer, autoimmune diseases, etc.
Mild thrombocytopenia is easy to be treated through diet and supplements. However, a severe condition and a great decline in the count would be better treated medically. This will make sure that you can avoid any kind of complications.
How to increase blood platelets count naturally?
You must have heard or even gotten a blood test done to get your platelet count checked, maybe when you had dengue fever or viral fever. In such cases, the count of platelets generally decreases to a great extent, and platelets are infused into the body by a platelet transfusion to restore this count.
Increasing platelet count by diet and exercise alone is a little difficult, but these methods can be beneficial at times. So, here we have listed down for you the top food items that can help with this.
All of us have been scolded in our childhood for not drinking milk, and this is because it contains so many nutrients, essential minerals like calcium, protein, vitamins. Vitamin K, present in milk, helps with the clotting mechanism in our bodies. Therefore, drinking a glass of milk daily can be quite beneficial and can help in increasing your platelet count.
- Papaya leaf extract:
There are good chances you would have to hear about this once since it is one of the most popular and the most effective remedies for bringing your platelet count to normal. Consuming a glass or two of papaya leaf extract daily is beneficial during viral fever and other illnesses when the platelet count drops significantly.
Some people, however, might feel nausea or vomiting after consuming the bitter papaya juice. For this purpose, some oral medications containing papaya extract are also available in the market which can be tried.
If you’re going through a low platelet count problem, pomegranates are generally prescribed to you as a part of your diet. Having a bowl of pomegranate a couple of times a day can be really helpful, and will also keep you energetic. Pomegranate is loaded with iron, and can hence work to increase platelet count rapidly. It also contains ample antioxidants and Vitamin C to help you with immunity and hence, build the capacity to fight infections effectively.
- Pumpkin: The richness of vitamins A and C in pumpkin can help in increasing the body’s platelet count. It can also help in strengthening the immune system of the body and regulating the levels of protein.
- Wheatgrass: Wheatgrass helps with a lot of ailments, and has quite several benefits. Consumption of freshly prepared wheatgrass juice can help, not only with the platelet count but with increasing the count of RBCs, WBCs, and hemoglobin levels as well.
Raisins, as you must already know, are quite rich in iron, which makes them an apt food item for increasing the RBC and platelet count in our bodies. Such deficiencies are known to occur in people associated with a deficiency of iron, and hence increasing the levels of iron in the body can be one good way of keeping the count of platelets in your body perfect.
- Vitamin B 12 rich foods:
Foods rich in Vitamin B have proved their benefits in boosting the immunity levels of the body, increasing the count of platelets, and a lot of other things as well.
Food items like milk, cheese, eggs, poultry, etc. are some items with good Vitamin B12 levels.
- Green, leafy vegetables:
Leafy greens are mostly packed with Vitamin K, and this makes them an important part of this list. They can help in increasing your platelet count greatly. Spinach, fenugreek leaves, and kale are some cheap and healthy alternatives in this category that you can go for.
- Folate: Folate is a type of Vitamin B that is added to a lot of foods in the form of folic acid, and even appears naturally in many. Some foods that are natural sources of folate are:
- Orange juice
- Kidney beans
Are there any food items that can decrease platelet count?
There are some foods and beverages that can harm your platelet count and can reduce their number.
These foods include:
- Cranberry juice
- Cow’s milk
So, do remember to avoid these foods and drinks in case your platelet count is already dwindling or is not at a normal level.
When should you visit a doctor?
A decrease in platelets is generally characterized by symptoms like fatigue and tiredness. However, when these symptoms worsen, the situation can be alarming and could also lead to serious complications. It is recommended that you visit a doctor in case you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Excessive bleeding
- Easily getting bruised, and the bruises keep worsening
- Bleeding from the nose/mouth after you brush your teeth
These symptoms indicate that your thrombocytopenia is at a severe stage and there are chances that only medical treatment would be able to respond to it. make sure to be in touch with your doctor, even when you’re taking any natural supplements for your condition. He will be able to advise you in the best way possible, owing to your medical history and other conditions.