What does a low blood platelet count ...

What does a low blood platelet count mean?

There are 905 comments on the News Sun story from May 7, 2007, titled What does a low blood platelet count mean?. In it, News Sun reports that:

“My family physician did a blood test.”

"I was told that my blood platelets are low," my 25-year-old Hispanic female patient informed me three years ago. via News Sun

Join the discussion below, or Read more at News Sun.

Christine

Kansas City, MO

#226 Jul 20, 2009
Hi Atta-ul Bari:

First things first, don't worry. Having a platelet count that is 130,000 is not that low. A normal platelet count is 150,000 or higher. Having low platelets doesn't automatically mean that you have cancer. There are a number of reasons that your platelet count is slightly below normal, like your body is fighting of an infection, a certain medication is lowering your count, etc. Be sure that you have your platelets checked once a month to monitor the count. If the platelets get too low, your doctor can prescribe prednisone, which is a steroid treatment that will help boost your platelet count, and may be the cheapest since you stated that you needed something low-cost. If your body does not respond well to the steroid treatment, there are infusions such as intravenous immunoglobulin and anti-Rho (D). If you’re platelet count does not stabilize and consistently drops, there is another intravenous treatment called Rituxan. If all else fails, there is always a splenectomy (removal of the spleen). I hope this information helps give you an idea on where to start.

Wishing you well,

Christine
Atta-ul Bari wrote:
I have 130000 plate lets what i will do to gain more platelets i m realy very worried pleas sugest me what i will do, by which i can be normal. And please tell is this any type of cancer, if yes. Then tell me has it any treatment which should low costly because i am not rich.
Christine

Kansas City, MO

#227 Jul 20, 2009
Hi Sandy:

Rheumatoid arthritis and low platelets have been linked. This doesn’t mean that your father has leukemia, but to be sure, you may suggest to his doctor a bone marrow biopsy to be done if there is great concern.

I have copied a link for you to follow so that you can read the information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiopathic_throm... .
sandy wrote:
my dad has less platelet count.Is it necessarily going to be leading 2 leukemia?He is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.Does it hav something to do with his platelets?
Stay well,

Christine
Melanie

Salina, KS

#229 Jul 22, 2009
My mother by chance was diagnosed with ITP, and her blood platelets were at 3300. Her care was transferred to an oncologist who did a bone marrow extraction, and then put her on steroids. This spiked her blood sugars (her being diabetic) up to a dangerous 385. The oncologist said not to worry about the sugar levels while on the steroids (but I still did). My mom doesnt like to keep up on her health, but I made her go to her GP today. Her blood platelet level was 1100...the GP made contact with the oncologist, but my mom coudn't get out of there fast enough. We live 2 hours away from the doctors, does ANYBODY have any helpful suggestions for me? I'm so terribly worried about my mom, but she just won't co-operate with me.
Christine

Kansas City, MO

#230 Jul 23, 2009
Hi Melanie:
Here is some information I hope you find helpful.
Stay well,
Christine
The commonest group of medications that may cause a big increase in your blood glucose levels are steroids.
Steroids are generally prescribed to dampen down inflammation. They are an extremely useful group of drugs and they are very effective in what they do. For some situations steroid medication is exactly what you may require. They are often used for people with arthritic conditions, for people with asthma or chest problems and for people with tissue swelling that's causing major problems for them.
Unfortunately, these very useful drugs will also make your blood glucose levels go high. In fact, many people first find out they have diabetes when they have been started on steroids for another reason and their blood glucose levels suddenly become high.
Why do steroids put my blood glucose up?
The way steroids put your blood glucose up is exactly the way stress hormones do. In fact one of the natural stress hormones we all produce is called 'glucocorticosteroid'. This hormone is a steroid.
Steroids cause your blood glucose to go high because they do two things:
They block the action of your insulin where it moves glucose out of your blood stream and into your body cells
They cause your liver to start manufacturing extra glucose to release into your blood. Both these actions cause your blood glucose to rise
Because you are unable to release extra insulin to start moving this extra glucose into your cells and muscles, your blood glucose goes high.
What should I do if I am prescribed steroids?
Firstly, tell the doctor who is prescribing the steroids that you have diabetes and are taking insulin. He or she may decide to try another group of drugs. Or, if they feel you really need the steroids, they will want to make a plan with you as to how to manage your blood glucose levels while you are taking the steroids.
When you start on steroids you should immediately start testing your blood glucose levels frequently (if you are not already doing so). Four or more times a day is ideal. That way you can see what is happening straight away. Visit the glucose meters & diabetes management section of this web site for more information.
It will almost certainly be necessary for you to increase your dose of insulin while you are on the steroids. Some health care professionals recommend that you make an increase to your morning insulin on the day you start the steroids. Others like you to wait until you see what your blood glucose levels are doing once you've started on the steroids.
Work with your diabetes nurse educator or your diabetes specialist to work out how to increase your insulin at this time.
Steroid medication is not usually given long term. You usually go on it for a course until the problem that the steroids are treating has settled down. Unless you are on a very low dose of steroids they won't be stopped straight away. The best way to stop steroid medication is to slowly reduce it over time.
If you have had to increase your insulin during the time you are on steroids you will almost certainly find that you will need to reduce it again as you come off the steroids. Once again, your blood glucose levels will tell you if this needs to happen. They will start to drop as the steroids are tailed off. Work closely with your diabetes nurse educator and/or doctor to get help to reduce your insulin during this time.
Dahara

United States

#231 Jul 27, 2009
My platelet level was seriously low about 12-13 years ago. Doc put me on hormone treatment, I think it was a small amount every day for week. My bruises went away but they came back a few weeks later. I went to different doctor and he gave same Mesa but higher amounts at different intervals. Platelets returned to normal and I haven't had that problem since. I thin it had something to do with the ecstacy I was taking prior to the problem. Needless to say, I cleaned up.

Look for relation between seratonin. Don't hesitate to get a second opinion or be too skeptical of meds. Good luck!
Cherry from New York City

Las Vegas, NV

#232 Jul 27, 2009
My dad was just sent to the hospital because his platlet count was 33. A few transfusions later and now its up to 71. The doctor said that they want to give him a bone marrow test, does this hurt and what are the side effects from this? Also, is there another way to increase these platlets with out this test?
And can this be cured by vitamins or other treatments? He is 86 years old.
Christine

Kansas City, MO

#233 Jul 28, 2009
Hi Cherry:

I too had a bone marrow biopsy 2 months ago. It is a little painful but they should be able to give him something that will help alleviate the pain on the site. I think the most uncomfortable part of the biopsy was the shots they gave me right above the area they were going to do the aspiration. There is some soreness and some bruising afterwards, but all in all, he should be okay. As for raising platelets with vitamins, nothing has really ever been proven or shown to be true. I do take vitamins though to help combat the fatigue from having low platelets. I also take an extra vitamin B-Complex supplement for energy. But he would need to consult his physician before starting any type of vitamin regimen. Depending on his diagnosis, such as ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura), ITP is not curable, but can go into remission and stay in remission for however long. Remission meaning having your platelets be a normal count or close to normal for a certain period of time. Best of Luck!

Stay Well,

Christine
Cherry from New York City wrote:
My dad was just sent to the hospital because his platlet count was 33. A few transfusions later and now its up to 71. The doctor said that they want to give him a bone marrow test, does this hurt and what are the side effects from this? Also, is there another way to increase these platlets with out this test?
And can this be cured by vitamins or other treatments? He is 86 years old.
Marc

Phoenix, AZ

#234 Jul 28, 2009
If a person takes 325 mg of aspirin a day (for cardio reasons) can that effect your platelet count when you have a blood test? My blood is very thin when I take aspirin. My platelet count was 65,000 and I have been taking a full strength aspirin for the past 5 years now. Also, can there be errors?
Liz

United States

#235 Jul 28, 2009
Today I found out that my baby cousin who is only 5 years old has low blood platelets. I didn't know what the was at first and after a bit of research I understand it a little bit more. Some say it's not that bad and some say it is. When blood cancer and leukemia is mention I am completely freaking out. I love my little cousin and want him to be all better. He's on 5 and have not live his life yet!! What can be done? What can he do or eat to make it better? Please help.
DAVID

Redwood City, CA

#236 Jul 30, 2009
my mother was just diagnosed with very low platelets. she was at 240,000 in Dec of 2008. but she is at 4,000 now. they gave her predisone, Solumedrol, gave her platelet transfusions, again, with WinRoh, and not Rituxan. and nothing has brought it up. They just gave her IGG ( an immunoglobulin ) tonight and will test her again tomorrow. Her whit cells are down, and so is her Neutrophiles ( so she in neutropinic,( risk of infection )). The Doctors say her bone marrow is low on the cells that are making the platelets, and her body is either killin the platelets being made or is blocking it. they are scratching their heads. They are going to transfer her to Stanford Hospital's Hemotology department soon. Any suggestion ?
Jimbo

Asheville, NC

#237 Jul 30, 2009
My platelets are 26 to 32. The doc says I can live with this. I am too watch for brusing which indicates my platelets are dropping lower. Periodically I will get a blood test. If the counts starts to trend lower, there is a drug I can take once a month to correct the problem. Prednisone can bust platelets, but long term use of prednison has killing side ffects. Prednison is only good for a short period, two weeks. It can do majic. Platelets below 15 are getting to be a serious health issue. Having a stroke due to bleeding in my brain is my main fear.
Tarrah

United States

#238 Jul 30, 2009
In June I had a bone marrow biopsy, that diagnosed me with ITP. I knew I was going to be laid off at the end of that month, so my doctor tried to speed things up so that I did not lose my insurance while dealing with this. He put me on 60mg of Prednisone, for one week, then dropped to 40mg for one week, then 20mg. My platelet count went up then dropped as the dosaged dropped. So 2 weeks ago, I had my spleen removed. Before surgery my count was between 60-90. When I went back one week after surgery, it was up to 600k!! So he says I am cured. Thank goodness, I was determined to be normal before I turned 30 in 3 weeks.
Just wanted to thank everyone for your posts. This site has been so helpful for me, since I first found out about this problem in February. Good Luck to everyone.
Anthony

Phoenix, AZ

#239 Jul 31, 2009
I have a question about my blood test. It said my platelets were 65,000, the morphology was normal, and my MPV (Mean Platelet Volume) was 12.8 (high). It also said that my platelet estimate was decreased but under the reference range it said Normal next to that.

This is the definition of MPV:

MPV is a count of how large your platelets actually are. The purpose of measuring the size of the platelets is also to determine whether or not there is an issue with the platelet production in the bone marrow. The MPV is an accurate test that can easily help doctors determine what's wrong with your platelets. If your MPV shows up too low, it may be an early indicator of bone marrow cancers like leukemia. Before interpreting blood tests yourself please discuss your results with your physician before jumping to conclusions — as usual, doctor knows best.
By measuring your MPV along with your platelet counts, your doctor will better be able to tell you exactly what's wrong with you if there is anything wrong at all. Furthermore, low platelet counts can accompany a series of diseases which can be life threatening. Accompanying thrombocytopenia (otherwise known as a low platelet count) could cause severe bleeding with something as simple as a little cut. If you are a patient with a low platelet count (or know somebody who is), make sure to take proper precautions against cutting or injury of any kind.
Christine

Kansas City, MO

#240 Aug 3, 2009
Hi Tarrah,

Glad to hear that you are better, not so much cured though. Make sure that you have blood work at least once-twice a year to monitor your platelets. Unfortunately, yes, your count will dramatically increase after having a splenectomy, but once your body has adjusted to the change, you can go into remission and maintain a high platelet count or start to decrease once again. Just be sure that you have your count checked.

Stay Well,

Christine
Tarrah wrote:
In June I had a bone marrow biopsy, that diagnosed me with ITP. I knew I was going to be laid off at the end of that month, so my doctor tried to speed things up so that I did not lose my insurance while dealing with this. He put me on 60mg of Prednisone, for one week, then dropped to 40mg for one week, then 20mg. My platelet count went up then dropped as the dosaged dropped. So 2 weeks ago, I had my spleen removed. Before surgery my count was between 60-90. When I went back one week after surgery, it was up to 600k!! So he says I am cured. Thank goodness, I was determined to be normal before I turned 30 in 3 weeks.
Just wanted to thank everyone for your posts. This site has been so helpful for me, since I first found out about this problem in February. Good Luck to everyone.
Christine

Kansas City, MO

#241 Aug 3, 2009
So what was the question?
Anthony wrote:
I have a question about my blood test. It said my platelets were 65,000, the morphology was normal, and my MPV (Mean Platelet Volume) was 12.8 (high). It also said that my platelet estimate was decreased but under the reference range it said Normal next to that.
This is the definition of MPV:
MPV is a count of how large your platelets actually are. The purpose of measuring the size of the platelets is also to determine whether or not there is an issue with the platelet production in the bone marrow. The MPV is an accurate test that can easily help doctors determine what's wrong with your platelets. If your MPV shows up too low, it may be an early indicator of bone marrow cancers like leukemia. Before interpreting blood tests yourself please discuss your results with your physician before jumping to conclusions — as usual, doctor knows best.
By measuring your MPV along with your platelet counts, your doctor will better be able to tell you exactly what's wrong with you if there is anything wrong at all. Furthermore, low platelet counts can accompany a series of diseases which can be life threatening. Accompanying thrombocytopenia (otherwise known as a low platelet count) could cause severe bleeding with something as simple as a little cut. If you are a patient with a low platelet count (or know somebody who is), make sure to take proper precautions against cutting or injury of any kind.
KSue

High Point, NC

#242 Aug 3, 2009
I'm 36 yrs. old. I forgot to put that in my earlier post.
KSue

High Point, NC

#243 Aug 3, 2009
(I am retyping this post. If a similar one from me shows up later, please excuse me. It seems to have vanished)

(36 Yr. Old Female)
Last Summer I had a routine yearly examine. At this time I had the petechiae rash on my forearms and a little on my legs. Bloodwork results were low platelets of 145,000, red and white count normal. Doc wanted me to retest in 6 weeks. Those results were platelets 175,000, red and white normal. I thought, well that's good they went up. Must have been a fluke. All was fine until this summer and it's time for that yearly check-up again. About 2-3 weeks prior to my appointment which was 7/23, I had the petechiae again just lightly on my forearms. It was gone within 2 days and I already had an appointment scheduled, so I didn't worry too much about it. So at the 7/23 exam they did my bloodwork. Results were platelets 138,000, white & red normal. They wanted to retest to rule out lab error. A week later on 7/30 my blood was taken again. Results were platelets 146,000, white & red normal. I thought it was a good sign they had gone up in just a weeks time. This morning the doctor called and wants me to see a hemotologist on 8/25. Needless to say, I'm scared. Can anyone tell me what to expect and any particular questions I should ask? I've done a bunch of research. I know the bad things this could mean. Since my platelets seem to rebound, I figure that's got to be a good sign, right?. I feel pretty healthy. I have been tired lately though. The only health problem I have is sinus trouble and bad allergies. I do feel I have a sinus infection right now. I had some headaches prior to that first blood draw on 7/23 and had taken Ibuprofen 3 days in a row. I read there was some correlation between low platelets and IB. I have had a 99.5 temp for a little over a week now. This usually happens to me when the sinuses are brewing. Also, I remember having a sinus infection shortly after the low platelet episode last summer. Maybe coincidental. Can sinus infections and/or allergies be enough to lower your platelets? I just don't know. I read some info on Epstein-Barr Virus being a cause. I did have mono as a teenager. Any similar stories? Good or Bad, Please Share with Me. God Bless You All --Karen
CristiW

Crystal Lake, IL

#244 Aug 3, 2009
JoEllen wrote:
My 48 year old son has hepatitis C and cirrosis of the liver. His platelet count just came back at 60. Is this way too low? I am trying to find out information, as he is trying to not make me worry and doesn't tell me anything. He started treatment a year ago but went off of it when he became too ill to work. Thank you for any help I can get. My son and my brother both died last April from cancer (kidney and bone) and I am trying to keep up with my oldest son's condition ..
God Bless You
Chrisitne

Kansas City, MO

#245 Aug 4, 2009
Hi Karen:

Well it seems that your doctor is checking your platelets right around the time that you’re taking medications. Ibuprofen does affect your platelet count and fighting off infections also affects your platelet count. But hopefully your doctor has told you this already. A normal platelet count is 152,000 so you don’t seem to be too far off from that, that’s great. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. When your count starts to dramatically drop and stay lowered consistently, then you may need to go see a hematologist. It does sound very likely that it could be coincidental. Just be sure to have your platelets checked once a month. By-the-way, I too had mono about 3 years ago, but unfortunately, my platelets are not as high as yours. I am constantly fighting nose bleeds, in and out of the hospital to get my platelets up because they’ve reached 3,000. Now that is something to worry about. I would read pasts posts, and then you will feel a little better about your situation. You seem to be doing better than the rest of us.

Good Luck and Stay Well,

Christine
KSue wrote:
(I am retyping this post. If a similar one from me shows up later, please excuse me. It seems to have vanished)
(36 Yr. Old Female)
Last Summer I had a routine yearly examine. At this time I had the petechiae rash on my forearms and a little on my legs. Bloodwork results were low platelets of 145,000, red and white count normal. Doc wanted me to retest in 6 weeks. Those results were platelets 175,000, red and white normal. I thought, well that's good they went up. Must have been a fluke. All was fine until this summer and it's time for that yearly check-up again. About 2-3 weeks prior to my appointment which was 7/23, I had the petechiae again just lightly on my forearms. It was gone within 2 days and I already had an appointment scheduled, so I didn't worry too much about it. So at the 7/23 exam they did my bloodwork. Results were platelets 138,000, white & red normal. They wanted to retest to rule out lab error. A week later on 7/30 my blood was taken again. Results were platelets 146,000, white & red normal. I thought it was a good sign they had gone up in just a weeks time. This morning the doctor called and wants me to see a hemotologist on 8/25. Needless to say, I'm scared. Can anyone tell me what to expect and any particular questions I should ask? I've done a bunch of research. I know the bad things this could mean. Since my platelets seem to rebound, I figure that's got to be a good sign, right?. I feel pretty healthy. I have been tired lately though. The only health problem I have is sinus trouble and bad allergies. I do feel I have a sinus infection right now. I had some headaches prior to that first blood draw on 7/23 and had taken Ibuprofen 3 days in a row. I read there was some correlation between low platelets and IB. I have had a 99.5 temp for a little over a week now. This usually happens to me when the sinuses are brewing. Also, I remember having a sinus infection shortly after the low platelet episode last summer. Maybe coincidental. Can sinus infections and/or allergies be enough to lower your platelets? I just don't know. I read some info on Epstein-Barr Virus being a cause. I did have mono as a teenager. Any similar stories? Good or Bad, Please Share with Me. God Bless You All --Karen
misty birmingham

United States

#246 Aug 5, 2009
my 10 yr old son was diagnost with herpes gingavastotsis short term cold sores but he has never had a cold sore or mouth sore for of any kind.the doctor said it is a bad case becouse this is his first time exposed to the virus and they want do nothing for him it has to run its course she said give motrin and magic mouth wash which is not helping his pain and has had a temp for6 days.well yesterday they took blood and said his platlets are low and she wants to retest friday.should i be worried are is it becouse of the virus

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