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Any Way to Raise Platelets?

Posts: 471
Joined: Feb 2011

Dear All,

After 25 radiation treatments and 4th round of taxol/carbo, my blood counts continue to plummet.

Was sent home twice already for 5th scheduled chemo, with platelet count at 46. (100 is my center's minimum for proceeding with chem.)

Did any of you have more than one postponed chemo for low platelets?

And is there any way to bring the count up? Nobody suggests anything at my treatment center; they say that time alone brings them back.

My hemoglobin is also very low (8.3) but curiously, I feel OK, not very tired.

Postponing makes the chemo less effective, doesn't it?

Rosey R

lkchapman's picture
Posts: 106
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi Rosie,
If your platelet count is low enough they can do a platelet transfusion, the same as a red blood cell transfusion only you're getting only platelets.
Hope this helps.


california_artist's picture
Posts: 865
Joined: Jan 2009

googled "raise platelets", personally, I would skip the meat due to the iron and high protein content. Cancer feeds on iron along with other things. And in The China Study, there was a negative correlation between higher protein content and cancer growth. he found that really low levels of protein slowed or stopped visible signs of cancer. His book is informative reading and available at most libraries I would imagine. You can pick and choose your chapters for what might be important to you. Hope this helps.

This is from Lance Armstrong's site and the Mayo clinic

Platelets, also called thrombocytes, are blood cells that are essential for many normal functions of the body, such as blood clotting. According to the Mayo Clinic, low blood platelets, or thrombocytopenia, means a person does not have enough of these blood cells and is often a sign of an infection or a medical disorder such as an autoimmune disorder. The Mayo Clinic also says the symptoms of low blood platelets include easy bruising, heavy menstrual periods and lengthy bleeding from cuts. It is possible to raise blood platelets simply through diet and eating the right foods.

Step 1
Eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals, especially those with vitamin C. Dr. Bill Sears, a pediatrician and professor of pediatrics at the University of California at Irvine, explains that foods high in vitamin C, such as oranges and bell peppers, increase the amount of healthy blood cells in the body and protect the body from illnesses such as the flu. Eating foods with vitamin C can also boost the immune system. Orange juice, kiwis and tangerines are also good sources of vitamin C to increase platelets.

Step 2
Choose meats that are rich in zinc and omega 3 fatty acids rather than those that are high in saturated fat. Sears explains on his website that the mineral zinc increases the production of blood cells such as white blood cells and platelets in the body. The best sources of zinc are oysters, dark meat turkey, crab and beef. Additionally, Sears says the omega 3 fatty acids in salmon help to enhance the immune system and prevent sickness. This is especially important for people who have low blood platelets as they are at a higher risk of illnesses.

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Step 3
Practice safe food handling and preparation by cooking all meats thoroughly and washing hands before preparing any foods. Cancer Supportive Care Programs explains that people who have low blood cell levels need to be especially careful about not eating the wrong foods and making sure the foods they eat are prepared safely. They recommend avoiding raw foods such as sushi and queso fresco if you have low blood cell levels. Meats need to be cooked so that they have no more pink coloring left, and the person preparing meals needs to always wash his or her hands before preparing foods to avoid spreading pathogens to those who have low blood cell counts, and thus lower resistance.

Step 4
Avoid alcoholic beverages, as they may decrease platelet levels. The Mayo Clinic says alcohol slows down the body's production of blood platelets, so drinking can lower levels even more. Instead of drinking alcohol, people with low blood platelets should drink soda, water, tea or juice.

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The Mayo Clinic: Thrombocytopenia
Ask Dr. Sears: Feeding Your Immune System
Cancer Supportive Care Programs: Nourish Thyself

About this Author
Sarah Davis has worked in nutrition in the clinical setting and currently works as a licensed Realtor in California. Davis began writing about nutrition in 2006 and had two chapters published in "The Grocery Store Diet" book in 2009. She enjoys writing about nutrition and real estate and managing her website, RealtorSD.com. She earned her bachelor's degree in nutrition from San Diego State University.

Photo Credit: salmon image by cherie from Fotolia.com
Article reviewed by OmahaTyppo | Last updated on: 03/18/11

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/102872-increase-platelets-eating/#ixzz1SwfImGGf

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I had to have a platelet transfusion once when my platelets fell dangerously below 10,000, and of course wanted to prevent that again. I was told that low platelets almost always go hand in hand with loose bowels, and that you best strategy is to go on a soft diet if you are experiencing bowel issues. A side note: my oncologist said that he would never give me repeated platelet transfusions just so I could stay on a particular chemo drug; as your body will eventually reject the transfused platelets if you have too many piped in.

If your platelets are low, please do NO heavy lifting or straining of any kind and be very careful not to fall or cut yourself. You may want to lay off flossing your teeth (I could never make myself do that!) until your platelets come back up, and stop any leg shaving, etc.

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