Thrombocytopenia could lead to an increased risk of bleeding owing to absence of sufficient clotting agents. This could even lead to brain haemorrhage, which could turn serious and even fatal, in some cases. Other symptoms of a reduced platelet count could include bleeding from nose and /or gums, frequent and unexpected bruises, presence of blood in urine or during bowel movements, heavy menstrual bleeding, dizziness, vomiting with traces of blood, frequent and severe headaches along with a consistent feeling of weakness etc. This condition might happen to be running in the family, or, on the other hand, might surface owing to one reason or the other. Anything which prevents our body from producing adequate amount of platelets, destroys the platelets or causes our body to lose those precious platelets, could well be the causing factor. One such cause could be chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy and Thrombocytopenia
Chemotherapy is a kind of treatment which involves administration of drugs to cancer patients, in order to deliver curative benefits, relieve the symptoms and also to prolong their life. However, the same might also contribute in causing a gradual damage to our bone marrow, the production house of platelets. Chemotherapy, in fact, has a tendency to destroy any cells that replicate at a faster rate. That is how it prevents the proliferation of cancer cells in the first place, and prevents them from multiplying. Unfortunately, platelets also tend to get slightly affected since their production witnesses a slow down with an ongoing chemotherapy. That is the reason why thrombocytopenia is often referred to as one of the major chemo side effects. Some types of cancers might also cause the platelet count to go down, such as leukaemia or lymphoma. That is why cancer patients are often diagnosed with the problem of thrombocytopenia. Chemotherapy or radiation based treatments only cause the count to go further down in such cases.
Managing Chemo Induced Thrombocytopenia (CIT)
As serious as it may sound, chemotherapy does not do a complete damage to our bone marrow and it is completely safe to carry on this therapy while continuing with the treatment of thrombocytopenia, as long as the problem has been recognized early on. The doctors might recommend reducing the dose of chemotherapy, at least for as long as the platelet count does not normalize. On the other hand, reducing the frequency, that is, increasing the time period between the treatment cycles might also help normalize the count. Although in severe cases, platelet transfusion might also be advised.
Nonetheless, there are a few effective natural, dietary remedies for thrombocytopenia which are indeed worth a mention here.
Papaya leaf extract – Consuming freshly obtained papaya leaf extract is known to be an effective alternative source of treatment for thrombocytopenia.
Beetroot – Even the beetroot juice, for that matter, helps in increasing the platelet count. You could include some beetroot while making a fresh glass of carrot juice, and have one to two glasses of this juice on regular basis.
Aloe vera – Owing largely to its blood purifying properties, the Aloe vera extract helps in preventing the onset of any infection, while also enhancing the platelet count in our body.
Pumpkin – This particular fruit is loaded with vitamin A which helps boost the platelet production in the body. It also contains high levels of iron, which increases body’s ability to create blood cells. Pumpkin seeds are especially effective, and are recommended to be taken frequently in order to recover early.
Other fruits and vegetables – ncluding colourful fruits, especially red ones, and green leafy vegetables significantly help in increasing the platelet levels. These could include tomatoes, watermelon, berries, or basically anything with a high vitamin C and E content, which help give our immune system a boost. Not only their anti-oxidant properties are a great support, the presence of abundant phytonutrients goes a long way in preventing the incessant loss of platelets in our body.
Omega 3 fatty acids – These fatty acids also help increase the platelet count and as well enhances body immunity. These include foods such as fish, tuna, wild salmon, etc.
Vitamin B 12 – Sufficient level of Vitamin B 12 in our body is important to prevent platelets to become scarce, so you may include rich sources of this vitamin, such as beef, eggs and clams, etc.
Uplat tablets from the house of Sanat products ltd, has the specific composition of Carica papaya extract which mainly works as platelet booster along with Tinospora cordifolia extract which provides natural immunomodulatory properties. These tablets are believed to be an effective support in case of low platelet count. It is suggested that other than due to chemotherapy, thrombocytopenia could develop due to many other reasons like dengue, liver cirrhosis / dialysis, hepatitis b, alcoholism, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (itp) and also the malaria / viral infections.
Dr. Sonica Krishan about.me/DrSonicaKrishanAuthor and Speaker Healthy and Joyous Living through Ayurveda, Meditation, Yoga and other Contemplative practices.
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