Low Blood Platelets: Conditions and Substances
Low blood platelets can lead to some serious health problem. Learn more about the conditions that cause low blood platelet count as well as the substances associated with the decrease of blood platelet count.
A healthy person's bone marrow is capable of producing fresh blood cells. Since blood platelets last only an average of about 10 days, the number of blood platelets present in the blood must be maintained. It is when the number of platelets in the blood drops that it becomes a problem. Find out about the conditions and substances that cause a low blood platelet count:
Low Blood Platelets: Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy
Certain conditions such as cancers (leukemia and those that spread to affect the bone marrow) can already lead to low blood platelets. However, cancer in general is a condition that is treated using chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
These treatments can harm the bone marrow, albeit temporarily. Although they can worsen the condition of the patient, the low blood platelet count may be monitored to check if they fall too low. If they do, blood transfusions may be required so the number of blood platelets can go back to a normal level.
Other Medical Conditions Causing Low Blood Platelets
There are certain medical conditions that cause low blood platelets. These conditions include HIV, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune diseases.
Some conditions, such as those that result from viral and bacterial infections, can also cause low blood platelets.
Pregnancy and Low Blood Platelet Count
Pregnancy is a condition that has been known to cause a mild case of low blood platelets. During pregnancy, there are numerous changes that occur in the body as a result. Low blood platelets happen because of this condition primarily because the body consumes more blood platelets. This condition, however, is temporary.
The body can also react to pregnancy disasters by activating its blood clotting mechanism. This condition can also lead to the destruction of blood platelets, leading to a low blood platelet count.
Anemia and Low Blood Platelet Count
Another condition that causes low blood platelets is anemia. In this case, it leads to a low count of red blood cells. This condition then leads to fatigue and difficulty in breathing.
Drugs and Other Substances
Medicated substances are some of the most common causes of low blood platelets. Substances such as pregabalin, for example, a drug used for the treatment of neuropathic pain to prevent convulsions. One of the known adverse effects of this substance is thrombocytopenia, characterized by a lower-than-usual blood platelet count.
Other substances that cause low blood platelets include anti-malarial, some anti-viral and antibiotic drugs.
Reishi mushrooms and Low Blood Platelets
Another cause of low blood platelets is the substance from reishi mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, the substance is a highly sought-after medication against conditions such as asthma and ailments such as insomnia, fatigue and cough.
Although quite beneficial, the substance in reishi mushrooms appears to have an anticoagulant effect, which leads to the thinning of the blood. It does help treat conditions such a coronary heart diseases but it can still cause low blood platelets.