Low platelet count

Platelets in the human body are given a very important role, they act in some way as protectors of the entire vascular space. Being in a healthy intact vessel, they move freely, circulating through the blood.

In case of violation of the integrity of the vessel, the cells knock together, forming a cell, and close the place where the defect occurred. When one platelet is applied to another, they form a wall, due to which internal bleeding stops. They have special properties that allow you to immediately clot blood.

The norm, generally accepted indicators consider the content of platelets in the blood not exceeding 160 – 400g / l. The value of lowering platelets in the blood suggests that their number in the analysis is reduced, based on the average volume of 150 g / l. Specialists in such cases diagnose thrombocytopenia, which means that blood loses its ability to normal blood coagulation, which is considered the norm in such a disease. It is worth knowing that the greater the decrease, the stronger the disease manifests itself.

Platelet counts in a blood test

Blood plates play an important role in the human body. They support blood in a liquid state and protect blood vessels from damage. When injuring the bloodstream, platelets form plugs that do not allow blood to flow out through the wound. This applies not only to the external forms of vascular damage, but also to internal bleeding, which stops due to platelets. And all the blood that has come out of the channel is clotting.

If platelets are below normal in women, then their function is impaired. They are not able to protect the bloodstream from damage, and the blood cannot clot and flows quietly through the wound.

With an increased content of blood plates, blood can coagulate directly in the vessels, forming blood clots of various sizes.

The platelet norm in women after 50 years is 180-320 thousand / μl. With a deviation from the norm, one can assume the occurrence of a pathological condition. The level can change both upward and downward.

With an increase in platelet count, the doctor may suspect oncology of the kidneys, liver, leukemia, tuberculosis, arthritis, enteritis, anemia, acute infectious diseases, thrombocytosis. The number of cells can increase with bone marrow damage.

The increase in the number of plates occurs with excessive alcohol consumption, overweight, after operations, some injuries.

Regardless of the reason that led to the growth of blood elements, it is necessary to consult a doctor. For the reliability of the diagnosis, he can prescribe additional examination methods, such as:

  • general urine analysis;
  • Ultrasound of the internal organs;
  • platelet tests at a certain interval; usually, at least three days should elapse between blood sampling.

After the examination, the doctor selects treatment.

The essence of the problem

Platelets are non-nuclear structures of an irregular oval or round shape. They are formed by splitting off sections of the cytoplasm from megakaryocytes (huge polyploid bone marrow cells). Externally, blood cells resemble flat discs with a diameter of 2-4 microns. Platelets circulate in the blood plasma for no more than 12 days, then are destroyed in the spleen, liver and are replaced by new ones.

Platelets perform a hemostatic function. With mechanical trauma, they release up to a dozen filamentous processes that exceed the size of the cell itself by 5-10 times. Blood plates massively go to the place of rupture of the vessel and with the help of pseudopodia are attached to its wall, tightly clinging to each other. Then, α-granules with growth factor (PDGF) are released, it is these proteins that trigger the process of regeneration of damaged tissues.

Preparation and analysis

The norm is considered an indicator

50-60 years and older

All deviations from the norm (150-380 thousand / μl) are considered pathologies. However, in some cases, a reduction in the number of plates is allowed.

If you take an analysis on a platelet level daily, then the indicators will be different. It is important that the level does not go beyond the norm.

Coagulation and a general blood count allow you to determine the average volume of platelets. The norm should be in the range of 150-380 thousand / µl.

For a general analysis, blood is donated from a finger, and for coagulation – from a vein. Both options for the collection of material require some preparation. It consists in refusing to take fatty foods, alcohol three days before the date of the upcoming test. Blood is given in the morning on an empty stomach.

The coagulation method differs from the general analysis by the focus of the survey. With this type of diagnosis, the laboratory assistant determines only the level of platelets in the blood, and with a general analysis, all its components are examined.

When diagnosing, it should be borne in mind that the norm in women changes with different physiological conditions. During menstruation and during pregnancy, platelet counts may change to a smaller or greater extent.

Platelets during pregnancy play an important role. The norm in this period can be underestimated to 140 thousand / µl. If they are less than this indicator, then this indicates a possible pathology, bleeding.

A sharp decrease in platelets is noted during menstruation, and the more abundant the discharge, the lower the platelet count.

Reference values

Platelet count is calculated in thousands per 1 microliter of body fluid. Their concentration depends on the age, gender of the patient, season of the year and even time of day. In the spring and night hours, the platelet content in blood plasma approaches the lower limit of normal.

A low level of platelets in the blood of a woman, man or child indicates thrombocytopenia, while increased synthesis of the shaped element indicates the development of thrombocytosis. The hematopoietic system of newborns and children up to a year is not stable: red bodies are actively developing and quickly die.

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At first, thrombocytopenia is prone to an asymptomatic and protracted course. A qualified hematologist may suspect a violation according to general signs of anemization of the body: pallor of the skin, shortness of breath, palpitations, weakness, dizziness, up to loss of consciousness.

Low platelet count in the blood manifests itself:

  • Regular, profuse nosebleeds.
  • Petechial rash.
  • Periodontal disease.
  • The appearance of bruises on the body for no apparent reason.
  • Blood-streaked urination or defecation.
  • Prolonged menstruation in women.

As a rule, point hemorrhages are localized on the chest, abdomen, upper and lower extremities. An increase in cervical lymph nodes is sometimes accompanied by subfebrile condition. With thrombocytopenia, a shift in the leukocyte formula to the left is observed, the quantitative composition of red blood cells decreases, while the concentration of reticulocytes is steadily increasing.

Causative factors

Thrombocytopenia can develop as an independent pathology or indicate the presence of other diseases (both acquired and hereditary). Typically, platelet hypoaggregation is associated with impaired synthesis or a high degree of destruction of blood cells. Problems with blood coagulation occur against the background of immune deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency and folic acid.

The platelet level drops below the permissible level due to the following pathological conditions:

  • Hormonal disbalance.
  • Chronic hepatitis, acute leukemia.
  • Increased spleen activity.
  • Systemic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, dermatomyositis, lupus erythematosus).
  • ARI, childhood infectious diseases (measles, chickenpox, rubella).
  • Radiation exposure or severe toxic poisoning of the body.

Congenital thrombocytopenia is inherited by a recessive sign, the disease is caused by the improper structure of cells, their weak viability. Occasionally, a low level of platelets in the blood of a child is associated with Bernard-Soulier syndrome, May-Hegglin anomaly, or the administration of a CPC vaccine (measles, rubella, and mumps).

Lower level

Often, the reason for platelet deviation from the norm in a smaller direction is uncontrolled medication.

The platelet norm in women (60 years old) is not lower than 170 thousand / μl. At a lower rate, the doctor may allow changes in the level due to medication.

Also, a decrease can occur with hypothyroidism, leukemia, anemia, cirrhosis, hyperthyroidism, frequent nosebleeds resulting from hypertension.

After identifying the cause of the pathology, treatment is selected. In rare cases, a blood transfusion may be prescribed.

Platelets during pregnancy change, the norm is an indicator of 150-320 thousand / μl. When reducing the number of plates below 140 thousand / μl, it is necessary to identify the cause. It can be:

  • allergic reactions;
  • infections (bacterial, viral);
  • gestosis;
  • impaired blood clotting;
  • medication.

Poor nutrition can be the cause of lowering platelets. To determine the cause, pregnant women must undergo general blood and urine tests, as well as blood for coagulation. According to the testimony, an ultrasound examination can be prescribed.

With a decrease in platelet count during pregnancy, there may be a risk of severe bleeding during childbirth.

Sometimes the number of plates may increase. If the analysis reveals a level of more than 380 thousand / μl, then additional tests are necessarily prescribed, and the woman is hospitalized in an emergency. The reason for the increase in platelets may be:

  • frequent vomiting;
  • frequent diarrhea;
  • low amount of fluid to drink;
  • infection.

To identify the cause, the doctor can prescribe coagulation, ultrasound, backseeding and other examination methods that will help determine what exactly caused the increase in platelets.

In rare cases, platelet adhesion during pregnancy may occur. This condition is called aggregation. With an increase in the normal indicator of glued platelets, blood clots can form in organs, in the placenta. With a decrease in aggregation, microbleeding may occur in different zones.

Due to malnutrition, platelets can decrease, the norm in women by age (the table is presented in the article) should be monitored from puberty. From this point on, foods rich in iodine and iron should be included in the diet. They will help to avoid the occurrence of diseases of the thyroid gland, anemia, which lead to a violation of the level of platelets.

False thrombocytopenia

False positive results may reflect the individual characteristics of the patient or indicate improper preparation for KLA. Ambient temperature also affects the aggregation of nuclear-free bodies. The more time elapses after blood sampling, the higher the risk of colliding with pseudothrombocytopenia. A low level of platelets in the blood during pregnancy is due to natural hormonal changes in the body of the expectant mother and is usually observed closer to the expected date of delivery.

Thrombocytopenia is provoked by some antibacterial agents, diuretics, NSAIDs, narcotic analgesics. The list of popular blood thinners is headed by Aspirin, Piracetam, Voltaren, Ibuprofen. After canceling or replacing an antiplatelet drug with a safer dosage form, thrombocytopenia goes away on its own.

Official Medicine Methods

If a low or, conversely, high level of platelets in the blood is detected, it is necessary to consult a doctor and undergo the recommended medical examination to determine why platelets are raised or lowered. The norm in women by age (the table is presented above) can vary and be slightly lower or higher.

The picture of the blood test will change. And do not be immediately scared if one or more elements are outside the norm, maybe such an indicator is the norm for a woman, her personality.

The therapeutic tactics for thrombocytopenia depend on the etiology of the disease and the severity of the clinical manifestations. If the cause of a low level of platelets in the blood is an infectious disease, antibiotics are prescribed. Severe nosebleeds can be stopped by an ENT doctor, a uterine gynecologist, and if necessary, consult an abdominal surgeon for splenectomy.

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Hemostatic drugs like “Dicinon” or “Aminocaproic acid” increase the strength of the capillary wall, stimulate the formation of thromboplastin in the lesion. By the way, the well-known hemostatic agent “Vikasol” for thrombocytopenia is ineffective and can even worsen the condition of the patient. “Ascorutin”, “Curantil” slow down blood flow in fragile vessels, thereby preventing hemorrhage.


One of the frequent pathologies arising from changes in platelet count is thrombocytosis. It can be suspected if there is:

  • bleeding: nasal, uterine, intestinal;
  • pain at your fingertips;
  • itching of the skin;
  • the appearance of subcutaneous hematomas;
  • cyanotic skin tone;
  • visual impairment;
  • drowsiness, weakness, lethargy;
  • puffiness of the face.

When two or more clinical symptoms appear, thrombocytosis can be suspected. However, the final diagnosis is established only after a detailed medical examination.

Critical performance

From the point of view of laboratory diagnostics, the platelet level, not exceeding 30 thousand units / μl, is a critical value. In this case, transfusion of platelet concentrate is indicated. If a genetic study confirms the presence of a hereditary pathology, the patient may require a donor bone marrow transplant.

Sometimes, in combination with hormonal treatment for low platelet count in the blood, plasmapheresis is performed. The essence of the method is to cleanse the body of antibodies to its own platelet cells. 2-4 sessions are enough to take the patient out of danger. If thrombocytopenia is accompanied by heavy bleeding, you can not do without a blood transfusion.

What determines the platelet count in women

The platelet level in the blood of each woman depends on the following factors:

  1. The period of the menstrual cycle.
  2. The age of a woman.
  3. Taking medication.
  4. The presence of infectious diseases.
  5. The presence of oncological pathologies.
  6. Pregnancy.
  7. Injuries, surgery.
  8. Allergy.
  9. Diseases of the endocrine system.
  10. Mutations.
  11. Digestive disorders.
  12. Food.

Raising folk remedies

Ways to increase platelets with folk remedies:

Nettle has a huge amount of useful elements. In order to increase platelet count with its help, it is necessary to carry out treatment with juice, as well as decoction. It is forbidden to use alcohol tinctures. To prepare the product, you need a teaspoon of nettle juice, 50 ml of water, the components are mixed and consumed before each meal.

Sesame oil – treatment with this component must be applied for a sufficiently long time. Use this oil should be a tablespoon 30 minutes before eating.

Herbal mixtures – include, wild rose, nettle and chamomile. For the broth, dry grass is needed. All ingredients are mixed and ground into powder, after which it is poured with boiling water and allowed to infuse. Then you need to strain, add lemon juice, and consume 250 ml, 2 to 3 times a day.

Any type of treatment should be performed only after examinations and with the permission of the attending physician, in many cases their use is not recommended, for example, during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It is very important to conduct a blood test both on the level of platelets in the blood, and any other its components.

Water pepper extract and infusion of nettle leaves strengthen blood vessels, normalize the permeability of the capillary wall. The fruits of wild strawberries, aronia, rose hips have hemostatic properties. With a low platelet count in the blood, traditional healers recommend taking a decoction of yarrow, medicinal verbena, chicory, root or plantain.

Some effective recipes for traditional medicine:

  • Hemostatic collection. The product includes 20 g of chamomile flowers, 40 g of peppermint, 40 g of shepherd’s bag. With thrombocytopenia, pour 300 ml of boiling water 1 tbsp. l raw materials and put in a water bath (15 minutes). Then remove the saucepan from the heat, its contents should be cooled and filtered through a 2-3-layer gauze napkin or strainer. Drink 100 ml of the healing drink twice a day.
  • A decoction of currant leaves. Pour the crushed leaves with a liter of hot water. With a platelet deficiency in the blood, the raw material is boiled for 2-3 minutes from the moment of boiling, then the liquid is poured into a thermos. Add lemon and honey to taste. After 3 hours, the drink is ready to drink, take 200 ml several times a day. Unlike alcohol tinctures, a decoction safely cleanses the body of toxins, treats anemia and bleeding gums, and relieves insomnia.
  • Sesame oil. Oil is made from fresh sesame seeds by cold pressing. Natural product accelerates blood coagulation, has antioxidant activity. Take 1 tbsp daily. l sesame oil.

Using the above methods, it will not be possible to prevent the massive destruction of platelets or to cure an autoimmune disorder. Alternative medicine methods are appropriate for the prevention of anemia. Folk remedies gently and without side effects stimulate the aggregation of blood platelets, restore vitality necessary to combat thrombocytopenia.

A diet with a low platelet count in the blood should include a sufficient amount of easily digestible protein, vitamins, micro and macro elements. Freshly squeezed juices from strawberries, raspberries, apples or black radish will be invaluable. A positive effect is the use of foods rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid (legumes, beef liver, cheese, fresh herbs, cauliflower, apricots.) For thrombocytopenia, give preference to fish or vegetable cutlets, boiled meat, baked fruits.

Hazardous foods include smoked meats, pickled vegetables, seasonings, fast food and convenience foods. Spicy and too hot food, which irritates the gastrointestinal mucosa, is strictly prohibited. It is advisable to cook porridge with water or milk, instead of sugar, add honey, fruits and berries. Strong alcoholic drinks slow down platelet production in the bone marrow and destroy existing cells, which is why low blood platelet counts are often associated with bad habits.

How to prevent a violation

With thrombocytopenia, it is recommended to avoid not only traumatic sports, but also outdoor activities. Hiking in the fresh air, on the contrary, will help to cheer up, saturate the cells with oxygen. Patients at risk should know what low platelet count in the blood means and how to prevent the development of hemorrhagic syndrome.

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How to determine thrombocytopenia

In order to establish a diagnosis of thrombocytopenia, specialists perform a blood test to determine the level of platelets in a woman and a man. A patient takes a blood sample from a finger, which differs from the general blood test in no way, sometimes, at the request of the patient, blood is taken from a vein;

Decreased platelet count in the blood can be caused by chronic diseases, such as:

  • Iron deficiency.
  • Infections of a different nature.
  • Inflammatory processes in the human body.
  • Injuries.
  • Taking medication.

During pregnancy, a low platelet count in the body may be associated with toxicosis. Vomiting reflexes, as well as the manifestation of diarrhea, excrete a large amount of fluid that is in the body, such processes contribute to the formation of blood clots. A worsening of this condition can serve as a woman’s refusal to use the required amount of fluid.

In conclusion

Upon contact with an environment foreign to the body, blood begins to coagulate rapidly, thereby stopping bleeding. It is platelets that play a decisive role in the healing of damaged tissues. These tiny fragments of megakaryocytes conscientiously perform a hemostatic function, increase the resistance of cells to the action of pathogens.

Causes of Thrombocytopenia

The causes of thrombocytopenia are divided into the following points:

  • The bone marrow does not produce enough platelets.
  • Platelet cell destruction.
  • The platelet count is normal, but not visible enough in the peripheral blood.

Thrombocytopenia can be congenital, this is a consequence of gene mutations, this condition also leads to various deviations.

All these factors are manifested in a child from birth, an example of such diseases are:

  • Heart disease .
  • Early birth, with complications during pregnancy.
  • Isolated thrombocytopenia.
  • Fanconi’s syndrome.

The bone marrow does not produce enough platelets, can cause the development of diseases such as:

  • Chemotherapy for cancer.
  • Hepatitis and HIV infection (since such diseases affect the bone marrow).
  • Megaloblastic anemia.
  • Side effects with the use of a number of drugs.

Rapidly occurring platelet destruction occurs against the background of:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (in this disease antibodies are produced that can destroy platelets).
  • Prosthesis of heart valves.
  • Hemolysis formed during blood transfusion.

Hemorrhagic rash

In patients, often there are no manifestations with a slight decrease in the component in the body. Such a condition for a long time may remain uncontrolled. A clinical study performed by chance or as directed by a doctor can detect a decrease or increase in platelet count. Sometimes without such studies, a person himself is not able to detect such an ailment.

With a decrease in platelets in an adult or child, the following symptoms may appear, which are often not paid attention to:

  • Women who experience severe bleeding on critical days may have small deviations from the norm of a number of blood components, they should be consulted by a specialist.
  • The manifestation of bruising associated with minor bruises.
  • Often there is blood from the nose.
  • Bad coagulability of blood.

Insufficient platelet content in human blood indicates poor blood coagulability, which means that in an adult they have lost their function.

How can I help

All people can become hostages of this condition, since everyone once gets sick with viral infections or other diseases. In order to avoid the onset of the disease, it is necessary to strengthen your immunity.

It is important to know that it is impossible to raise the level of platelets by resorting to the use of drugs, since they do not exist, but there are other ways to help correct this condition.

People who have bad habits in drinking alcohol or smoking, when lowering such a component should abandon their use, since the continuation of these actions can trigger a stroke, which leads to death or disability.

It is very important to strengthen your immunity, for this there are a large number of drugs, medicinal tinctures based on medicinal herbs, physical education and hardening, it also affects immunity. The use of medicines should begin only with the permission of a specialist, as they can have the opposite effect on the body.

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Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.