The blood contains three types of cells: white cells, red cells and platelets. The role of the platelets is specific: to stop the bleeding from cuts by clogging the affected blood vessels. A normal person who is healthy and who is not dealing with any condition or disease has between 150,000 and 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. When the count goes too low, lower than 150,000, this is a sign that there is something wrong going on in your body. So, get more information on the main causes of low platelet count and see what can lead to this condition; you will then understand what terribly wrong things can happen in your body if your blood tests show a low platelet count. So, what is it that can lead to low platelet count? Here’s a list of some of the most common causes.
- Infections- there are all sorts of types of infections that can cause low platelet count. Viral infections, such as chickenpox, hepatitis C, or HIV are on the list. Sepsis is on the list as well and it represents a bacterial infection in your blood; sepsis can be life threatening. Helicobacter pylori is also on the list; this is a bacteria that lives in your digestive system.
- Besides infections, there are all sorts of medical conditions that can cause low platelet count. Blood cancer such as lymphoma and leukemia can definitely cause low platelet count. Another medical condition that we will put on the list is vitamin B12 deficiency. Bone marrow disorders should also be mentioned, as well as rare diseases such as hemolytic uremic syndrome. Pregnancy might also be a cause of low platelet count but the condition will disappear by itself once the baby is born. An enlarged spleen can also be the reason of low platelet count.
- Treatments such as heart bypass surgery or radiotherapy.
- Medications such as heparin, chemotherapy treatment and medication known to have side effects, such as medication for conditions that cause seizures.
As you can see, there are a lot of things, many of them very scary, that can cause low platelet count. If your blood tests show that you have low platelet count, then it is absolutely necessary to schedule an appointment with your doctor. The doctor will know how to discover the cause behind your low platelet count and how to treat it. If what stands behind the low platelet count is not very serious, then you will probably be recommended to follow a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, to get better quality sleep and to also exercise; this is a winning combination for getting the platelet count high. If the situation is serious, then you might have to follow a treatment with corticosteroids or you might even have to undergo surgery to have your spleen removed; the spleen is the organ that destroys the platelets in your blood and in case it does this without control, it is better to have it removed. Whatever it is, follow the doctor’s recommendation and you will feel better.