Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Platelet Count

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by mgk, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. mgk

    mgk Senior Member

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    I had the idea today to gather all of the old blood tests I could find and enter them into a spreadsheet to see if I could spot any patterns. The oldest one I have is from 2008 when I was in much better health. One thing that struck me is that my platelet count was much higher then than it is now. And it was lower still around the time my problems started. Then I looked up the possible causes of a low platelet count and found that B12 and folate deficiency are on the list.

    To give some concrete numbers (The "normal" range is 140-400 K/┬ÁL):
    • August 2008: 272
    • September 2012: 113
    • March 2014: 163
    • March 2014, later: 173
    • May 2014: 166
    So far I've been seeing good results from B12 and folate supplementation (along with the basics, especially magnesium). My progress is leveling off though so I'm going to experiment with L-Carnitine Fumarate soon.
     
  2. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    Thank you for that link mgk. I did not know of the folate or B12 deficiency link.

    I have wondered about my platelet count too, since I had Thrombocytopaenia in pregnancy 30 yrs ago. I believe that in my case for that event it was autoimmune. Afterwards they checked me out, and they had come back to normal apparently.

    Since then I did not see any full blood count info until about 3 yrs ago, by which time I was a long way into having ME/CFS. I then, like you discovered that my platelets were low and just off the range, and have remained that way over the past 3 yrs. I had assumed that this was autoimmune again, but maybe not so!

    I started taking folate and high B12 in the autumn last year, so I will ask for a full blood count when I have my thyroid blood test in a few weeks. It will be interesting to compare!
     
    mgk likes this.
  3. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    Another thing to check is MCV. Low B12 and folate will drive it higher.
     
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  4. mgk

    mgk Senior Member

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    I'm glad it helped! That's exactly why I posted. You never know what could allow someone else to make connections to their own situation. Serendipity is a powerful force of nature.

    How are you feeling nowadays? Please post an update when you get back your test results. I'd really love to know how it turns out.
     
  5. mgk

    mgk Senior Member

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    Thank you, you're right. Here are the MCV values (normal range is 80-100 fL):
    • August 2008: 64
    • September 2012: 70
    • March 2014: 68.5
    • March 2014, later: 69
    • May 2014: 70.1
    That didn't stick out to me as much because my MCV values (and a bunch of other things in my CBC) have always been abnormal due to a hereditary condition called Beta Thalassemia Minor. It's probably why my abnormal platelet count in 2012 wasn't noticed or given much weight. In hindsight, it's a very obvious difference though.

    Taking another look at the numbers, a bunch of other things increased since 2008 as well: HCT, MCH, and RDW.
     
  6. drob31

    drob31 Senior Member

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    Have you ever been tested for ITP? I know once you have 1 auto immune condition, your chances of developing others increases. My platelet count dropped but is still within "normal range" 155 (ref: 150-350).
     
  7. mgk

    mgk Senior Member

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    Were you asking @mermaid? Wasn't entirely clear. I've never been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, and I can't really relate to the symptoms of ITP. I relate more to the symptoms of B12 deficiency and fibromyalgia. I do wonder whether this pattern could be an indication of something else though so I made an appointment with my doctor today to see if there's anything else she wants to test. I'm definitely going to ask for another CBC at least to see what the numbers are like now.
     
  8. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    @mgk I was going to do the quote thing but I cannot work out how you do it if you want to pick out one line...
    So.... yes, I did improve before Christmas with the methylation I was doing, but unfortunately I had a mini crash just after Christmas. I think I thought I was better than I was, and it all kind of unravelled for a bit. This end of January I was beginning to pick up, but unfortunately I am now fighting flu I think.

    I have an ongoing gastritis/ulcer issue that keeps holding me back too, so it's complicated, but I am having that investigated.

    Anyway, other than all that I will get a retest in Feb to see how I am doing. As I do the thyroid check in Feb each year, the Full Blood Count was done at the same time.
     
  9. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    I was tested for ITP in pregnancy via a bone marrow test, but they won't check me again now because my platelets have not fallen as low as then apparently.

    I do have other autoimmune conditions though....I got autoimmune hypothyroidism some 10 yrs after the ITP in pregnancy, and then got Lichen Planus some 10 yrs after that.
     
  10. Phred

    Phred Senior Member

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    @mgk I wouldn't worry about those platelet counts. They are perfectly fine. I don't think a doctor would even be concerned about your counts until they were below 100. Even then I don't think they'd be overly concerned.

    I had Chronic ITP as a teenager. I couldn't keep my platelets above 20's without large doses of prednisone. Even with the prednisone I don't think my counts went more above 100. I had my spleen removed to fix the problem. Now my platelets are over 400 on a regular basis.

    In my case I believe the ITP was brought about by b12 and b9 deficiencies from Celiac.

    @mermaid ITP often happens in pregnancy. I'd been "cured" for 10 years, but still had to be monitored when I was pregnant as I was at a much higher risk of developing ITP again then. My platelet count certainly did drop then. They went from 400 to 200. Still well within safe limits, but dropped by half of what my body was used to.
     
  11. mgk

    mgk Senior Member

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    It may be fine* in absolute terms, but it is not fine when taken in the larger context of past test results. I actually think changes over time are more important than absolute values, especially for chronic conditions.

    * I think blood tests are being misused nowadays as a way of dismissing a patient's concerns instead of the way they were meant to be used, to aid in finding the cause of the ailment. A "fine" value for one person is sick for another, and vice versa.
     
  12. drob31

    drob31 Senior Member

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    This is interesting, your were deficient in folate and b12, the two micronutrients that are taken to support methylation. I didn't realize celiac caused this deficiency--triggered by an autoimmune condition.
     
  13. Phred

    Phred Senior Member

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    @drob31 B12 is absorbed through the villi in the intestines (when taken orally). The "gold standard" of Celiac diagnoses is a biopsy showing villous atrophy.

    Celiac, ITP, lots of autoimmune fun in my life. ;)
     
  14. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    Those numbers are low, approaching normal. It's numbers higher than normal that point to possible B12 and B9 deficiency.
     
  15. mgk

    mgk Senior Member

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    Yes, but I also have another condition (hereditary) which causes the MCV to always be lower than normal. I think the fact that it increased is relevant, but I need to ask my doctor about it to be sure.
     
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  16. mgk

    mgk Senior Member

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    I just got my test results back. The platelet count went from 166 K/uL to 244 K/uL! I'm very happy to see that things are improving quickly. The other CBC numbers are still hard to make much sense of because of the Thalassemia, but most of them moved closer to the time I was in much better health.

    The only exception is RDW, which slightly increased. I think that makes sense though: if more healthy red blood cells are being made, then there would be more variation in their size until all of the unhealthy ones die out. I think it will normalize soon.

    I also got a few other things tested:
    • Ferritin: 72 (range 22-322 ng/mL)
    • Vitamin D 25-OH: 54.3 (30-100 ng/mL)
    • Homocysteine: 10.9 (3.7-13.9 umol/L)
    • Vitamin B12: 1108 (211-911 pg/mL)
    • MMA: < 0.10 (< 0.40 umol/L)
    • TSH: 1.8 (0.350-5.500 uIU/mL)
    Even though homocysteine is within range, I don't put a lot of stock in it because I don't have an old number to compare it against. I suspect that it is higher than normal for me.
     

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