A  Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine Clinic

TCM Solutions for Blood Disorders

Thrombocytopenia (low platelets)

General Knowledge for Thrombocytopenia (reduced platelet count)

What is thrombocytopenia?
Thrombocytopenia is the term for a reduced platelet (thrombocyte) count. It happens when platelets
are lost from the circulation faster than they can be replaced from the bone marrow where they are
made.

Thrombocytopenia can result from:
  • a failure of platelet production
  • an increased rate of removal from blood.

What are platelets?
Platelets are tiny cells that circulate in the blood and whose function is to take part in the clotting
process. The platelet count in the circulating blood is normally between 150 and 400 million per millilitre of
blood. Newborn babies have a slightly lower level, but are normally within the adult range by three months of
age.
Many factors can influence an individual's platelet count including exercise and racial origin. The
average life span of a platelet in the blood is 10 days.

What are the risks of a low platelet count?
The main effect of a reduced platelet count is an increased risk of bleeding, but this rarely occurs
until there are less than 80-100 million platelets per ml.

There is not a close relationship between the number of platelets and the severity of bleeding, but
there is an increasing risk of haemorrhage if platelet numbers fall or if platelet function is impaired
(for example by aspirin, which reduces the 'stickiness' of the platelets).

There is a particularly high risk of spontaneous bleeding once the platelet count drops below 10
million per ml. The bleeding is usually seen on the skin in the form of tiny pin-prick haemorrhages
(purpura), or bruises (ecchymoses) following minor trauma.

Bleeding from the nose and the gums is also quite common. More serious haemorrhage can occur
at the back of the eye (retina), sometimes threatening sight.

The most serious complication, which is potentially fatal, is spontaneous bleeding inside the head
(intracranial) or from the lining of the gut (gastrointestinal).

What causes a low platelet count?
False thrombocytopenia
  • Clot in the sample.
  • Platelets clumped.

Congenital thrombocytopenia
  • Rare inherited disorders (eg May Hegglin anomaly, Bernard Soulier syndrome).

Defective platelet production
  • Bone marrow aplasia (failure).
  • Metabolic disorders, eg kidney failure, alcohol.
  • Abnormal platelet precursors: viral infections, inherited abnormalities.
  • Bone marrow infiltration, eg leukaemia, lymphoma.

Diminished platelet survival
  • Antibodies in response to drugs, blood transfusion or another disease.
  • Unknown cause (ITP).
  • Clotting disorder (DIC).
  • Blood disorder (TTP).

Loss of platelets from the circulation
  • Massive blood transfusion or exchange.
  • Enlarged spleen.

Treating Thrombocytopenia with Acupuncture and Herbal Remedy
Just like the numerous causes of  Western medicine sense, There are numerous different
under-pattern conditions in Chinese medicine sense too. But we judge the individual condition in
completely different way with Western medicine. We treat whole body by stimulating your own healing power
to clear the root cause. Our Chinese medicine practitioner must diagnose individual  condition right before
treatment. Therefore practitioner's experience and knowledge are very important to help
them to diagnose patient's individual condition properly and correctly by reading patient's pulse and looking
patient's tongue.

The most common 5 root causes are:
  • Blood deficiency
  • Qi deficiency
  • Spleen deficiency
  • Blood heat toxin
  • Blood and Qi deficiency

We use Chinese herbal remedies or acupuncture or both ways to treat the patients. The practitioner will
discuss with you how to arrange your treatment plan only after our practitioner diagnosing your individual
condition.

The patients start to see the result from 3 weeks to 3 months depending on your individual condition.