In modern medicine, the most common procedure to diagnose various diseases is a complete blood count. It provides an opportunity to identify the level of concentration of leukocytes, hemoglobin, red blood cells and platelets. Based on the results, the doctor will be able to correctly diagnose and make a conclusion about the state of your body.
Of course, you should not do self-deciphering blood tests, this should be done by a qualified specialist. But knowing the normal values of the main indicators does not hurt. Therefore, today we will talk in more detail about the significance of PLT levels in the analysis of human blood.
What is PLT in a blood test?
First you need to figure out what this abbreviation means. PLT (platelets) are platelets, that is, the smallest blood cells that lack nuclei and resemble disks. Their formation occurs in the bone marrow, and the main function is to participate in the process of blood coagulation.
Platelets "are responsible" for stopping bleeding, nutrition and vascular repair. Determining the number of these cells in human blood is necessary to clarify many diagnoses.
The norm is the following data on the number of platelets in the blood:
- adults - 150-400 * 109 / l;
- children from 1 year old - 180-320 * 109 / l;
- age of 10-14 days - 50-350 * 109 / l;
- newborns - 100-420 * 109 / l.
Small deviations of PLT from the norm in the blood test are not cause for panic, but the number of platelets above 400 * 109 / l and below 140 * 109 / l requires particularly careful examination and may well be evidence of the development of serious pathological conditions.
It is important that during the day the number of platelets in the blood can vary. This is especially true for women, since the concentration of these blood cells is significantly reduced during pregnancy or during menstruation, and, conversely, may increase with heavy physical exertion.
To obtain a reliable result, blood should be donated for analysis in the morning and on an empty stomach. It is strictly forbidden to use tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages on the eve, as this may affect the concentration of platelets in the blood and the data will not be completely accurate.
Platelet count above normal
The increase in blood PLT is called thrombocytosis. An increased concentration of platelets indicates the development of sufficiently serious diseases or pathological conditions in the body, namely:
- cancer tumors;
- arthritis and arthrosis;
- different types of anemia;
- diseases of the circulatory system.
According to the statistics, approximately 50% of patients with detected thrombocytosis have malignant tumor tumors. Removal of the spleen and large blood loss can also lead to a significant increase in platelet levels.
Thrombocytosis is especially dangerous for people suffering from heart disease, since in this case the risk of complications (heart attacks, strokes, vascular thrombosis) significantly increases due to the possible formation of blood clots.
If the number of platelets is increased slightly, then actually reduce it with a special diet, that is, adding food products to the diet that contribute to blood thinning. For example, garlic, tomatoes and juice from tomatoes, any berries, grapefruit and lemon.
At elevated concentrations of PLT, it is desirable to limit the consumption of bananas, walnuts, pomegranate, wild rose and chokeberry.
In addition, it is strongly recommended to get rid of harmful habits and to exclude the consumption of alcoholic beverages and nicotine.
Platelet count decreased
The decrease in platelet volume in the blood is called thrombocytopenia. This condition is fraught with a violation of blood clotting, hemophilia and is a serious threat to humans, as the walls of blood vessels gradually become excessively fragile and there is a threat of internal hemorrhages.
As mentioned earlier, low platelet levels are often observed in women during menstruation or during pregnancy. However, in these cases, thrombocytopenia is temporary.
A significant decrease in the concentration of platelets in the blood can trigger the following diseases:
- leukemia (acute or chronic);
- cirrhosis or hepatitis;
- thyroid disease;
- various skin diseases;
- bone marrow pathologies and cancers.
You need to know that lowering the level of platelets in the blood is possible with long-term use of certain medications, such as aspirin.
Signs of thrombocytopenia can be found in themselves and without laboratory tests. The reason for contacting a specialist can be such signs:
- bleeding gums;
- abundant and long periods;
- the appearance of hematomas on the body for no apparent reason;
- prolonged bleeding after minor cuts or tooth extraction;
- frequent bleeding from the nose.
PLT in the blood analysis of a child
In children, the number of platelets depends primarily on age: the norms change as the child matures. As a rule, doctors pay attention if the level of platelets falls below 150 * 109 / l or rises above 420 * 109 / l. The causes of abnormalities in children are somewhat different from those that provoke them in adults.
If PLT in the blood test is elevated in a child, then the following factors may trigger it:
- various infectious lung diseases;
- anemia as a result of severe blood loss;
- surgical intervention;
- lack of spleen;
- taking certain medications.
The cause of thrombocytopenia in children can be:
- allergic reactions to medications;
- skin diseases;
- infections and poisoning;
- viral infections: measles, rubella, chickenpox;
- parasitic infections, for example, helminthic invasions.
In addition, a decrease in the level of platelets in a child’s blood may be due to blood transfusions.
If such deviations from the norm are still found, then parents should take some measures and protect the baby from injury, namely:
- remove all cutting and piercing objects;
- limit the use of traumatic sports;
- choose a toothbrush with soft villus.
As you can see, platelets play a crucial role in the human body, and an analysis of the level of PLT in the blood is necessary, as it allows you to detect diseases at an early stage of development. Remember that any deviations from the norm require immediate examination and observation by specialists, since in the absence of proper treatment the disease will progress steadily.