PLATELETS are tiny cells that circulate in the blood and take part in the clotting process (haemostasis). Granules are found in each platelet which contains the compounds that enhance the ability of platelets to stick to each other and also to the surface of damaged blood vessels’ walls: that way the clotting process takes place.

Dengue fever virus primarily influences the production system of platelets production. The platelet count for a normal person varies from 150,000 to 250,000 per unit volume. On getting infected, the patient platelet count starts declining. Briefly, low platelet count means that body is not building platelets as quick as they are being needed. Many factors can influence an individual’s platelet count, such as food, exercise, racial origin and disease. The average life span of a platelet in the blood is 10 days.

Fruits like acai berries, pomegranates, oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, cashew nuts, berries, grapes are rich in anti-oxidants.

They eliminate the free radicals/molecules in the blood which may be responsible for damaging tissues and also keeping low level of platelet count.

Consumptions of green leafy vegetables, cod liver oil, flax seed oils and fresh fruits help to improve platelet count. Fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and dark greens are packed with nutrients and vitamins that improve and stabilise the immune system of the body, which is indispensable for keeping fighting against dengue fever.

During dengue fever saturated fats, refined sugar and processed foods need to be avoided. Stay away from aerated beverages, junk and oily foods. Stop consuming raw food, especially vegetables in the form of salads. It is important to wash them carefully before consuming, as they may result in parasitic infection in the colon, which can further lead to fall in the platelet count.

Vitamin C, easily solved in water and absorbed by body, helps immediately to restore platelet count.

Multivitamin, with iron supplements, also plays a vital role in regulating and boosting up an individual’s physiology. Rest with intake of plenty of fluids orally is essential in dengue fever.

HABIB HYDER LAGHARI Canada

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