I post this because I saw Bohan54's journal about wallowing. Well, wallow away because this is an important issue for all of us that have or had Chemo and should be addressed. I tried searching the "expert" forum to see if there were any posts asking on how to increase low platelets and there wasn't a hit that had an answer (not even from community forums and this question was asked in both the cancer and nutrition forums.)
I also tried other websites and still no sure answers. But, I found out some things and would like to share them so that we all have this info. I also would like others to contribute what works or worked for them to keep the PLT CT (platelet count) above 100,000.
First, I remember when I had my first Chemo session (Carbo/Taxol), the onc nurse said Taxol plays havoc with the PLT CT and if it drops below 100,000 my Chemo session would stop until the PLT CT increases.
Second, as Ronni and others mentioned, the quickest way a doctor increases the PLT CT is with a transfusion. No one likes these, but, we have to do what we have to do.
Now, since the PLT CT is responsible for blood clotting, and I read one should to stay away from blood thinners SUCH AS: Aspirin, Vitamin E and some Fish oils. So, as suggestion, these should be avoided if your PLT CT is low.
It is also suggested to take Vitamin C and have a high fiber diet to increase the PLT CT. However, in Bohan54's case, the mouth sores are too painful to take supplements that are rough on the mouth. If there is a soft-gel type of Vitamin C and/or a soft-gel supplement for high fiber, these might be tolerable to someone with mouth sores.
My last input: I don't know if this kept my PLT CT good all the while I was on Chemo and I could not read through a 23+ page on the immune system (on another website) to see if there is a connection between the immune system and PLT CT, but honestly, there has to be. It seems reasonable to say if the PLT CT is low, then your immune system needs help. A friend of mine made sure I took a supplement to keep my immune system healthy while on Chemo and I copied the excerpt from a comment I made last year:
"I also take a supplement called "Max3" sold at Whole Food chainstores. It has IP-6 & Inositol, plus Maitake & Cat's Claw. Basically it supports the immune system and intensifies the natural killer-cell activity. I know this sounds contrary to what Chemo was doing to my body (Chemo kills all cells), but I am in remission after my Chemo and I was taking these supplements even during my Chemo."
Okay, these are only suggestions and take what you will, but I really think we should start a thread with everyone's suggestions on how to keep the PLT CT normal so that this is compiled for future reference.
Thanks for the extensive research. I asked doc and nurse if there is anything I can do, no advice was given. Additionally, doc does not want to do a transfusion, he believes platelets will come back up on their own???
Hey, I asked that question when going through my chemo, I couldn't get treatment twice because of low platelet count. Most said that your body had to do it on its own with time away from chemo, but the 2nd time I couldn't have treatment someone on this site (sorry can't remember who:() said to eat the red casings around peanuts, part of the peanut shell. So I did and when I went in the following week, my count was up and I was able to have treatment. So what do you think. Kerry
I guess that's possible. Honestly, I did not have low PLT CT while on chemo and therefore, cannot relate to what your doctor believes. But, if he does believe this, why not help it along with whatever you decide is good for you. Keep away from those aspirins (lol). Just a joke, because I don't know if you even take aspirin.
But the truth is, stay away from anything that thins the blood.
The peanut red casing is interesting, but one would not do this if allergic to peanuts.
I came across the following site when I googled "Blood Building Supplements."
It's interesting about the certain food 'supplements' listed because as a child, these were not unusual in our foods (such as the bone marrow from lamb bones.) I use to suck this up and now, wish I kept it up.
Anyway, the main thing is eating foods rich in Iron, B vits (mainly B12) and Folic Acid. All of these were in my diet and in add'l vitamin supplements while I was on Chemo.
My purpose for starting this thread was to compile everyone's suggestions on what kept the platelet count good.
Therefore, I must make a slight retraction based on what I read in another post. It is very important to be listed here, so with that said: alanpvegas commented on IP-6 and Maitake, both which are in the supplement I mentioned (above) of Max3. He stated that research on IP-6 reduces the platelet count, but Maitake is safe. Based on this, I do not suggest taking an IP-6 supplement if your platelets are already low.
And always, always consult your doctor and ask questions before taking any supplements that are suggested in any community forum. What may work for one, may not work for another. All we can do, is let others know what has worked for us and let others make their best judgment for themselves.
I hope this entire thread is or will be helpful to those with low platelet counts. Angie
This is a very interesting post. When my mum had her chemo, her platelets remained stable. Other than the first chemo which my mum's platelet count dropped slightly (but still in the normal range), her platelet count remained stable, even better than most healthy people. The doctors always wonderered what my mother had done to keep her platelet count stable while other patients around her, even those a few decades younger than my mum, seemed to suffer from a drop of blood platelet during chemo.
My mum was taking Chinese medication during the chemo treatment and it could be one of the reasons why her blood platelet count is good. My mum did not take any additional vitamins - like vitamin C which is discussed extensively in this forum or Maitake which seemed to be working fine for some members here.
I suspect it could be a combination of Chinese medication and the food my mum takes during the chemo treatment. My mum insists on eating meat every meal. Especially the boney part with all those ligaments. Even when she wants to have a light lunch - she ensured that she has a 'meat' soup. Throw a few meat bones and boil it - then add some nuts/san cha/vergtables in it - no salt/sugar. I cannot vouch for it - but this is the 'traditional' way among some of the older Chinese of dealing with illnesses like surgery/chemo.
I really cannot pinpoint the reason why my mum's platelet count was okay during the chemo treatment. Her doctors tried to figure out what she did right but could not pinpoint the reason but suspected that the balance meal my mum takes probably helps in her platelet count. My mum ensured that she ate everything - but in moderation. I did ask my mum whether she wanted to take extra vitamins but she prefer to get the needed nutrients from the food she ate.
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