It is important to have a platelet count normal range to avoid the dreadful consequences of having an abnormal platelet count. Platelet count could either go below or above the normal limits. When the platelet count of the body is within the standards, it does its function very well. An abnormal platelet count can be fatal, and so it is extremely important to be fully aware of its signs and symptoms to prevent life-threatening situations.
The best way to determine whether or not a person meets the platelet count normal range is through the platelet count test. This is often requested by physicians to rule out the root cause of excessive bleeding as well as monitor and diagnose certain diseases. It should be noted that there might be slight variations between the normal values of lower and upper limits amongst laboratories.
What are platelets?
Platelets refer to the small blood cells that resemble disks which are formed inside the bone marrow and are responsible for the blood clotting process. They are commonly referred to as thrombocytes which are remarkably smaller than the white and red blood cells and act like healing agents produced by the body to cure itself. Platelets act immediately when the body sustains an injury by going to the injured area and start the healing process. This act results in the blood clot formation to prevent further bleeding. Platelet count normal range is best determined by platelet count test.
How important is it to have the platelet count within the normal limits?
Although platelet count normal range may slightly differ from one laboratory to another, having them within the normal limits is conducive for the fulfillment of their task. The numerical value may slightly differ among people of different ages as well. What is truly important is that maintaining normal platelet count is the best way to avoid life-threatening conditions that goes with abnormal platelet count.
What is the normal range for platelet count?
Platelet count normal range slightly differs on the age and condition. For children, the normal platelet count is anywhere between 150,000 and 450,000 / microlitre of blood; while adults shouldhave it from 150,000 to 400,000 / microlitre of blood. The platelet count normal range may slightly decrease during pregnancy and must not go below 100,000 / microlitre of blood. The platelet count of some women may slightly fall prior to menstruation.
What does an abnormal platelet count mean?
- Low platelet count
This abnormal drop in platelet count is referred to as thrombocytopenia which may result to the nonstop flow of blood from the injured site because there are less platelet to heal the lesion.
- High platelet count
High platelet count is termed as thrombocytosis which may lead to blood clots in the blood vessels resulting to strokes, heart attacks and brain blood clots.
What causes the platelet count to become abnormal?
There are various reasons why the platelet count normal range becomes abnormal, and these differ whether the abnormal values are lesser or greater than the normal range.
Decrease in platelet count may be due to:
- Reduced platelet production in the bone marrow caused by cancer in the lymph system or leukemia.
- Autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP)
- Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia Purpura characterized by the sudden formation of blood clots all over the body
- Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome as a result of breaking up of red blood cells and renal failure
- Certain medications
Increase in platelet count can be caused by:
- Excessive production of platelets in the bone marrow
- Certain types of cancers
- Chronic Myelogenous leukemia
- Polycythemia vera or too much red blood cells
- Primary thrombocytosis
- Secondary thrombocytosis
- Recent splenectomy
What are the signs of an abnormal platelet count?
Signs and symptoms evident in people with low platelet count are:
- Petechiae or bruising and bleeding underneath the skin
- Multiple bruising
- Feeling sick
- Bleeding in gums, urine and stool
- Heavy menstrual flow
Signs and symptoms of people with high platelet count include:
- Cold extremities
- Blurry vision
- Chest pain
- Easy bruising
- Muscle spasms
- Paraesthesia or tingling of feet and hands
A remarkably high platelet level can cause serious complications due to blood clotting such as pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, stroke and heart attack.
How to keep the platelet count in the normal range
It is possible turn an abnormal platelet count back to normal. This basically involves treating the underlying cause of the abnormal rise or fall in the platelet count normal range, as well as eliminating the contributing factors for abnormal platelet count. It is best to talk to the doctor before taking any supplements to avoid untoward complications.
Maintaining a platelet count normal range is conducive for the proper functioning of the body’s natural healing process. A platelet count test will determine the person’s platelet count. Platelet count may become abnormal but treatments are available to address the underlying cause.