Low Platelet Count: Know the Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatments
There are circumstances in which a low blood platelet count is not a serious problem. However, the illness has an effect on blood coagulation. If a person’s blood does not clot after a cut, it could bleed very dangerously. This could have disastrous effects in certain circumstances. Platelets, which are blood cells, are involved in clot formation. By clotting, the blood can form plugs in damaged blood arteries to stop the flow of blood. Thrombocytopenia refers to low platelet levels.
What is thrombocytopenia?
Low blood platelet counts are a symptom of the disease thrombocytopenia. Blood cells that assist blood clots are called thrombocytes. When blood vessels are injured, platelets gather together to create plugs that stop bleeding.
The signs and symptoms of thrombocytopenia can be minimal and subtle. Rarely, does a person’s platelet count may fall below a critical threshold, resulting in potentially fatal internal bleeding. It is possible to receive treatment.
Causes for low blood count:
When you have thrombocytopenia, there are close to 150,000 circulating platelets in every microliter in your blood. Your body usually continuously replaces the platelet supply by releasing new platelets present in the bone marrow because each platelet has a short 10-day lifespan.
Rarely is thrombocytopenia inherited; instead, it may be triggered by a variety of illnesses or medications. The amount of circulating platelets may decrease as a result of:
- the spleen trapping platelets
- decreased platelet synthesis
- increased platelet breakdown
- or any combination of these factors.
Platelets are generally formed in the bone marrow. There are a number of essential factors which lower platelet production, such as:
- various cancers, including leukemia
- certain types of anemia
- Viral illnesses like HIV and hepatitis C
- chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- heavy drinking
Some disorders consume and use a lot of platelets faster than they are formed. Some of the disorder or conditions include:
- Immune thrombocytopenia
- Bacteria in blood
- Hemolytic uratic syndrome
Thrombocytopenia signs and symptoms may include:
- Easy or extensive bruising (purpura)
- A rash of pinpoint-sized reddish-purple patches (petechiae) arises as a result of superficial bleeding into the skin, commonly on the lower thighs.
- Prolonged bleeding from cuts
- Bleeding from your gums or nose
- Blood in the pee or feces
- Exceptionally thick menstrual flow
- enlarged spleen
To identify a low platelet count, a doctor may first ask questions and perform a physical check. Inquiries may address symptoms, family history, and medications. The examination will look for bruising and skin rashes.
A platelet count in the lab will confirm the diagnosis by revealing the precise platelet concentration in the blood. The doctor will almost definitely run further blood tests at the same time.
These may include the following:
- a whole blood count (CBC)
- a blood smear examination that includes examining platelets under a microscope
- additional blood tests for coagulation
- Bone marrow examinations
A complete blood count is a standard test that doctors perform (CBC). The word “CBC” refers to a group of tests that examine different types of cells in your blood. The mean platelet volume MPV blood test is one of the assays performed during a CBC.
The traditional size of the platelets is determined by an MPV blood test. It is quite similar to a platelet count test, which determines the number of platelets in your blood. It makes no difference whether you have a high or low MPV.
It must be read in conjunction along with diverse CBC reports. In some circumstances, a doctor reads the findings of your MPV blood test to determine if you need any other tests that must be conducted.
Platelet counts that are somewhat low but do not cause symptoms may not require therapy.
If platelet counts are low enough to cause physical symptoms, a doctor will address the issue right away. There are various probable explanations. Medications may be changed, or an underlying medical condition may be addressed. Immunosuppressive medications such as prednisone, a corticosteroid, may be used to treat ITP.
In extreme instances
According to a credible source, a blood transfusion may be required.If the platelet count does not improve after a year, a surgeon may remove the spleen in a procedure called a splenectomy. Platelet transfusions are available for people who have a particularly severe or emergency case of low platelet count.
If a person has a low platelet count, their blood may not clot properly. This can result in symptoms including blood loss and bruises. A low platelet count can be caused by a variety of factors, including medical disorders and exposure to specific drugs.
Some drugs, toxic chemicals, alcohol, and quinine can all diminish a person’s platelet count.
Slightly low platelet counts without symptoms may not necessitate treatment. However, if symptoms exist, treatment may be required.