I have ET. Can increased stress, for instance due to a demanding work schedule, lead to an increased platelet count?

I am hoping to return to work following a liver transplant six months ago. I have well established ET ( JaK 2 + ) which contributed to the need for it. I am concerned that, fatigue notwithstanding, the stress i am used to ( teaching ) will result in me having to give up in any case.

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  • I don't think stress would impact on your platelets. I'm JAK- and haven't had interferon for 2 years as it has knocked my platelets into submission, i.e. almost into normal range. Last year my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour and died 5 months later, subsequently I've moved house and of course taken a drastic drop in income. The platelets remained constant throughout. I would think your other health issues might be of greater concern. I do yoga and meditation, which help wonderfully to cope with our frenetic modern world. Have a look at some of Jon Kabat-Zinn's work online. And yes teachng these days is tough.

  • Hi Tafira and Kevin JH

    One of the great things about this site is that it puts one's own issues into perspective - the stress i will encounter as an SEN Teacher will be paltry in comparison to yours! Thanks so much for the advice.

    Nick X

  • I have a particularly stressful job in the Justice system (I have PRV) and haven't noticed any adverse changes in my platelet count since diagnosis - all changes that there have been were down purely to medication.

  • I have ET and I do believe that stress does increase your platelet levels.

    My platelet levels jumped by 200 back at end of June. I was incredibly stressed then, not only about my diagnosis but there a number of family issues going on around that time too.

    I have tried very hard to manage my stress levels since then including reducing how much I take on, not only at a physical level but emotional too. I have also been having counselling too which I feel has enabled my stress to come out rather than being bottled up. My last count showed a drop in levels and managing my stress has been the only thing I have consciously done.

    Hope this helps

  • Thanks Ruby. I hope to be able to manage how much I take on as well by working part time. I believe that 'talking cures' really do help to restore good physical as well as mental wellbeing. Good luck to you.

    Nick x

  • I have ET, My Platelets went up to well over 1000 during a very stressful period at work (prior to the stressful period platelet levels were hovering around 200) My GP gave me Three weeks off, platelets are now down to 150 with no change in Hydroxycarbamide dosage. A dramatic change, with just a little bit of rest. There must be some relationship between stress and platelet levels. Have any tests/research been done?

    I for one would put myself up as a Guinea Pig to help research is anyone aware of ongoing research?............. there seems to be very little real knowledge in the medical world.

    Great site by the way, lots of useful positive information. Steve from Exeter, Devon.

  • I am getting the impression that there is a link between stress and platelet levels with some individual cases. Whether or not it would be acknowledged by medics is a moot point - I too would like to see some research into this and would be happy to participate in any trials.

  • 100 percent agree.

  • I was also wondering if stress has an impact on platelets, I was diagnosed in May 2012 and my platelets were around 900 to 1100. Today I was back in the hospital and they were 1466 I was shocked as the large increase. The last couple of months in work have been very stressful and very long days and like you I started to think about stress causing the problem. I now plan to cut back to a 4 day week take more control and work shorter hours and I am due some holidays which I intend to take. I am due back on 17 Dec I will be interested to see the results as I am not on any treatment other than 75mg of aspirin.

  • I'm glad you say you are cutting back your work commitments. As you can see from the spread of responses, the link between platelets and stress seems to be getting stronger. What intrigues me is that you are not on Hydroxycarbomide, just Aspirin. The jump in platelets during the last couple of months cannot therefore be ascribed to Hydrox levels. Btw, with those platelet levels I'm really surprised you only take aspirin. Take care.

    Nick

  • I know this is a 4 year old post, but I feel like I can add something from my particularly case.

    I am starting to think there is a connection between stress and platelets count and that is the reason why I ended up in this web page on the first place.

    My ET was confirmed few month ago, but my family and I new something wasn't right since I was around 9. I'm 23, female, and since the diagnosed I've been taking Hydrea. My platelet count has been around 800 for the past months, I keep track of it every two weeks. I've been through some stressful situations lately and a week ago my platelets increased from 843 to 1,020. So, because of that jump I needed another blood test today and my platelet count is 1,420. I haven't change my routine nor my medication, and I need to point out that also 5 days ago I received another pretty unsatisfying news that make me even more anxious and stress out.

    So, I base my believe of the connection from this recent experience and past ones. I know what I say could not make sense and that's why I wish people start researching about this because the uncertainty of what can or can't be done to help is pretty annoying.

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