Platelets, or thrombocytes, are small, colorless cell fragments in our blood that form clots and stop or prevent bleeding. Platelets are made in our bone marrow, the sponge-like tissue inside our bones. Bone marrow contains stem cells that develop into red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which you have a low blood platelet count. Platelets (thrombocytes) are colorless blood cells that help blood clot. Platelets stop bleeding by clumping and forming plugs in blood vessel injuries.
Thrombocytopenia might occur as a result of a bone marrow disorder such as leukemia or an immune system problem. Or it can be a side effect of taking certain medications. It affects both children and adults.
Thrombocytopenia can be mild and cause few signs or symptoms. In rare cases, the number of platelets can be so low that dangerous internal bleeding occurs. Treatment options are available.
Thrombocytopenia signs and symptoms may include:
Thrombocytopenia means you have fewer than 150,000 platelets per microliter of circulating blood. Because each platelet lives only about 10 days, our body normally renews our platelet supply continually by producing new platelets in bone marrow.
Thrombocytopenia rarely is inherited; or it can be caused by a number of medications or conditions. Whatever the cause, circulating platelets are reduced by one or more of the following processes: trapping of platelets in the spleen, decreased platelet production or increased destruction of platelets.
The spleen is a small organ about the size of fist situated just below the rib cage on the left side of abdomen. Normally, spleen works to fight infection and filter unwanted material from blood. An enlarged spleen — which can be caused by a number of disorders — can harbor too many platelets, which decreases the number of platelets in circulation.
Decreased production of platelets
Platelets are produced in your bone marrow. Factors that can decrease platelet production include:
- Leukemia and other cancers
- Some types of anemia
- Viral infections, such as hepatitis C or HIV
- Chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy
- Heavy alcohol consumption
Increased breakdown of platelets
Some conditions can cause body to use up or destroy platelets faster than they're produced, leading to a shortage of platelets in bloodstream. Examples of such conditions include:
- Pregnancy. Thrombocytopenia caused by pregnancy is usually mild and improves soon after childbirth.
- Immune thrombocytopenia. Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, cause this type. The body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys platelets. If the exact cause of this condition isn't known, it's called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. This type more often affects children.
- Bacteria in the blood. Severe bacterial infections involving the blood (bacteremia) can destroy platelets.
- Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. This is a rare condition that occurs when small blood clots suddenly form throughout body, using up large numbers of platelets.
- Hemolytic uremic syndrome. This rare disorder causes a sharp drop in platelets, destruction of red blood cells and impairs kidney function.
- Medications. Certain medications can reduce the number of platelets in blood. Sometimes a drug confuses the immune system and causes it to destroy platelets. Examples include heparin, quinine, sulfa-containing antibiotics and anticonvulsants.
Dangerous internal bleeding can occur when your platelet count falls below 10,000 platelets per microliter. Though rare, severe thrombocytopenia can cause bleeding into the brain, which can be fatal.
Some of the Homeopathic medicines for Thrombocytopenia which have been fairly successful in our experience are:
- Chin. Sulph
- Hamamelis Virginiana
- Merc Sol