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What food is advised to increase the blood platelet count?

Thursday, 12 November 2009
Answered by: Dr Shirish Kumar
Haematologist, WHO, Geneva

Q. I am a 18 years old girl suffering from low blood platelet count. What food is advised to increase the blood count? Is there any medicine for treating this disorder?

A.  A low platelet count can be due to variety of causes ranging from conditions affecting platelet production, increased utilisation of platelets and sequestration in spleen or adverse drug reactions. The commonest cause is a condition called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) in which the underlying cause is speculative. It is a diagnosis of exclusion when all other causes have been ruled out.

The treatment of this condition is based on the underlying cause and severity of thrombocytopenia. Platelet transfusion is only given in case of active bleeding and not prophylactically. If an underlying cause is found, its treatment will resolve the problem. In case of ITP, treatment includes the use of corticosteroids, intravenous Rho immunoglobulin, intravenous immunoglobulin and rituximab.

There is no dietary factor that can affect platelet count. Please consult a haematologist who can examine the patient and investigate her appropriately, prior to starting therapy.

A.  A low platelet count can be due to variety of causes ranging from conditions affecting platelet production, increased utilisation of platelets and sequestration in spleen or adverse drug reactions. The commonest cause is a condition called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) in which the underlying cause is speculative. It is a diagnosis of exclusion when all other causes have been ruled out.

The treatment of this condition is based on the underlying cause and severity of thrombocytopenia. Platelet transfusion is only given in case of active bleeding and not prophylactically. If an underlying cause is found, its treatment will resolve the problem. In case of ITP, treatment includes the use of corticosteroids, intravenous Rho immunoglobulin, intravenous immunoglobulin and rituximab.

There is no dietary factor that can affect platelet count. Please consult a haematologist who can examine the patient and investigate her appropriately, prior to starting therapy.

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