Low platelet count and fatigue (+the relationship)

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This article focuses on how low platelet count can be related to fatigue. It will explain what platelets count, what is their function in our body, how they get low and high, and what are the consequences of it. It will be discussed how fatigue is a symptom of the platelet count being low and what are ways one can deal with that and try to get their platelet count up.

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So can a low platelet cause fatigue?

Yes, fatigue is one of the many symptoms that can be caused by a low count of platelets in the blood. But to explain why this happens, let’s understand first what blood platelets are and what they do in our bodies.

What are blood platelets?

Blood platelets are part of the blood. The human blood is decided between white, red blood cells and platelets. All of them are made in the bone marrow, a semi-solid tissue found within the bones.

Once they are formed, two-thirds of the platelets produced are released into the bloodstream. The other third is stored in the person’s spleen. Each platelet cell usually lasts from 7 to 10 days in the human body, with that, we get the notion that it needs to be in constant production.

The main function of the blood planet is to help your body heal when it gets an injure, since they are responsible for starting the process of the blood clot, whenever you get a cut or a bruise, they are the ones that will start the process of slowing down the bleeding by clotting the injury.

Why is knowing their count important?

It is important to know your platelet count, as well as the count of your other blood cells because they can show how your bone marrow is working, and it can also show how your body reacts if it goes through a traumatic experience.

The number of references, meaning the number the world uses to say the platelet count is okay, is between 150,000 to 400,000 per microliter (one-millionth of a liter) of blood. If by doing blood work your platelet count comes within those numbers, it means they are functioning normally.

If they count less than 150,000, it means that your platelet count is low and u

You have a condition called thrombocytopenia. In the most serious situation, the platelet count can reach below 10,000, which is called severe thrombocytopenia. 

On the other hand, if it shows that the count is higher than 400,000, this means your platelet count is higher than it should be, a condition called thrombocytosis.

What is important to know is that, even if their count is low, the ones that exist are executing their function normally, it is just that if you don’t have enough of them in your body, they won’t be able to do what they are meant to do as well as they would if the platelet count was normal.

What are the reasons for it being low?

The low count of platelet can happen for 3 main reasons:

Decrease of platelet production

According to studies, some viral infections can decrease your bone marrow function, such as parvovirus, rubella, mumps, chickenpox, hepatitis C, Epstein-Bar virus, and HIV.

Aside from that, aplastic anemia, a disease that causes the bone marrow to not produce as many blood cells as it can, is related to a lower platelet blood count. Various cancer drugs are also related to it, along with some types of cancer such as leukemia and lymphoma, and deficiency of B12 vitamin and folic acid.

Increased platelet destruction or consumption

Many medical conditions can cause the platelet cells to destroy themselves earlier than they should. Sometimes it can be caused because a person is using medications that will have that side effect like Heparin and some forms of antibiotics.

In other cases, it can be related to some rheumatologist conditions such as lupus, HELLP syndrome, severe infections or injury, or inflammations of the blood vessels.

The spleen is storing too many platelets cells

The spleen might store too many platelets because it has an enlargement or change in its function. That can usually happen because of liver diseases such as hepatitis B or C and blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.

What are the symptoms of the low platelet count?

When a person only has a low platelet count, they might not even develop symptoms. But some signs of it can be:

-Superficial bleeding into the skin

-Fatigue

-Getting bruised more easily

-Bleeding from gums and noses

-Prolonged bleeding when you get a cut

-Jaundice

-Increased bleeding through the menstrual period

-Blood in urine or stool

-Non-stop bleeding.

How can I make my platelet count higher?

Usually, the platelet count can get higher by some at-home actions. Only when those are not effective and the person starts showing a great risk of bleeding because of it is when the treatment moves to a medical one. 

So let’s take a look at ways one may help their body increase the blood platelet count in your day to day life:

Avoid alcohol

When you consume alcoholic drinks you impact the red blood cell production in your bone marrow. When that is not going well as it should, all production of blood cells decreases, including platelet production.

Avoid vitamin E and fish oil supplements

Once you are dealing with low platelet count, this means that your blood doesn’t clot as well as it should. Those things only make this worse. They won’t make your platelet count go lower, but they can be prejudicial to the work Tyler platelets should be doing.

Eat more citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are filled with vitamin C, and those are key vitamins to how platelets work. It will also help your body absorb iron, something that is important to help produce red blood cells. Good citrus fruit can be orange, lemons, and limes.

Consume more leafy greens

One can get a great refill of vitamin K by eating leafy greens. Those will not make your platelet count go up, but they will help your blood clot better because it produces some protein that is important for that process.

Put some more fatty fish in your diet

Fatty fish are rich in vitamin B12, that type of vitamin that plays a key role in red blood cell formation. Some fishes that are rich in vitamin B12 are Tuna, Salmon, and Trout.

Eat things that are rich in folate

Some foods like broccoli, brussel sprouts, beans, and liver are rich in folate, which is another type of B vitamin, and by consuming it one can increase the body’s ability to produce the B12 vitamin.

Find iron-rich foods to put in your diet

Iron-rich foods can be beans, tofu, liver, outer, and even dark chocolate. They are important in this process because they will elevate your platelet levels naturally.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ): How low platelet count relates to fatigue?

Is the consumption of coffee related to low platelet fatigue?

In research done by Natella and colleagues, it was shown that the consumption of coffee can lower the number of platelets, so people that are experiencing low platelet count should be careful with their coffee intake.

Doing exercises help my platelet count?

Yes, it was shown in research that by doing morning exercise one can increase the platelet count significantly, which didn’t happen as effectively when some do evening exercises. Showing that choosing to do an activity in the morning can help one deal with a low platelet count.

Does my emotional condition affect the platelet count?

Yes, your emotional condition can be related to your platelet count. Because platelets store serotonin, a molecule associated with the feeling of well-being, some research has shown that a lower count of platelets can be related to a person’s sense of emotional wellness and it is also related to depression, anxiety, and stress levels.

After starting treatment, how long does it take for my platelet count to start going up?

It depends on what type of treatment you will do to get your players up. Since many types of treatment can be done for it, it is up to you and the doctor to decide the one that fits you best. If it is done through medication it can take a little longer, you most likely be taking the tablets between 6 and 10 weeks, but the first results will be noticed around 2 weeks after you start the medication.

The side effects that can come from it are sleeping problems, feeling bloated, the surge of acne, possible weight gain, peeling of the skin, and lower bone density. But if you both decide you are doing a treatment through an intravenous method, although it will make you go to the clinic every day between 1 and 5 days, your platelet count will start going up faster, although you might feel some side effects such as headache, nausea, and fever.

Can a person get a disability from a low count of platelets in the blood?

As shown, usually the low count of blood platelets has no symptoms and it might only be discovered by routine blood work, but in some cases, when a person develops severe thrombocytopenia it can prevent them from living a regular life. That might feel the symptoms so intensely that it will prevent from working or having a fully functioning life.

CONCLUSION

In this article, it was discussed what a platelet is, why it is important to know its count in your bloodstream, and what does it imply to have a high or low platelet count. The article also disclosed how the platelet can affect a person’s sense of well-being, and the symptoms that show that it might be low, like fatigue. 

It also presented how one can deal and try to increase their platelet count in daily life but also when it is important to look for professional help.

If you have any questions or comments related to this article, feel free to share them in the space below.

REFERENCES

Newton JL, Reese JA, Watson SI, Vesely SK, Bolton-Maggs PH, George JN, Terrell DR. Fatigue in adult patients with primary immune thrombocytopenia. Eur J Haematol. 2011 May;86(5):420-9.

Aldemir H, Kiliç N. The effect of time of day and exercise on platelet functions and platelet-neutrophil aggregates in healthy male subjects. Mol Cell Biochem. 2005 Dec;280(1-2):119-24.

Natella F, Nardini M, Belelli F, Pignatelli P, Di Santo S, Ghiselli A, Violi F, Scaccini C. Effect of coffee drinking on platelets: inhibition of aggregation and phenols incorporation. Br J Nutr. 2008 Dec;100(6):1276-82.

Koudouovoh-Tripp P, Sperner-Untermeyer B. Influence of mental stress on platelet bioactivity. World J Psychiatry. 2012 Dec 22; 2(6):134-147.

Assigner A. Platelets and Infections-An emerging role of platelets in viral infections.Front Immunol. 2014; 5:649.

Ehrlich D, Hummel C. Platelets in psychiatric disorders. World J Psychiatry. 2012 Dec 22; 2(6): 91–94.

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