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Myeloma- Thrombocytopenia Low Platelets

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Thrombocytopenia or low platelets is a common side effect of chemotherapy. If you have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, you can experience thrombocytopenia from the myeloma itself or from one of the chemotherapies that you may undergo.

This post focuses on Thrombocytopenia caused by chemotherapy and how you can treat it.

Chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression is the general term for the lowering of the cancer patient’s blood counts when he or she is given chemotherapy or radiation therapy.


  • red blood cells- anemia
  • white blood cells- leukopenia
  • platelets- Thrombocytopenia 

According to research, there is no FDA approved therapy for chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia. 

Therefore, your oncologist can treat thrombocytopenia by:


  • reducing the dose of chemotherapy causing the reduced platelets-
  • giving you a therapy vacation in order for your platelet count hopefully to return to normal-
  • you can undergo a platelet transfusion-

If your platelets drop as a result of chemotherapy each of those possible fixes comes with side effects. According to the study linked and excerpted below, a high fat ketogenic diet can help the cancer patient maintain healthy platelet levels when he/she is undergoing chemotherapy.

In my experience as a cancer survivor and cancer coach, I have read of and witnessed most every challenge improved by combining both conventional therapies with evidence-based non-conventional therapies.

In this case I’m talking about the cancer patient pushing a high fat ketogenic diet while they also pursue a low-dose approach to chemotherapy. For example, if a given myeloma patient is beginning maintenance therapy, rather than do the standard regular dose of 15, 20 or 25 mg. of revlimid, discuss a dose of 5 or 10 mg. of revlimid.

Less chemo, lower toxicity, less damage to your platelets.

To learn more about myelosuppression, read the posts linked below.

David Emerson

  • Myeloma Survivor
  • Myeloma Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Chemotherapy for therapy for the myeloma patient is a double-edged sword. Please learn the risks and rewards in order to manage your myeloma for the rest of your life.


Thrombocytopenia is a condition characterized by abnormally low levels of platelets, also known as thrombocytes, in the blood.[2]It is the most common coagulation disorder among intensive care patients and is seen in a fifth of medical patients and a third of surgical patients.[3]

A normal human platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets/microliter (μl) of blood.[4] Values outside this range do not necessarily indicate disease. One common definition of thrombocytopenia requiring emergency treatment is a platelet count below 50,000/μl.[5]…”

High fat ketogenic diet envisioned as potential life-saving therapy to combat low platelets in cancer patients

“A high-fat diet may combat low platelet counts in the blood caused by chemotherapy, according to preliminary research, which suggests that a ketogenic eating plan may be a nontoxic, low-cost and high-benefit addition to cancer therapy…

Low platelets trigger a condition known as . Chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia is a severe complication in patients with cancer that can lead to an impaired therapeutic outcome and threaten survival.

An estimated 1 in 10 patients receiving chemotherapy develops thrombocytopenia, according to the authors of a new analysis in Science Translational Medicine

“Therapeutic options for chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia are limited by severe adverse effects and high economic burdens,” reports Dr. Sisi Xie lead author of the study…

“We demonstrate that ketogenic diets alleviate chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia in both animals and humans without causing thrombocytosis…”

Platelets are the tiny sticky disc-like cells—part of the blood supply—that clump together to form blood clots. When chemo destroys platelets, the result is thrombocytopenia, which can be dangerous. The condition complicates cancer surgeries by increasing the risk of bleeding, forcing doctors to reduce or discontinue chemotherapy altogether…

Current treatments for thrombocytopenia, such as platelet transfusions or recombinant therapies, are either expensive or carry an elevated risk of side effects…

The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than utilize carbohydrates for energy. Xie and colleagues hypothesize that this form of nutrition may work to prevent chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia because of activity in the , spurring production of healthy new platelets…

Dietary ketone body–escalated histone acetylation in megakaryocytes alleviates chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia

“Chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia (CIT) is a severe complication in patients with cancer that can lead to impaired therapeutic outcome and survival. Clinically, therapeutic options for CIT are limited by severe adverse effects and high economic burdens. Here, we demonstrate that ketogenic diets alleviate CIT in both animals and humans without causing thrombocytosis.

A ketogenesis-promoting diet alleviated CIT in mouse models. Moreover, a ketogenic diet modestly increased platelet counts without causing thrombocytosis in healthy volunteers, and a ketogenic lifestyle inversely correlated with CIT in patients with cancer..”

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