Breast Cancer: Stage 3 & 4 Community
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Avatar universal

Low Platelets

Hi.  Thanks for this site!  I have Stage IV BC and undergoing regular chemotherapy (Adriamycin).  For the past 6 months, I have had low platelets.  Another breast cancer site has a fair number of women who have tried drinking red grape juice to increase their platelets and they say it has worked.

I started drinking it, but it seems illogical to me and fear that I may be doing more harm than good.  I am under the impression that red grape juice "slows clotting" 75% more than aspirin and that red grape juice has the "anti-platelet factor."  Given that my platelets are low (60s), would I not want just the opposite?  That is, would not slowing clotting be the wrong thing for someone with low platelets?  And it sounds like "anti-platelet factor" would be the opposite of what I woud need.  I fear drinking it now, although it seems to work for many on the site to which I refer.

Please tell me what you think drinking red grape juice (sort of akin to taking aspirin or drinking red wine to my understanding - perhaps I am wrong, though) as a method to increase platelets - or - at least to not allow them to lower further.  Thank you so very much.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
You are right that grapes (which contain flavanol) may alter platelet function, and this effect is being touted as the reason why taking wine may seem beneficial for those with cardiovascular disease. Discuss the level of your platelets and your risk of bleeding – if there is a  relatively low risk, it is unlikely that taking grapes would be harmful.
A more logical way to increase  platelet is  to increase dietary protein, which would be  needed to build most cells inadvertently affected by chemotherapy. This would help improve white blood cells and platelets.
Ultimately, there are drugs that can be given to trigger the bone marrow to produce more platelets when the need arises.
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for getting me on the right track.  My platelet count is in the 60s and a couple of months ago was in the 20s.  However, it is starting to decrease again.   I fear if it continues dropping that I will not be able to get chemotherapy.

Regarding dietary fiber:  Would drinking Ensure with Extra Protein help?  

I cannot eat solid food right now (except soup) and wonder how else I can get extra protein into my diet.  I am currently drinking 5 bottles of Ensure a day which fulfills the regular protein requirement, but please, please let me know if there is another liquid or powder that would provide me extra protein.  Thanks so much.  I am DESPERATE!!   I really appreciate your help.
Avatar universal
You may want to check Prosure, which was  developed specifically for people with cancer (especially for those who are losing weight).
Avatar universal
There are no specific dietary recommendations just specifically for increasing platelet  counts.
The decrease in  the platelet count following chemotherapy is due to the marrow toxicity. As the chemo is stopped, with time there can be slight improvement in counts.
With respect to drugs that can help in raising the counts ---
Eltrombopag  from Glaxosmithline pharma - still under trials.
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