Why Do Platelets Drop

By Max. D Gray. Updated: March 25, 2022
Why Do Platelets Drop

Platelets are responsible for the proper coagulation of our blood, ensuring that it is always circulating in the best form for our bodies, clotting when it needs to stop a bleed, and also preventing unnecessary clots, which could block important arteries.

A normal platelet count varies between 150,000 and 450,000, but this can decrease due to certain diseases, putting our health at risk. But why do platelets drop? At we'll explain why in detail.

You may also be interested in: What To Do If I Have A Low Platelet Count
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An abnormal drop in platelets is known medically as trombocytopenia. This condition can cause abnormal bleeding and, in more serious cases, when the platelet count drops to less than 10,000 per cubic millimeter, can cause internal bleeding which can put the patient's life at risk.

The first step to prevent this from occurring is to consult a hematologist if you have a low platelet count, because it is important to find out why you have this condition.


One of the most common causes of a low platelet count in countries with tropical climates, heavy rains and a tendency to accumulate standing water, is an infection caused by dengue. Other infectious or bacterial diseases such as HIV can also produce a low platelet count.


A deficiency in vitamin B12 or folic acid are two of the most common reasons for a low platelet count. In these cases, it is often enough to adjust the patient's diet and habits to bring the platelet count back to a normal level.


Diseases such as aplastic anaemia, cirrhosis of the liver, myelodisplasia or leukemia prevent the bone marrow from producing enough platelets, leading to a decline in levels and leaving the patient suffering from thrombocytopenia.


Certain medical treatments, as is the case with chemotherapy, also lower the platelet count.

Those who suffer from certain disorders are also likely to experience a low platelet count, since the platelets actually decompose in the spleen or in the liver. Patients with immune thrombocytopenia or drug-induced thrombocytopenia; immune or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura; or thrombotic or disseminated intravascular coagulation, for example, will have a low platelet count.


It is possible to increase your platelet count, but the results will depend on the reason for the decrease, something you have to identify in order to take appropriate and timely action. In cases of infectious or bacterial diseases, timely treatment in each case would increase the platelet count to eliminate the thrombocytopenia.

If the problem is a deficiency in vitamin B12 or folic acid then any relevant dietary changes should be made. In cases of bone marrow problems, leukemia, disorders, low platelet count due to medication or cirrhosis of the liver, a specialist's instructions should be followed carefully, as they will offer appropriate alternatives for each individual patient.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Do Platelets Drop, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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What did you think of this article?
Hello, I got diagnosed with thrombocytopenia in spring of 2020. I have been consistently on promacta 25 mg since last year and have stayed stable at 50,000 platelet count. However when I saw my doctor in March 2021, my platelets dipped down to 19,000 even thought I was consistent with my promacta taking 1 daily. What caused my platelets to dip while being on consistent treatment? My doctor now increased my dose to 75 mg. Thank you.
Rosanne Thorp
I have a friend who was treated for a rare, aggressive form of leukemia. She had a t-cell transplant from another donor. The cancer came back but is not in her bones. She went through one round of chemo treatment (unknown what it was, but it is a trial treatment done by MD Anderson). She developed graft vs host disease and is now battling diarrhea and low platelets. She has been in the hospital for almost 3 months now with this issue. They have to give her platelets every 2-3 days (consistently throughout her hospital stay). I don't know what they've been doing to try and get her platelets to become stable, but if they say there isn't anything else they can do (which they are getting very close to that), wouldn't trying NPlate be better than nothing?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Rosanne,

If your friend is in hospital, they will be the ones who can answer this question. If you think it would be helpful to offer this as a suggestion, try to speak to her doctor on the phone and see what they think. They may have already considered and provide an appropriate explanation.
Andres Silvano
My platelet count has been decreased. Why?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Andres
Low platelet counts can be caused by various things, including b12 or folic acid deficiency, anaemia or liver cirrhosis etc. If your platelet count has decreased, we recommend consulting your doctor.
Why Do Platelets Drop
Why Do Platelets Drop

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