Have you ever heard your doctor talk about your platelet count and wonder why that might be important? A person can have either too little or too many platelets clustered in one area. Today we are going to learn about the latter of the two and why it is important for your health.
Platelet are cells found in the blood stream, created by bone marrow. Another word for platelet is thrombocyte. They are largely responsible for hemostasis (control of blood loss through clotting).
When there is damage to a blood vessel our platelets become activated, which causes them to be sticky (Under the microscope activated platelets will appear to have a bit of a star shape instead of a smooth surface.) When the platelets are sticky they send out messages to attract other platelets and then cluster together to form a clot. This is referred to as platelet aggregation. It is an important process and can reduce excessive bleeding.
The image below shows the different shapes of the thrombocytes as the begin to form a clot.
Platelets can also be activated by other body processes or activating chemicals. A few examples of this include:
When there is excessive aggregation it can lead to thrombosis. This is known to be a major factor in heart disease and strokes, as it decreases blood flow and creates clots.
Thrombosis can cause significant problems with many organs and muscles including:
Image of platelet aggregation from a Nutritional Blood Analysis session
During a Nutritional Blood Analysis I check for platelet aggregation. I have found that over time with the help of certain supplements and lifestyle changes, clients are able to reduce the amount of platelet aggregation we see in their sample.
Neogenesis LBA Mannual by Dr. Okker R. Botha