Low platelet count is a medical condition known as thrombocytopenia where the platelet count is below 150,000 platelets per micro litre of blood. To understand how this condition occurs, it is important to define what platelets are. Platelets (also known as thrombocytes, hence the name of the condition) are a group of colorless blood cells whose role is to help the blood clot. The clotting process is facilitated by the clumping of the platelets in places where the blood vessels have been injured. This clumping of the cells forms a plug of sorts that helps prevent the excessive loss of blood.
A low platelet count usually develops as a separate disease, and is common in leukemia or disorders of the immune system. Sometimes a low platelet count is a side-effect of using specific medication, the condition affects both kids and adults. In mild cases of low platelet count, some of the symptoms of the condition include the formation of purple bruises (medically known as purpura), the presence of red-dotted rashes, frequent nose bleeding episodes as well as bleeding gums.
Depending on the extent of the condition, low platelet count may also manifest as rectal bleeding, heavy menses for women as well as wounds that bleed for a prolonged period/ those that do not stop bleeding on their own as no clotting occurs. In severe cases of low platelet count, internal bleeding may occur with symptoms such as blood in vomit, urine and stool. If you notice any of these symptoms, make sure you see a doctor to avoid potential complications arising from the low platelet count.
Treatment for low platelet count varies depending on the extent and severity of the condition. For mild cases, there are a number of home remedies that you may use to get relief from the condition. In serious cases, your doctor will suggest a treatment option to go with your health status. Look out for some of the home remedies that you can use to treat low platelet count below.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Slice of pumpkin, knife, juicer and 1 tablespoon of honey. Pumpkin puree (optional).
Pumpkin is an excellent home remedy for the natural treatment of low platelet count. Its high concentration of Vitamin A is key for this remedy because this vitamin is a prerequisite for the proper synthesis of the platelets. Pumpkin also helps with the regulation of protein production in the cells, which in turn helps to increase the platelet count. Prepare pumpkin juice or puree boiled pumpkin and add it to your preferred meals.
- Peel the pumpkin slice and wash well.
- Chop the pumpkin into small pieces and transfer to a juicer.
- Collect 1/2 a glass of the juice and stir in the honey.
- Drink this fresh juice at least twice daily to help improve your platelet count.
- Alternatively, prepare the pumpkin as a puree and add it to your meals or soups as follows. Slice the pumpkin into small pieces and boil until tender. Once boiled, blend the pumpkin pieces to get a thick puree.
- Add this puree to your soup, stew or pastries as you please.
2. Indian Gooseberries (Amla):
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 3 Gooseberries or Fresh amla juice and 1 tablespoon of honey.
Indian gooseberries, commonly referred to as amla, is used to increase platelet count since it has a high concentration of Vitamin C. This vitamin not only improves the immune system, it also contributes to the increased production of platelets in circulation. You may either eat the amla fruits themselves, or prepare the juice to raise the platelet count. Use the simple steps outlined below for this remedy.
- Eat a handful of Indian gooseberries at least once daily. The best time to do so is in the morning, before anything else because maximum absorption is enhanced on an empty stomach.
- Alternatively, prepare the juice from the fruits and collect at least 2 tablespoons of amla juice.
- Mix the juice with the honey and drink at least twice daily to manage a low platelet count.
3. Increase Your Vitamin C Intake:
Time Required: Varies depending on the preferred food.
What You Need: Add Vitamin C rich foods to your daily diet. Vitamin C supplements (optional).
Improve your platelet count by increasing your daily intake of Vitamin C. This vitamin, also known as ascorbic acid, has been shown to treat low platelet count. According to different research studies carried out, Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that prevents the destruction of he platelets by free radicals in circulation. This not only improves the number of platelets in circulation, it alos helps boost the immune system in cases where the low platelet count is a result of an immune disorder. There are two options as far as this remedy is concerned: use of foods rich in Vitamin C or the use of supplements.
- Ensure you eat foods that are rich in Vitamin C. These options usually include fresh fruits and vegetables such as oranges, lemons, spinach, broccoli and tomatoes among others. Remember not to overcook the foods in the case of vegetables such as broccoli and spinach as this destroys the structural integrity of the foods, leading to the loss of the health benefits.
- Additionally, take the fruits at least half an hour before or after meals for maximum absorption as well as to reduce bloating.
- Alternatively, take Vitamin C supplements on a daily basis. Get the recommended dosage from your doctor to prevent potential drug-drug interactions if you are on medication for any other condition.
4. Pomegranate Fruit:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 2 Pomegranate fruits or pomegranate juice.
Pomegranate is a delicious fruit whose multiple health remedies make it the ideal home remedy for low platelet count treatment. The fruit’s intense red color is attributed to its high iron concentration. Iron is known to play a key role in improving the production of blood cells, and this helps increase the platelet count. Pomegranates are also rich in vitamins which help improve the energy levels and prevent fatigue that sometimes accompanies the condition. You may eat the fruit raw or prepare its juice.
- Take at least 2 pomegranates daily, preferably on an empty stomach for optimal absorption.
- Alternatively, prepare the juice and drink at least 150 ml daily for a couple of weeks until there’s an improvement in your platelet count.
5. Drink Milk:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1 Glass of milk (cow’s milk). Almond milk is an excellent option for those who are lactose intolerant.
Did you know that milk is one of the foods that you can use to improve your platelet count? Milk is rich in calcium which is required in the biosynthesis of platelets. This calcium works alongside Vitamin K and milk proteins to improve the body’s ability to create clots at the point of blood vessel injury. When the body experiences calcium deficiency, there is a higher chance that bleeding continues for a prolonged period of time. By increasing the amount of calcium intake, the body is able to increase the platelet count and improve clotting. For lactose intolerant persons, almond oil comes in as a handy option. It also helps to increase the intake of calcium-rich foods.
- Take a glass of milk (either cow’s milk or almond milk) at least once daily.
- Increase your dietary sources of calcium and include foods such as yogurt, cheese and dairy products to sustain optimal levels of Calcium, and thus raise the platelet count.
6. Cod Liver Oil:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Cod liver oil.
Cod liver oil is a natural remedy for the treatment of different conditions. The oil is preferred because it strengthens the immune system and boosts the immune response. It is a significant action because in some cases of low platelet count, the disorder may be attributed to diseases that affect the immune system. Cod liver oil therefore prevents the body from attacking its own cells (including platelets). Other benefits of using the cod liver oil include reduction of inflammation and improved blood circulation.
NOTE: Consult with your doctor before using this remedy because it has been shown to thin blood in some people.
- Check with your doctor for the daily recommended dosage of cod liver oil.
7. Wheat Grass:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup of wheat grass and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Wheat grass is a powerful home remedy used to increase platelet count and treat the condition over a period of time. Research indicates that the chlorophyll (green coloring matter present in wheat grass) has an uncanny resemblance to the molecular makeup of Hemoglobin. As such, wheat grass contributes to the synthesis of blood cells and this increases the amount of platelets in circulation. To get the best from wheat grass, take at least 1/2 a glass of the juice everyday. Add some lemon juice for a refreshing taste, as well as to compliment the remedy’s healing properties.
- Add the lemon juice to the wheat grass juice and stir.
- Drink this remedy daily.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Ripe pawpaw fruit and blender. Pawpaw leaves, water in a pan, strainer and raw honey.
Enjoy ripe pawpaw to increase platelet count, thanks to its health benefits. One of the key advantages of using this remedy is that you have the option of using either the fruit alone or choosing the leaves. Study findings show that the fruit increases platelet synthesis in the blood, and is also effective in improving blood cells production as a whole. Prepare the remedy as follows for a natural approach to the management of low platelet count.
- Using the pawpaw fruit, cut a slice of the ripe pawpaw and eat at least twice daily.
- Alternatively, cut up the pawpaw slice into small pieces and blend to get pawpaw juice for faster absorption.
- Use the pawpaw leaves to prepare the remedies as follows:
i) Chop the leaves from the stalk and clean well.
ii) Place the leaves in a pan and pour in water so that the leaves are covered entirely.
iii) Heat the mixture for 15 minutes on medium heat. Medium heat is preferred because it allows for the maximum extraction of the leaves’ active ingredients required for increased platelet count.
iv) Allow the solution to boil until you have half the volume of the original amount of water you added.
v) At this point, let the mixture simmer for a couple of minutes before turning off the heat.
vi) Strain the mixture and allow to cool for a few minutes.
vii) Stir in the honey and take 2 tablespoons of the pawpaw leaf juice at least twice daily.
9. Stay Hydrated; Take Adequate Amounts of Water:
Time Required: Varies, but water intake should be spread throughout the day
What You Need: Drinking water
Drinking adequate amounts of water is great for your overall body health because it helps to flush toxins from blood circulation. This is important because it purifies the blood and keeps the cycle of blood cells production in check. In doing so, water helps ensure continuity of platelet synthesis and improve platelet count. Additional benefits of staying hydrated include optimal cell function, waste elimination and improved health.
- Take an adequate amount of water daily. The amount of water varies from one person to the other owing to factors such as health status, age and occupation.
- Those with kidney disorders must check with their doctors for proper guidance.
Time Required: Varies
What You Need: Appropriate gear for the specific exercise routines.
Regular exercise routines are recommended (with caution) for the natural treatment of low platelet count. Exercise in general, increases blood circulation and improves the functioning of the immune system. The flip side of this is that overdoing the exercise routines increases the chances of bleeding, both internally and as a result of external injuries. Different exercises are recommended for different sets of platelet counts as indicated below.
General guidelines for exercise routines to increase platelet count
For a brief introduction, the normal range of platelet count is between 150,000 and 450,000 per microlitre of blood. Levels below 150,000 are categorized as low blood count.
Consequently, the exercise routines are recommended as follows.
- No exercises recommended for a platelet count of less than 15,000. (< 15,000)
- A platelet count of 15,000 – 20,000 allows for gentle stretching exercises and light walking.
- A platelet count of 20,000 – 40,000 allows for gentle resistance exercises as well as brisk walking.
- A platelet count of 40,000 – 60,000 allows for golfing and treadmill exercises.
- A platelet count of more than 60,000 allows for aerobic exercise routines such as jogging, cycling and rope skipping.
Other home remedies recommended for low platelet count include beetroot which is rich in iron, aloe vera juice which helps purify blood as well as leafy greens that are rich in Vitamin K. It is also important to get adequate sleep to allow the body recover well. Avoid processed foods because these hamper optimal platelet synthesis, which in turn reduces platelet count. Remember to check with your doctor if you have any doubts about any of the aforementioned remedies.