Platelets are part of the blood in every human. The normal count ranges from 150,000 to 450,00 platelets per microliter of blood. Platelets help in the formation of blood clots when a person is injured. When the platelet counts fall too low, this ability is impaired and severe bleeding can occur, even without an injury. Increasing a low platelet count can be done with a change in diet and by avoiding certain blood-thinning supplements.
Before beginning any treatment, consult a medical professional to determine what has caused the low platelet count. Some conditions such as pregnancy may not require any treatment, as the low count is temporary. Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus may have other symptoms that also need to be managed. Blood poisoning also causes a temporary drop in platelet count, and a change in diet will help the count rise quickly. Treatments for more serious illnesses such as cancer can reduce the platelet count. These drops in platelet count are also temporary, but may be severe.
Consult a medical professional to ensure that any natural supplements taken do not interact badly with medications prescribed for other conditions. Some natural supplements should not be taken together, so provide a complete list of all supplements used to a qualified professional, such as a dietitian or nutritionist, for review. Avoid any supplements that thin the blood such as vitamin E, fish oil or gingko. Take a multivitamin daily to support overall health. There are no supplements that have been shown to increase platelets specifically in every individual. Consult a medical professional before adding any supplements to your diet.
What is eaten or not eaten can affect platelet count by the level of inflammation it causes. The use of diet to increase platelets involves both eliminating certain foods and adding new ones. Eliminate table sugar and commercial syrups such as high fructose corn syrup. These items can cause inflammation in the immune system. Stop eating refined grains and processed food such as white bread, white rice and prepackaged meals. Eliminate any foods that you are sensitive to. These may include dairy, additives, preservatives and food coloring. Food sensitivities cause the immune system to react and can reduce platelet count.
Add raw fruits and vegetables to replace the processed snacks that have been eliminated. Omega-3 helps the immune system and is found in foods such as wild salmon and flaxseed oil. Tomatoes have antioxidants not found in many other foods, in addition to vitamin C and potassium. Berries contain phytonutrients that neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation allows the body to produce platelets more effectively.
Work closely with a medical professional and a dietitian to design a diet that is most effective in addressing the specific cause of the low platelet count and any other contributing factors.