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Thread: Help with low platelets

  1. #1
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    Help with low platelets

    Two weeks ago my platelets dropped to 14,000 also at the same time I had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic and swelled up and landed in the hospital. They gave me benedril for the swelling and platelets for my low count. They were up to 44,000 when I left the hospital. Today they are back down to 29,000. I don't know much about this problem. Docs are still trying to figure out why I keep losing platelets. Will I pass out during the night if they drop too low or will I know they have dropped? I didn't know last time they were low and only went to the hospital because of the reaction to the antibiotic.Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Healthcare Professional
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    Keith A. Samolyk CCP, LCP
    Global Blood Resources LLC
    P.O. Box 383 Somers CT. 06071
    Tel (800) - 942 - 9243
    Fax (860) - 285 - 0289
    www.mybloodfirst.com

  4. #3
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    Thanks for the info. I will check out those sites.

  5. #4
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    Low Platelets

    Hi Joanne,
    I'm going to be candid and straight forward in my comment. You may have a combination of events and/or interactions occurring to have caused your problem. Your platelet count could be low due to either decreased production, decreased survival, immune system dysfunction, viral or bacterial infection, liver dysfunction, spleen dysfunction, cancer, vitamin deficiency, antibody reaction to the transfused platelets you received, medications, renal dysfunction or genetic predisposition. A Hematologist should be able to identify the source of your low platelet count and give you recommendations on how to increase the number of these cells in your body. Start by writing down your history in travel, diet, health problems, illnesses, medications, family history, environment and even past relationships. Seek out a Hematologist for further blood study and analysis. If you are not having significant bleeding problems such as easy bruising, bleeding gums, heavy menstrual cycle or gastro-intestinal bleeding then you should not have immediate concern. Injury from trauma would only present a real risk of significant blood loss. Platelet counts as low as 10,000 have been recorded without incidence of injury. Don't wait though. Everyone is different in how their body handles this low number. You need to know if you are getting better or worse and what can be done to gain more knowledge and improve your situation.
    Mark Lucas

  6. #5
    There are numerous reasons for it. You may need to get to a specialist outside your area. We have five hospitals in the city I live in and when one of our friends ended up with a similar problem we sent them to a hospital over an hour and 1/2 away.

    Next, if the docs are following evidence based medicine, then you might be able to suggest something to them.

    Sometimes the mechanism can be caused by a cascade of complications that may seem unrelated. Just taking it to the absurd, suppose you had high levels of mercury in your body however your body dealt quite well with it. Then you got the antibiotic and it had a minor reaction to the mercury and that triggered another reaction which led to your current problem. This is all fictitious but is for the sake of illustrating.

    One of the way to reverse the problem is to help restore the body to its health. This means eliminating what ever the offending agent might be.

    But wait, we don't know what that is. There is a broad spectrum way of dealing with both the oxadative stress that could be perpetuating the problem and other offenders. There are two kinds of oxidants, nitrogen species and oxygen species. There could also at the same time be a need to detoxify and or remove any toxic metals and chemicals.

    The drug that most doctors use for this is called N-Actyl Cysteine. There is also a bovine whey protein isolate that is used. Both are found in the Physicians Desk Reference.

    There are numerous studies that show that using cysteine can help you with this challenge. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18357785?


    There are studies that look at both products.

    However to present this to the doctors, suggest it using the word, "novel approach."

    PM me if I can be of more help.

    There is a side effect. You will have more energy and better health. Otherwise, there are very few short term side effects and no long term side effects for either.

    I believe the PDR listed headache (usually when there is mercury poisoning) and diarrhea when there is lactose intolerance. In both cases, you will be instructed to start off on a smaller dose.

    You should not take if you are recipient of an organ transplant.

    http://www.glutathionediseasecure.com will help you learn more.

  7. #6
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    Thanks for your advise. I probably should have put a little history with my post but all I really wanted to know was if my platelets dropped really low and I was home alone would I pass out whilst I was sleeping or what exactly happens when they drop below 10. I do appreciate all the information tho. I have had a kidney removed due to kidney cancer in 2007 and then a spot in my bladder removed due to cancer in 2008. Went thru chemo for 6 months and now a PET scan has shown activity in my lymphnodes where my kidney was. The docs aren't sure if it is cancer, cancer from my kidney or maybe lymphoma. Each would have a different chemo treatment. The nodes are in the very back and very hard to get to for a biopsy. Two CTs three months apart and they have not changed much. Docs have opted to wait till April to do another CT to see if any change and if so I will have to go thru a major operation just to get a biopsy. SO my platelets dropping could be from that, from chemo, from my body just not making them. Had a bone marrow test and no cancer was detected. Had a bone scan done just yesterday and will know results of that Monday. Again, thanks for your advise and information but I still don't know what will happen to me if platelets drop too low other than bleeding!

  8. #7
    When a blood vessel is injured, platelets travel to the area to help plug the injury. Clotting factors and fibrin also work along with the platelets to strengthen the clot that has formed. When platelet counts are too low, the patient will experience bleeding. This can be in the form of bruising more easily, bleeding from the gums, cuts bleeding longer then normal, etc. You won't experience the same type of symptoms that someone with anemia (low red blood cell count) would experience, unless you loss a significant amount of blood. Many times patients with low platelet counts are totally unaware that there is even a problem. How low a person's platelet count can go before it becomes an issue depends on what is happening with that individual. Example: A platelet transfusion may be recommended if the count drops below 20,000 in someone who is experiencing signs of bleeding from the gums. But, if the patient is going for an invasive procedure, (like having a biospy) or is actively bleeding, a transfusion may be recommended with a count of 50,000.

  9. #8
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    Thank you Leslie! That was the information I was looking for! The others were very informative and I have learned alot about platelets but I was just worried what would happen to me, if I would be able to tell if they are dropping or if I would pass out or just what. Thanks again!

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by joanne312 View Post
    Two weeks ago my platelets dropped to 14,000 also at the same time I had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic and swelled up and landed in the hospital. They gave me benedril for the swelling and platelets for my low count. They were up to 44,000 when I left the hospital. Today they are back down to 29,000. I don't know much about this problem. Docs are still trying to figure out why I keep losing platelets. Will I pass out during the night if they drop too low or will I know they have dropped? I didn't know last time they were low and only went to the hospital because of the reaction to the antibiotic.Thanks!
    Joanne, my experience has been that there is almost always early warnings before platelet counts get down to a life-threatening level. The warnings include spontaneous nosebleeds, bruises, and bleeding gums. These generally occur when the count drops below 20,000.

    It is true that a massive stroke or GI bleed could occur when the count drops below 5,000. But odds are that this would not happen when you were sleeping, and you should have some warning that trouble is brewing.

    Certainly, you would want to be avoiding aspirin, ibuprofen, or fish oil until your counts get back up. You will want to have a plan of action worked out now with your hematogists for bloodless management should the count start to drop again.
    Joseph T. Malak, MD

  11. #10
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    Thank you Dr. Joseph for the information. It is very helpful to me as I did not have any symptoms that my platelets dropped to 14. No bleeding anywhere only a few small bruises on my arms and legs. Which I thought were because I am a bit of a clutz. I have stopped my asprin. You have allieviated some of my concerns. Thanks again.
    Last edited by joanne312; 03-02-2009 at 10:22 PM.

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