The human body has many cells, each with a different purpose. Our blood also contains various types of cells including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Each of them has a unique function and a low count of any of them can result in severe health problems. Platelets are very important to the human body. Very often you must have heard this term, especially during blood tests. But what are platelets? What do they do? How can you increase platelet count? Let us find out.
What are Blood Platelets?
Basically, platelets are red blood cells that help in blood clotting. The main function of blood platelets is to prevent severe bleeding or in the event that we get a small cut. We have around 1.5 lac to 4 lac platelets per microliter of blood. If the count drops lower than 1.5 lac, it is called thrombocytopenia; however, when the count exceeds 4 lacs, it is called thrombocytosis.
When your platelet count is low, your body may experience symptoms such as easy bruising, fatigue, gum bleeding, bleeding nose, rashes, blood in stool, blood in urine, heavy menstrual bleeding, blood in vomit, and more.
Many conditions can cause low platelet count. Some of them are
- Alcohol intake
- Autoimmune disorders
- Cancer treatments
- Liver cirrhosis and more
At times, you cannot identify what is causing a low platelet count. If a doctor advises you to increase your platelet count, it is important to understand the cause. Moreover, you must also know the methods and diet that can help you increase the count. We have a few tips which can help you boost your platelet count. However, you must also speak to your doctor as to what you can do to increase your platelets.
How to Increase Blood Platelet Count?
1. Say No to Alcohol
As we have discussed that alcoholism can cause low platelet count. So, if you are working to improve your platelet count, the first thing to skip from your lifestyle is alcohol. Whether it is wine, spirit, beer, or anything with alcohol content, you should stop taking it.
Alcohol interferes with the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. When bone marrow is damaged, the production of any kind of red cells (including platelets) decreases. So, do yourself a favor and avoid alcohol consumption.
2. Say No Vitamin E and Fish Oil Supplements
The low blood count indicates that your blood is not clotting the way it is supposed to and if you consume fish oil and Vitamin E supplements, this problem may aggravate. The content in these supplements affects your ability to clot blood and ultimately impacts your platelet count. Vitamin E capsules do not decrease your platelet count, but they can interfere with the other blood clotting mechanisms of your body that eventually makes you prone to bleeding. So, if you are trying to increase your platelet count, avoid Vitamin E supplements.
3. Try Leafy Vegetables
If your platelet count is low, you must incorporate leafy green vegetables into your diet. The greens will not directly increase your platelets but they contain Vitamin K which is extremely important for blood clotting. Moreover, they have a tendency of increasing your platelet count to some extent. It is pertinent to mention that blood clotting is a difficult process and it impacts many biological pathways. So, adequate intake of Vitamin K can help your body’s ability to stop bleeding in many ways.
Some of the best sources of Vitamin K include pumpkin, broccoli, soybeans, soybean oil, leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, and more. So, you have to try to make leafy greens your friend if you want to enhance your platelet count.
4. Iron-Rich Foods
Iron is one of the essentials that help your body overcome many blood-related problems. It enhances red blood cell production including platelets. It implies that iron is a natural platelet booster that can be very effective. However, instead of using iron supplements that can cause constipation, try taking iron-rich foods such as liver, beef, kidney beans, oysters, and more. And, do you know that dark chocolate can also help increase iron?
5. Citrus Fruits and Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays a vital role in strengthening your immunity. Moreover, it boosts the body’s tendency to absorb iron and assists platelet function and red blood cell production. None other than citrus fruits are the best source of Vitamin C that can help increase blood platelet count. Some other Vitamin C sources include kiwifruit, strawberries, broccoli, red and green bell peppers, oranges, lemon, limes, grapefruit, Brussels sprouts, and more. You can also speak to your doctor about prescription medications or Vitamin C supplements to increase platelets.
6. Use Papaya Leaf Extracts
Top on the list for low platelet count home remedies include papaya leaf extracts. Papaya has anti-inflammatory properties that help with blood cell production and increase platelet count. This is the reason people with dengue fever are advised to use papaya leaf extracts as it has many positive results. All you have to do is take a glass of papaya leaf extracts and see the magic. However, this can be a little difficult and may trigger nausea; take it like a medicine regularly to increase your platelet count organically. You can also take supplements that contain papaya leaf extracts.
7. Try Chlorophyll
Another remedy for low platelet count is the consumption of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a green pigment present naturally in plants that relaxes the symptoms of low platelet count. You can also take a chlorophyll supplement called chlorella that increases the number of platelets. Chlorophyll is present in any green plants so include parsley in your diet or take supplements that contain spirulina to boost your platelet levels.
The Bottom Line Fluctuation in platelet levels may mean that a person has an illness or other health issue that needs immediate attention. It may sound scary but you can do so much to prevent or even treat this condition. You must consume foods and supplements that aid in increasing the platelet count. If you have a low platelet count or are at risk of getting one, you should speak to your healthcare professional.