The condition in which excess of blood platelets called thrombocytes are produced, is called thrombocythemia. Three types of blood cells are available namely red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. These platelets are called thrombocytes and are responsible for clotting of blood during accident or injury. When the number of platelets is high blood begins to clot easily which can obstruct the blood vessels sometimes causing stroke or myocardial infarction. Essential thrombocythemia is common in old age and is more prevalent in women than men.
Some people may not have any symptoms during thrombocythemia and they need not have to take any treatment. Some of the symptoms of this disorder is formation of blood clots in hands, feet and extremities of the body. Other common signs are headache, fatigue, chest pain, drowsiness, vision problems, confusion or fainting, tingling sensation in hands and feet, burning pain in the regions of blood clot and enlarged spleen or liver.
Bleeding can occur in nose or mouth and sometimes even on the stool. In severe cases of blood clot it can cause transient ischemic attack causing stroke. In that case, there can be symptoms like numbness on face, arms, legs, double vision or partial loss of vision and difficultly in speech.
The major cause for thrombocythemia is over production of thrombocytes. Bone marrow produces all the three types of blood cells which then travel through the blood vessels. Normal range of platelet count is 150,000-450,000 in one microliter of blood. But a person having this disorder will have too much of platelets in the blood which would eventually lead to abnormal bleeding or clotting.
It is believed to be caused by gene mutation. Nearly half the people with this problem will have Janus Kinase 2 gene which is defective.
Thrombocythemia can cause miscarriage or premature delivery in pregnant women or any other complications affecting the growth of the fetus. Very often, increased count of thrombocytes may cause heart attack or stroke and sometimes acute bone marrow cancer and myelo-fibrosis.
Your doctor may do complete blood count test for verifying the platelets or a blood smear test. Sometimes bone marrow biopsy or aspiration test is done for detecting cancer or for finding out the root cause of high platelets.
Actual cause of the problem should be identified before treatment begins. The nature of treatment depends on the rate of blood clotting episode or bleeding. Medicines are given to reduce the platelets and to prevent the affected person from cardiovascular problems.
Your doctor will put you on low dosage of aspirin which is capable of making the platelets less sticky thus preventing it from clotting. Medications like Droxia, hydrea is given for suppressing the release of blood cells. Sometimes this drug is given along with aspirin. But your doctor will have to check the blood count regularly when taking this medicine. Some doctors prescribe Anagrelide or Interferon alfa 2B to control production of excess of platelets. However these drugs can cause some adverse effects which you can discuss with your doctor.
In case of emergency blood clotting, plateletpheresis is done for reducing the platelet count, wherein blood is extracted from the vein by intravenous needle. This tubing is connected to a device for removing platelets alone. The purified blood is then returned to the donor through another IV line.
Home Remedies :
You need to follow healthy diet avoiding trans-fats to reduce your weight. In case you are obese, you should start doing workouts and eat balanced diet for reducing the risk of blood clotting. It is not enough if you increase the duration of physical activity but you have to monitor what you eat daily to attain normal weight. Stop smoking which causes harmful effect on your immune system. While handling knives or razors be careful not to make any cuts.