Many take this as meaning, “since the cause is not known, nothing much can really be done ! Eat and be merry !
But even though, a specific “cause” hasn’t been deciphered, much is known about ITP. I really believe that we will never find out “one” specific cause for ITP. Because like many chronic diseases, there are and can be multiple factors that are provoking this condition. And these factors may vary from person to person!
But even though we do not know a “specific” cause, WE DO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS in the body of a person suffering ITP. And as a result, we can attack those mechanisms and still get good results in many who undergo treatment.
You see, ITP is not just low platelets. That is only the end result of what really is happening in your body.
There a few things that happen in the body of an ITP sufferer. And as we discover these things, and attack them as a whole, we can get better results and have more long-lasting effects than by just taking a specific medication or herb to increase platelets.
- Genetic Factors
- Fragile Abnormal Platelets
- Platelet Destruction
- Bone Marrow production is reduced
- Free Radical
- Immune dysfunction
7 Mechanisms that lead to ITP are: 'Genetics, Fragile Abnormal Platelets, Platelet destruction, Bone Marrow problems, Inflammation, Free radicals, and Immune dysfunction'Click To Tweet
Fragile and Abnormal Platelets
Platelets in Autoimmune thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) tend to be more fragile than in people who don’t suffer ITP. Making them more likely to suffer destruction from the immune system. Platelets also require certain nutrients to be more resistant. Some of these are Vitamin E and Zinc.
Platelet destruction is a result of antibodies that are attaching to them and calling upon the killing mechanisms of the immune system. Antibodies are produced by our immune system. Which explains why the main treatment in conventional medicine is to “suppress” the immune system to stop this attack. This is not always effective.
ITP is like a vicious dog! You can tie it up (with Meds), but as soon as you let go Stop meds) it will bite harder Click To Tweet
Reduced Bone Marrow Production
ITP Patient’s bone marrow produce less platelets than normal. This may be caused by the immune system and its antibodies attacking the bone marrow. But also may be due to less productction of TPO. TPO is a protein produced in the liver and possibly the kidneys, that stimulates bone marrow production of platelets.
This explains why persons with liver disease may also have low platelets symptoms.
The bodies defense system can be divided in two: TH1 and TH2. TH1 produces chemicals called cytokines that favor and produce inflammation in the body. TH2 also produces cytokines. But these are opposite to TH1. They are more anti-inflammatory.
ITP Patients are more in the TH1 category. Producing constant inflammation due to TH1 status. Immunoglobulin tends to help gear the body towards TH2.
Certain life-style habits that can stimulate TH1 in the body are:
- fried food
- animal fats
- arachidonic acid mostly found in animal protein
- excess use of oils
- lack of sleep
- too much or too little exercise
Inflammation usually results in the production of free radicals. Free radicals are unbalanced oxygen molecules that can damage cells. In this case, platelets! To Reduce free radicals eat more: kidney beans, berries (if platelets are over 90,000), carrots and carrot juice, juicing is very good, eat foods with a diversity of colors, wheat grass juice, etc.
This topic is too complex to give the details. But you have an immune system producing antibodies to kill platelets while the part that stops the immune system from doing this is simply not working. Vitamin D can help in controlling the immune system and prevent it from attacking platelets in some cases.
Puting it all togetther
To help improve platelet levels, all these factors must be addressed. Its not enough to try to increase platelets while your doing things that actually destroy them.
I have heard from many that diet cannot improve platelets. They say ” that they follow a balanced diet (whatever that means) and it has not helped at all!”.
But diet, life-style, Sleep, herbs, supplements, are there not only to “heal” but also to remove any obstruction in your body that may be reducing the effects of your treatment. And maybe, even causing resistance to the treatment your receiving. Making it non-effective.
Medsor Herbal treatment may be a total failure if you are adding inflammatory foods, increasing free radicals, destroying your immune system with unhealthy habits. Or not getting enough sleep may be affecting your T Cell suppressors. Which is the part of the immune system that keeps the “vicious dog” calm and controlled.
Stress will definitely mess up your platelets by causing immune, hormonal and inflammatory reactions.
Some tips ITP- Autoimmune thrombocytopenic Purpura
The clue is…remove the obstructions!
- Make sure your vitamin D status is adequate (between 50-90).
- Juicing is great for fighting inflammation and reducing free radical (complete juicing protocol found in our ( ebook Conquer Low Platelets)
- Short fasts are great for maintaining platelet levels also. Especially during a crisis.
- Small amount of exercise is recommended. But don’t overdo it.
- Include large amount of raw foods in your diet.
- Be consistent with your changes.
- And don’t stop the changes simply because your platelet levels improved. You will get back to square one before you know it.
- Healthy life-style for a life-time is what is going to improve your chances of success.
- And if you don’t improve rapidly, don’t give up! Chronic diseases such as ITP require “chronic changes”. Be patient.
- Don’t give up on herbal remedies just because they didn’t respond the way YOU WANTED! I see many people stop herbal treatments just before the victory line. It is interesting that many people will lose faith in natural therapies but will continue conventional treatments ..even they are NOT WORKING! Seek professional naturopathic advice, from a health practitioner that has experience with ITP. Not all naturopathic doctors do. And contrary to popular belief, the hematologist doesn’t have all the solutions. Nobody does!!
I hope this article has helped you understand the holistic approach to ITP (autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura ).
Naturopath for over 30 years
Author of Conquer Low Platelets