Platelets are responsible for helping blood clot, as well as aiding in regulating other cellular processes. A healthy person can have a platelet count that exists within a wide range, where even an abnormal platelet count does not indicate problems or side-effects.
However, a large number of diseases can cause low platelet counts, including a number of hereditary conditions, medications and treatments, as well as nutritional deficiency. Vegans, in particular, are at risk for having a low platelet count if they are not supplementing with vitamin B12 (folic acid), which is not naturally available in a vegan (and some vegetarian) diet.
Bleeding and fatigue are the primary symptoms of having a low platelet count. If you are on medication your doctor ought to be regulating your platelet count. Over the counter pain relievers including aspirin and ibuprofen do not lower platelet counts, but may cause abnormal function—platelet function returns sooner with ibuprofen use.
If you have a low platelet count, it’s essential you work with your doctor to find the cause, as most causes are serious. If the cause is difficult to deal with (a hereditary condition) or necessary (chemotherapy) treatment often includes blood transfusions (giving you someone else’s platelets), and/or steroids, and vitamin B12 supplements (to encourage bone marrow to make more platelets).
Systemic infection can also cause a low platelet count, in which case natural antimicrobials and immune support are a natural way to enhance your doctor’s recommendations.
Leukemia can also be a cause of low platelet counts, which means cats who are at risk for feline leukemia virus may be at risk and need special attention.
What are your questions about platelets and low platelet counts?