Platelets are crucial components of our blood that play a vital role in clotting and preventing excessive bleeding. During the monsoon season, it becomes essential to pay attention to our platelet levels, especially in the context of diseases like dengue that can affect platelet count. We spoke to Ekta Singhwal, MSc (Dietician), Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, who explained the impact of dengue on platelet count and dietary tips to boost it.
What Is The Normal Platelet Count In Dengue?
Singhwal said, “Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that can cause flu-like symptoms, severe body aches, and fever. One of the primary concerns during dengue is the potential drop in platelet count, leading to a condition known as thrombocytopenia.” According to a study by StatPearls, a platelet count that is less than 150000/microliter (for adults), the lower limit of normal, is referred to as thrombocytopenia.
Singhwal added, “While a normal platelet count in a healthy individual ranges from 150,000 - 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood, dengue can cause a significant decrease in platelet levels.”
In mild cases of dengue, platelet count may drop slightly, but it usually recovers on its own with proper rest, hydration, and medical care. However, in severe dengue cases, the platelet count can drop to dangerously low levels, increasing the risk of bleeding complications. In such cases, medical intervention becomes essential to monitor platelet levels closely and provide appropriate treatment.
Dietary Tips to Increase Platelet Count During Monsoon
Here are some expert-recommended dietary tips you should follow for increasing platelet count
Consume a Balanced Diet
It is crucial to maintain a well-balanced diet that incorporates a wide range of fruits and vegetables. These foods provide the necessary vitamins and minerals that support platelet production and overall health.
High Vitamin C Foods
Include foods with high vitamin C content, such as citrus fruits, guava, kiwi, and bell peppers, as they may help enhance platelet levels.
Singhwal said, “Iron is necessary for the production of haemoglobin and red blood cells, both of which are essential for platelet production. Incorporate iron-rich foods like legumes, nuts, seeds, and lean meats in your daily diet.”
Foods with Vitamin K
Incorporate foods like spinach, kale, and broccoli, as they contain vitamin K, which contributes to healthy blood clotting.
Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is involved in various biological processes, including platelet synthesis. Lentils, asparagus, avocados, and green leafy vegetables are good sources of folate and should be a part of your diet.
Proper hydration is crucial for maintaining overall health, including platelet health. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and consuming fluids like coconut water and herbal teas.
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
These substances may negatively impact platelet production, so it's best to minimise their consumption.
Minimise Processed and Sugary Foods
Singhwal added, “Processed and sugary foods can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight infections. These foods can also affect platelet health, so it's essential to limit their intake during the monsoon.”
Singhwal concluded, “Maintaining a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients and staying hydrated can play a role in supporting platelet health during the monsoon season. However, please note that while these dietary tips may help support platelet health, they should not be considered a substitute for medical advice. If you suspect any health issues, especially related to dengue or platelet count, it's crucial to consult a healthcare professional promptly for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.”
The information provided in this article is shared by a registered medical practitioner and is for informational purposes only. Therefore, we advise you to consult with your expert for a treatment tailored to your needs.