What Are The Causes Of Low Blood Palette Count?

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Connor Sephton Profile
Connor Sephton answered
Low platelet count is known as thrombocytopenia. Symptoms of thrombocytopenia include excessive bleeding, bruising that is caused easily, and bleeding that is caused easily. Platelets are responsible for making a person's blood clot. This occurs when the platelets stick together and stick against the wall of the vessel or capillary.

Platelet count can be affected by a person's race or environmental conditions. There are different conditions that can cause low platelet counts. Inherited diseases such as Benard Soulier syndrome or May Hegglin anomaly can cause low platelet counts resulting in heavy bleeding in even small skin lesions. Some people have low platelet count because their body does not produce enough platelets naturally. This can be due to some types of cancer (such as bone marrow cancers,) alcoholism, viral infections, inherited disorders, vitamin B12 deficiency, folic acid deficiency, osteoporosis or myelofibrosis.

Some people acquire thrombocytopenia through platelets being killed off faster than they can be replenished. This can be caused by HIV infection, taking quinine for the treatment or prevention of malaria, an autoimmune disease or certain types of cancer. Sometimes the platelets are used at inappropriate times causing a shortage. This can be caused by meningitis infection, constant high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, and some blood disorders.

Some people have abnormally large spleens which can cause thrombocytopenia. Thrombocytopenia is diagnosed through a blood test that is analysed in a laboratory. The platelet count within the blood determines the diagnoses. If a patient is found to have low platelets, the doctor will have other tests in order to determine why the patient has a low platelet count. If the condition can be treated and is treated properly, the platelet count can be improved. Most people have a low platelet count due to a vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency or because of a viral infection.
Bruce Tillson Profile
Bruce Tillson , I am a Cancer patient that suffers from MDS..., answered

HI. I am a 60 year old man who suffers from a blood cancer called Myleodysplastic Syndrome. It is a blood condition that does not allow healthy , mature blood cells make it from the bone marrow into the blood stream. The cells that cause the condition are called Blast Cells. Everyone has Blast Cells normally up to 3 % in the bone marrow. Amounts over 3% can cause Pancytopenia, which is low blood counts of all three blood cells, Platelet, White and Red. Blast Cell counts over 15% are usually a precurser to Acute Myleo Leukemia. AML. Treatments for MDS have the side effect of causing life threatening drops in all cell groups but the highest affected are the platelet counts and the white cells. Transfusions are given for low platelet counts as there is no growth factor available to make platelets. Platelets are best described as pieces of both red and white cells that help clot the blood when you get cut or injured. They also prevent spontaneous bleeding though the arteries and veins and even the organs. Very low White cell counts can leave sufferers with a very high risk of getting infections. The white cells carry the antibodies that our body normally uses to fight disease. There are growth factors (GSF) that are used to increase production of both White and Red cells. Someone with extremely low counts of White cells, (leukopenia, neutropenia)) can be made seriously ill by just the common cold so it is necessary to isolate and be very careful about infection.

The only curative procedure for MDS is a Stem Cell Transplant. The Bone marrow of the patient is destroyed using either Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy, then new, healthy stem cells from a donor( (preferably a sibling) are injected into the blood stream and growth factors are given to "coax" the stem cells into good blood producing bone marrow cells. Survival tares are relatively high (62-74%) for Stem Cell recipients after 5 years.

I have to say the the problem of Thrombocytopenia is frightening to say the least. I have had 7 platelet transfusions in 3 months but I am fine and the chemp is actually working against the MDS.

I am a candidate for a Stem Cell transplant and am having treatment now to prepare my system for the procedure.

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Bruce Tillson
Bruce Tillson commented
It is a battle but , it's funny, I do not feel sick. I am pretty tired all of the time and my health otherwise in near perfect. That is why I am having the transplant. I have few if any other conditions that may cause complications. Thank You for your good thoughts.
Yo Kass
Yo Kass commented
No problem. I know it sounds a bit cliche... but it genuinely is inspiring to hear people being so positive in the face of adversity.

I noticed you mentioned the term "stem cells" quite a lot, and whilst I know that they're something to do with creating blood and other organs, and being touted as a possible cure for certain diseases - I'm not actually sure what they are!

I also remember them being linked to some sort of controversy regarding genetic engineering...

Anyway, I posted a question about stem cells here: http://www.blurtit.com/q2719476.html
Yo Kass
Yo Kass commented
Sounds like you'd be great at answering it!
Lily Bradic Profile
Lily Bradic answered

There are plenty of things that can cause a low blood-platelet count. If you're worried, the best thing you can do is talk to your doctor and get yourself checked out. It's so easy to misdiagnose yourself using the web and start panicking about nothing!

Common Causes of Low Blood-Platelet Count

  • Pregnancy
  • Platelets trapped in the spleen
  • Bacterial diseases
  • Certain medications (including antibiotics and anticonvulsants)
  • Autoimmune diseases (problems with your immune system)
  • ITP (Idiopathic thrompocytopenic purpura) - a condition that mistakes healthy blood platelets as a threat, and causes your body to attack them
  • Insufficient production of platelets in bone marrow
Did You Know?
  • Each platelet only lives about ten days before being replaced by a new one
  • A normal platelet range is anything from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets at once
  • Low platelet count is also known by its medical name: Thrombocytopenia
For peace of mind, I'd definitely recommend seeing a medical professional about this - peace of mind is priceless, and you don't want to worry yourself when there could be a very simple, curable explanation!


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