A low blood platelet count could be due to various reasons. However, this usually occurs during the “dengue.” It is accompanied by high fever, petechial rashes, followed by thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) and relative leukopenia (low white blood cell count). Low platelet counts can be life- threatening and can even cause death. So, learn how to increase platelets during dengue naturally so that there are lesser risks of internal bleeding tendencies and shock.
What Are Platelets?
“Platelets” are the most important components of blood. They are the tiniest part of the blood cells, which assist in clotting of the blood by establishing plugs in the blood vessels’ holes. Platelets circulate within the blood and have a lifespan of 5 – 9 days on average.
A healthy person will have a platelet count from 150,000 – 450,000 for every microlitre of blood. If the count falls below 150,000/microlitre, it leads to a condition called thrombocytopenia or low platelet count.
In their inactive phase, they look like “plates” and thus, the name “platelets.” In their active phase, they have multiple little tentacles, making them appear like an octopus.
Why Are Platelets Essential?
Whenever the blood vessels are damaged, the platelets unite to help stop the bleeding. Platelets assist in blood clotting at the injured part and help impede bleeding.
A good example of this incident would be cuts & bruises, where the platelets begin working by clotting the blood where the injury is so that the patient doesn’t lose much blood through the wound.
Reasons For Low Platelet Count During Dengue
The reasons for decreased platelet count in dengue fever are listed below:
- The virus that causes dengue encourages bone marrow suppression. Bone marrow is the primary manufacturing center for blood cells, and suppression can cause a deficiency of blood cells and thereby, leading to a low platelet count. Besides dengue, severe bleeding and anemia are other resultant reasons for bone marrow suppression.
- The dengue virus attaches itself to the healthy platelets in the blood and lowers them gradually.
- The vascular endothelial cells (infected with dengue virus) combine with the blood and decrease the platelet count.
- Even the antibodies that are produced right after the infection of dengue virus tend to contribute to the destruction of healthy platelets and break them down eventually.
How To Increase Platelets During Dengue Fever?
Since platelets play a key role in the functioning of a body, a decreased count should never be takenlightly. Bleeding nose, bleeding nose, painful rashes, purple or red skin spots, and heavier / longer menstrual cycles are a few symptoms of reduced platelet count.
In the earlier stages of dengue, a few natural methods can be applied to increase the blood platelet count. However, if the condition is severe, a medical intervention is necessary. Here are some important natural ways to increase platelet count during dengue:
1. Juice Of Papaya Leaves
Drinking the juice made from fresh papaya leaves is one of the best ways to increase platelets during dengue. The medicinal properties of papaya leaves are not a recent discovery. Its use as a medicine is already mentioned in Ayurveda and has been utilized for ages.
However, in 2009, the researchers at the Asian Institute of Science & Technology in Malaysia demonstrated that the juice from papaya leaves naturally increases the platelets and help treat dengue fever.
- Take a few fresh papaya leaves and wash them in water. Grind them in a mixer to extract thejuice.
- Strain the liquid and drink 10-15 ml of it twice or thrice a day after food. If you find it toobitter, add a few drops of honey or lemon juice.
2. Juice Of Spinach Leaves
Like papaya, even spinach leaves are a great way to overcome low platelet count during dengue. This is due to the presence of vitamin K in enormous amounts. It helps in treating the low platelet disorder, reducing the risk of excess bleeding, and an essential nutrient for blood clotting.
- Boil 5 – 6 fresh spinach leaves with 2 – 2 ½ cups of water for 5 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool. Grind this in a mixer and drink three times a day. If you don’t like the taste, you can mix a little tomato juice to it.
- Alternatively, you can eat fresh spinach leaves through salads, soups, or green smoothies.
3. Foods Enriched With Vitamin C
According to a research published in the Japanese Journal of Hematology during the year 1990, natural foods that are a good source of vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) can be highly beneficial in increasing the platelets during dengue.
Vitamin C exhibits strong antioxidant properties and can help prevent radical damage in theplatelets.
- Eat vitamin C rich foods like orange, lemon, tomato, kiwi, bell pepper, broccoli, cantaloupe,pumpkin, etc.