Increase Platelet Count Naturally: Foods to Treat Low Platelet Thrombocytopenia

Platelets are small, irregular shaped cell fragments present in the blood. Platelets are also known as Thrombocytes. A normal platelet count in a healthy individual is between 150,000 and 450,000 per μl (microlitre) of blood. Platelets are responsible for the clotting of blood. Maintaining proper platelet count is critical, as low count could lead to excessive bleeding that could prove fatal. On the other hand, excessive platelets could lead to thrombosis, of blood clots in vessels leading to stroke, heart ailments and could block blood vessels in other parts of the body.

A low platelet count is associated with internal bleeding. This situation is far more dangerous than having a low platelet count.

Causes of Decreased or Low Platelet Count

There are several reasons why some people have low platelet count:

  • Medications: Aspirin is known to contribute to the reduction of platelet count. Ibuprofen is also known to lower platelet count, although the effect is not long lasting.
  • Anemia: The effect of anemia is of particular concern to women, especially during their menstrual period, wherein their platelet count are severely low. Anemia demands special attention when it begins to rob the body of iron.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy and other similar medical treatments can also cause a reduction in the platelet count.
  • Dengue: Common in tropical areas in Asia and Africa, dengue is a mosquito-borne disease and can severely dent the level of platelets in the body.
  • Idiopathic (no known cause).
  • Autoimmune: There are auto antibodies within the body which destroy the platelets, thus reducing platelet count.

How to Increase Platelet Count

Here are some ways that will help prevent platelet count from dropping:

  • Take a lot of vitamin C supplements. You can obtain vitamin C from fruits and vegetables. Because vitamin C is water soluble, it can be easily absorbed by the body and will immediately help in restoring the body’s platelet count.
  • Herbal medications are also helpful in restoring platelet count. Pound the herb with pestle and mortar to extract the juice. Although the juice is very bitter and requires a lot of effort downing them, it is worth it. Most people even add sugar to the juice to make it more palatable and easy to drink.
  • However, the most common home remedy is to drink the bitter extract from a papaya leaf. Two leaves without the stalk can yield approximately two tablespoons of the extract.

Question: I have tiny red dots on both feet which are recurring. They have not spread above the feet. Is it because of low platelet count. What treatment or diet to treat low platelet count should I follow?

Answer:

You are suffering from thrombocytopenia or a low platelet count.

Thrombocytopenia Origin

  • A decreased platelet production within the bone marrow
  • An increased peripheral destruction of the platelets

Types of Thrombocytopenia

  • Thrombocytopenia could be acute or chronic.
  • Acute thrombocytopenia predominantly occurs in children.
  • Chronic thrombocytopenia occurs in young adults.

Clinical features

  • Easy bruising
  • Purpura or red spots
  • Epistaxis or nose bleed
  • Menorrhagia or prolonged and profuse menstruation
  • A major hemorrhage occurs rarely.

Investigations

  • A regular blood count must be done
  • Sometimes a bone marrow aspirate is helpful.

Treatment for Low Platelet Count

  • The initial treatment comprises of prednisolone. But you have to be extremely cautious and the treatment ought to be conducted under the supervision of a specialist. With this treatment, patients show a moderate response, requiring no other treatment.
  • In a large number, surgically removing the spleen becomes necessary.
  • A transfusion of platelets to bring back the count to normal.

Diet to Increase Platelet Count:

  • Avoid all refined and processed foods – sugar, saturated fats, and aerated drinks to avoid low platelet count. Include fresh and organic foods. This will help in stimulating the body’s internal mechanism and increase platelet count.
  • Red foods are your key. Tomatoes, plums, watermelons, cherries and berries are loaded with vitamins and minerals and have strong anti-oxidant properties which helps to raise platelet count.

 

50 Comments

  1. R said:

    My sister is now suffering with low platelet count. I have consulted the doctor regarding this but they have advised me some medicines. Is there any way to completely and permanently solve this low platelet count problem.

    September 16, 2009
    Reply
    • BB said:

      Try eliminating gluten completely!

      My son has suffered with extremely low platelet counts and had to take IvIg (Immune Globulin via IV at the hospital) to kick start his platelet production. It was so bad he was treated as often as every 5 days. Eventually, not even that helped. The Cincinnati Children’s Medical Centre got him on Rituxan (or Rituximab) also via IV in the hospital and this would give him an approximate 8 month reprieve, then the treatment would have to be repeated. For Lucas, his T-cells (which are part of your body’s immune system) were AWOL and were attacking his platelets. His spleen was then dismantling these abnormal blood cells.

      We recently had some special allergy testing done and found him to be gluten intolerant even though he does not have Celiac disease. People with Celiac for sure are gluten intolerant and people with ITP may be. We took Lucas off gluten and anything with it hidden in (such as soya sauce) and his platelets rebounded fully and he has not had a hospital treatment of any kind for 8 months. Allergies were also found in dairy, yeast and he has to substantially cut down on sugar.

      February 6, 2010
      Reply
      • Mia said:

        My dad was in remission with ITP but it came back with a vengeance just about a month ago. He is on Prednisone and IVIG treatment, but his platelets stay high for about 4 weeks before they crash again. His Hematologist was pressuring him to take Rituxan, but he refused due to the side effects.

        March 31, 2010
        Reply
        • PUP said:

          The risk associated with low platelet count is far greater, as there are chances of abnormal bleeding from any orifice of the body. Therefore, one has to take lot of precaution to keep the platelet level high. Apart from the regular medicine, your dad can take home remedies to keep the platelet at a higher level.
          Let him take VIT.C, which is available plenty in fruits and vegetables. As it plays a vital role in coagulation of the blood, it increases the platelet count. The common home remedy is the extract of papaya leaf. It has properties to increase the platelet count.

          April 6, 2010
          Reply
    • Anonymous said:

      One of the reasons of low platelet count is deficiency of Folic acid and Vitamin B12. Medicines can help BUT check with your doctor first. Consume food items rich in Vitamin C like Gooseberry, Orange, lemon etc. Recovering platelet count to normal level in adults is a slow process. Take medicines under the consultation of a Hematologist.

      March 6, 2010
      Reply
  2. A said:

    My mother has low platelet count and a dry bone marrow. She was hospitalized with a platelet count of 6000. She was given Prednisone, Immonoglobin and platelets to increase the platelet level. Level went up to 67,000 and overnight dropped down to 30,000. It has been discovered that she has a blockage in the lower part of her heart now. Now they will be giving her some type of drug to repair this. She has been hospitalized for a total of 4 weeks. Does anyone have anything different that was tried on them and worked that we have not tried yet? She loves coffee and I am concerned about it because of the artificial sweetener. She gave the sweetener up and started using sugar. An article read here said sugar is not good for low platelets. What could she try instead and what types of foods could she eat?

    February 12, 2010
    Reply
    • Salina said:

      Managing low platelet count

      A low platelet count develops due to:
      – A failure of platelet production within the body, or,
      – An increased rate of removal from blood.

      Dietary prescriptions
      – It is very vital that she avoids all those foods that act as irritants to the system and that are likely to cause an inflammation. Sugar is not good for her. Sugar, refined or denatured grains, saturated fats, junk food, and processed foods need to be avoided totally. These foods will aggravate and further lower the platelet count.
      – Incorporate lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet.
      – A wonder nutrient to boost platelet count is Omega-3 fatty acid. Ensure that her diet has plenty of foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Excellent sources are: almonds, walnuts, salmon, cod liver oil, and flax seeds.
      – Another marvelous food is tomato. Tomatoes are loaded with anti-oxidants. They prevent inflammatory processes within the body, and perk up the immune mechanisms tremendously. It is loaded with Lycopene and Vitamin C. Ascertain that she consumes at least 2 servings daily.

      February 22, 2010
      Reply
  3. alisa said:

    She has terrible cravings for sweets and never has cared for them before. Her platelets have dropped again and I feel that is due to the amount of sweets that she has consumed over a weeks time.

    February 22, 2010
    Reply
  4. BDM said:

    My relative, aged 58, diagnosed as Hypocellular myelodyspastic syndrome revealed after bone marrow examination. She has general weakness, body ache and dyspnoea since one month along with H/O fever intermittently, burning sensation while passing urine and stool. No past history of major illness, vomiting, bleeding, headache or cough.
    Recent platelet count was 19,000/cu mm and Hb 7.8gm. I need a special diet and precautions that need to taken to recover from this condition.

    February 25, 2010
    Reply
  5. C. G said:

    My mother had a platelet count of 70000. She was on Prednisone and her count went up to an acceptable range of 191,000. The MD/hematologist weened her off the Prednisone. Now her count is down to 17,000. I am very worried about her. He restarted her on the Prednisone and wanted her to have a bone marrow transplant, which she refused at this time. She is going to have the Rituxon infusion tomorrow. She does not eat properly. My husband and I bought her some green leafy vegetables and other meats and fruit. We also bought her orange juice. She still eats late at night, one meal a day and she has lost a lot of weight. She also has had a lot of stress and aggravation this past year which also can compromise the immune system. I would like to know how the Rituxon works. I know it has a lot of side effects but we did not tell my mother for fear she would not have the treatment. I know the Doctor is worried, but to his credit he does not show it in front of my mother. Are there any other treatments. I saw orange juice in one of the letters and also wonder if the green leafy vegetables are good for her since they have Vitamin K to help with the clotting.

    April 6, 2010
    Reply
  6. A said:

    My wife is 58 and is suffering from Diverticulai of large intestines. It was diagnosed few years earlier after colonoscopy. She gets infection of these pouches of the intestines and she has to take Cipraflox with Tinadezole for 8 days as a course. Yesterday I got her platelet count done and it was only 78000.

    April 8, 2010
    Reply
    • A said:

      Take plenty of fiber diet as that is beneficial for Diverticular disease and for low platelet count. Wheat grass can help increase the count in a couple of days.

      May 6, 2010
      Reply
  7. chad said:

    I have acute lymphocytic leukemia. I am fighting it for 2 and a half years now. I had Chemotherapy radiation and 2 bone marrow transplants. Just relapsed and am searching for info on treating this. My white counts are up to 80 thousand and platelets down in the 30 thousands. Doctors are pretty much giving up on me, but I won’t give up!

    April 19, 2010
    Reply
  8. Tony said:

    If you’re on blood pressure medicines or drugs of any kind, check to see if they lower platelet counts. Diovan does, big time. Also, the flu shot has a .02% of clinical trials research associated with lowering platelet counts and causing havoc on your immune system. (The flu shot will stay in your system for a year, maybe longer). Drink Green Tea, it seems to flush out the system daily. Eat more foods with potassium, Vitamin C, B12, and Folic Acid, Wheat grass.

    May 18, 2010
    Reply
  9. low platelets | thrombocytopenia said:

    Low platelets is an immune problem. Antibodies destroy platelets. This is called an autoimmune reaction. But oxygen molecules known as “free radicals” also destroy platelets massively. You have to be careful in the use of certain antioxidants. Some of them can lower your platelets even more, while others increase them.

    There are many factors that can cause platelets to decrease, but these are the main reasons. Other reasons could be the presence of diseases such as leukemia and chronic liver disease.

    June 2, 2010
    Reply
  10. S P said:

    I had a urine infection followed with fever and shivering. I visited a Doctor and he advised me to get my blood test done. My blood test report shows that platelet count is 55,000.

    July 27, 2010
    Reply
  11. C H said:

    My husband has multiple Myeloma and is on Revlimid, which decreases platelet count. His platelets were 118,000 earlier. They went down to 98,000 and he got shingles after the local GP gave him the flu shot. He has never had the flu in 25 years. Where in Perth, Western Australia, can I get papaya leaves?

    August 15, 2010
    Reply
  12. SG said:

    My daughter is 14 years old. She is suffering from ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia) and her platelets keep on fluctuating even after taking prednisone. The side effect of this medicine is so severe that she has put on a lot of weight and has a swollen face now. Her current platelet count is 57,000 (with prednisone on 20mg). But we did not find any positive result with this treatment. So would you please advice any other safe treatment without any side effects rather than having steroids.
    We would be very grateful to you if you advice any safe treatment. If you need all her blood records, her bone marrow report, her history of medical treatment, I can send to you through e-mail.

    September 8, 2010
    Reply
    • NM said:

      Some body had suggested to my cousin to have the juice extract of the cauliflower stem.
      It is supposedly helpful to increase the platelet counts. 2 spoonfuls a day.
      Hope this can be of some help.
      Of what I have also read up on the internet, Vitamin C rich foods and a gluten-free diet as also chewing flax seeds should help increase platelet count.

      September 29, 2010
      Reply
    • C D said:

      Hi, I just found out I also have ITP. I’m 30 and 14 weeks pregnant. My dr. has me on 60mg of prednisone for 20 days. I’m frightened about all the side effects. My last platelet count was at 9,000. I was wondering if you found a better treatment for this. I really don’t want to continue taking the steroids after the 20 days. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

      November 30, 2010
      Reply
    • MC said:

      Hi my 1 year old daughter had low platelet count and her first blood test was 51, 83 then 60, a friend of mine told me to try the products Of 4Life transfer factor food supplements, it is quite expensive but I don’t want her to undergo bone marrow aspiration and those high dose of steroids, after 1 week of taking the 4Life transfer factor capsules, her platelet count gone up to 200 and tomorrow I will had her blood tested again and I hope that it is normal, you may also try the products search if it available in your country, we are Filipinos from the Philippines, hope it will help you, too

      February 10, 2011
      Reply
  13. J R said:

    My Father was suffering from fever for 3 days. The fever went up to 102/103 degrees and gradually it came down to 99 within three days. During the blood test it is found that his platelet count has come down to 1.32 lakhs. During next three days the platelet counts has been fluctuating from 1.06 to 1.22. Tests shows he is negative for Typhoid, Dengue and Malaria. He seems to be OK and getting active also. But platelet count is not improving. What could be the cause?

    October 4, 2010
    Reply
  14. HS said:

    My Father is 47. He had fever for last three days. He is a caterer and a tough job. It requires a lots of stamina and good health. But I think overwork and stress/tension has caused him not only fever ( which goes up and down ) but also a lower platelet count of 70,000. He is not taking much steroids and he is on natural diet of Vitamin C and some berries. Doctor told me that platelet level will get up normally and I do not need to worry. He is also taking papaya leaf juice 1 spoon twice and some other herbal juice. Any other suggestion. Should he give up wheat based diet?

    October 13, 2010
    Reply
  15. s said:

    My mother is suffering from Typhoid and Dengue and her Platelets are reducing everyday.
    She is hospitalized and blood has been given to get the platelets from the blood.
    Even after the transfusion, platelet count is 40,000. Does this mean she is critically ill?

    October 13, 2010
    Reply
  16. k said:

    I am suffering from a low platelet count for past 1 week with fever. Initially the count was 54k on 1st test, then it came out to about 76k and now on 3rd test the count increased to 77k only. Is this something serious I should treat immediately. Does this have anything to do with Low white blood cell count?

    October 13, 2010
    Reply
  17. AB said:

    My friend is suffering from some kind of viral from last 6 days. Doctor says its not dengue but some different kind of viral. Fever has come down from 104F to 100F, but the main concern are the platelets that have reduced to 52k as of today. He is taking papaya leaf juice and giloi juice, but still platelets have not increased. Can anyone suggest some different remedy to increase platelet count.

    October 15, 2010
    Reply
  18. RM said:

    I was on the medicine for typhoid for five days then I discontinued due to uneasiness I felt after taking the medicine. Recently during some blood test my platelets counts is 440. Is it Ok? Is there anything alarming? On the onset of typhoid 4-11-10, it was 1.80, on 11-11-10 it was 2.21 and on 12-11-10 it is 440. Kindly clarify. God bless you.

    November 13, 2010
    Reply
  19. G A said:

    My husband has 58 platelet counts and he is suffering from dengue he is admitted in the hospital I want to ask that what kind of food I should give him like in meal? I am giving juices and fruits but what proper meal I can give him in the form of meal?

    November 20, 2010
    Reply
  20. I K said:

    Is ITP a curable disease? I am taking prednisolone for the last four months. When I use it, my platelet count increases. But if I decrease the dosage from 60 m.g. to 50 m.g. or 55 m.g., my platelet count decreases. Should I see any specialist?

    December 3, 2010
    Reply
  21. C H said:

    About a year ago my mom was searching for information on things I could eat to bring up my platelet count because I was missing chemo because they were too low. She found info on papaya leaf extract and my grandfather ordered some from Mountain Meadow Herbs (which is much cheap on amazon.com than on their website). I was very skeptical, but tried it anyway. Putting about 1 tablespoon in my sweet tea every day after chemo.

    Usually I would drop to 10,000 – 30,000 platelets per mcL at the end of the chemo week and a week later my body on it’s own or with a transfusion would bring them up to about 60,000 per mcL. After the papaya extract, it would bring them to about 100,000 – 160,000 per mcL. I did find if you’re on a chemo that attacks platelets very badly, don’t take it the week after chemo. It will go even lower sometimes. Take it after your counts have dropped to about as much as they are going to. I don’t know about fresh papaya, we were only able to get hold of pre-made extract. But it seems to work as well as the reports I’ve heard about the fresh leaf extract.

    December 7, 2010
    Reply
  22. S N said:

    My sister is suffering from thrombocytopenia. It was confirmed that she has low hemoglobin with a volume of 2gms and 2000 cells of platelets. Doctors suggested inducing blood and special donor platelets. The platelet levels remained the same after a week. My sister is not able to stand or walk. Doctors are confused about this being the case of thrombocytopenia or nutritional anemia.

    December 16, 2010
    Reply
  23. A M said:

    I have ITP since 2007, my platelet count still can’t maintain, Last time my platelet count is 1k only, and now I’m suffered with SLE, so, what should I do? How to recover again my platelet? Should I get other supplement?

    December 21, 2010
    Reply
  24. M K said:

    I am suffering from ITP since 2007, and its gone year 2009, but its came back year 2010, I am taking prednisone (medrol) 16mg again, but I think it isn’t working, I am having a bruises, red dots and bleeding gums also menstrual flow for 2 weeks now, I am looking forward to try all your advice, I did not go to the doctor since 2007, I don’t want to hear anything that make me down.

    December 28, 2010
    Reply
  25. R W said:

    Hi every body ,

    I am admitted in hospital because my blood platelet counts decreasing day by day

    05/1/2011 = 10900

    6/1/2011 = 81000

    7/1/2011 = 68000 not 6800

    Now waiting for another report to come

    They said first that I am suffering from malaria and now they say I am dengue positive. Please help me to know that what food will increase my platelet counts. Your help will be highly appreciated

    January 8, 2011
    Reply
  26. K T said:

    my brothers is suffering from low platelets, some of the red rashes have raised on the body and slightly in log duration, nose bleeding is also there, now he is inside hospital, can you tell what is the diet pattern for my bother.

    January 25, 2011
    Reply
  27. S R said:

    My son is having clotting problem his age is 3 years, very often we used to do platelet transfusion, can you suggest me how to increase is platelet level with food to avoid transfusion he is very naughty, can you please some advise it will appreciated.

    February 1, 2011
    Reply
  28. SAM said:

    I am suffering from low platelet count. My platelet count is 100000. I do not have any symptoms and disease. Then what is the reason and what should I do to increase my platelets?

    June 3, 2012
    Reply
  29. DV said:

    My mother just turned 80 and was recently diagnosed with Aplastic anemia. The hematologist recommended ATG/Cyclosporine, but we are holding off for a couple of months to see if we can treat it naturally. Any good herbs or foods that is useful? Any other advice would be appreciated as well.

    June 5, 2012
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      Green leafy vegetables, beet root, grains, Indian gooseberry, fruits, nuts and dried fruits are good as they contain vitamins and iron. Avoid eating egg, meat, etc. Also avoid tea, coffee and other beverages. If you want to try herbal remedies for your mother, you have to consult a naturopath in your vicinity. A constant observation of the patient is necessary even if she is taking herbal remedies.

      June 6, 2012
      Reply
  30. SS said:

    My friend had sudden bleeding for 10 days after her menstruation; she was taken to hospital for treatment. The doctor told her that bleeding occurred because of low blood platelets. After she was given blood transfusion her bleeding stopped and her platelets also started increasing. Her bone marrow and blood was tested but nothing was found, now she is alright but I would like to know whether her platelets recovery is permanent or will it decrease again.

    June 25, 2012
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      You have to know the reason behind her low platelet count. Many diseases are known to cause low platelet. In some disease, the platelets become normal while in some disease they often reduce in number. So ask her physician about her disease.

      June 25, 2012
      Reply

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