Platelet Count: What It Reveals About Your Health

Platelets are tiny fragments of cells in our blood that form clots when we're wounded. A platelet count is a blood test that measures the number of these cells in your bloodstream.

While it may seem insignificant, your platelet count can reveal a lot about your overall health. Keep reading to learn more.

What’s a Platelet Count Test?

A platelet count test is a blood test that’s done to determine the number of platelets in your blood per microliter. Platelets are blood cells that keep blood clotting and help to stop excessive bleeding. Normal platelet counts range from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter. A low platelet count indicates an underlying problem that requires further assessment by a healthcare provider.

Conditions that Affect Platelet Counts

A low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) may be caused by a variety of factors, including infections, bone marrow disorders, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. People with low platelet counts may experience easy bruising, nosebleeds, and prolonged bleeding after an injury or surgery.

On the other hand, high platelet counts (thrombocytosis) may be caused by a variety of factors as well, including iron deficiency, chronic inflammation, infection, anemia, and cancer. People with high platelet counts may experience clotting problems, such as deep vein thrombosis or stroke.

Precautions to Help You Maintain Healthy Platelet Counts

It is essential to maintain healthy platelet counts because they help you stop bleeding naturally. Maintaining healthy platelet counts can help improve your overall health, and this can be achieved by eating well, staying hydrated, and exercising. Foods that are rich in vitamin D and C are good for boosting your platelet counts. Examples include oats, dark leafy greens, and fish. Also, limit your alcohol intake because it can interfere with your platelet counts' functionality.

When to Get Your Platelet Counts Checked?

If you are experiencing symptoms of easy bleeding, prolonged bleeding, or experiencing excessive clotting, it is essential to talk to your healthcare provider and have your platelet counts checked. However, getting regular physical checkups allow your healthcare provider to monitor changes in your platelet counts and advise you on healthy practices to maintain good platelet health.

Conclusion

Platelet counts tell us more than just our capacity to clot. Our platelets are avenues through which we can spot and treat various disorders that may damage our overall health. Maintaining healthy platelet counts can boost your immune system, allow you to exercise, and reduce your vulnerability to different infections. Don’t ignore the symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider, and start working towards maintaining healthy platelet counts.