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What To Eat & Avoid When You Have A Myelodysplastic Syndrome?

Myelodysplastic syndrome is a disorder characterized by abnormal production of immature blood cells in the bone marrow that replaces normal healthy blood cells. These cells cannot grow into mature blood cells and cannot perform the normal function of mature blood cells. It leads to a decrease in the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the body resulting in anemia, weakened immune system, frequent infections and bleeding disorders. It happens due to mutations in the DNA of the blood cells. Diet modification can help in improving the condition and preventing various other health problems.

What To Eat & Avoid When You Have A Myelodysplastic Syndrome?

What To Eat When You Have A Myelodysplastic Syndrome?

Myelodysplastic syndrome refers to a group of blood cancers that appear due to inappropriate production of immature blood cells in the bone marrow. In this syndrome, these immature blood cells become cancerous named as blasts. It alters the normal function of healthy blood cells. It results in the reduction of one or more type of healthy blood cells in the body. About one-third of this syndrome progress into a rapidly growing blood cancer named acute myeloid leukemia (AML). It affects males more than females. It usually impacts in the old age after the age of 60 years.

Eating right and nutrition plays an important role in the prevention of anemia in Myelodysplastic syndrome. Most patients who have received stem cell transplantation must stick to a healthy and nutritious diet for recovery. It is recommended that the food items that are spoiled or not cleaned properly should be avoided especially in the people who have undergone stem cell transplantation.

Certain foods should be avoided to prevent any infection as immunity of person with myelodysplastic syndrome lowers down.

The foods that should be included in the diet of patients of Myelodysplastic syndrome is-

Fruits – Fruits are a great source of vitamin C, potassium and other nutrients. All fruits except citrus fruits are recommended in patients of myelodysplastic syndrome. Apple is considered the best fruit that can fight against cancerous growth in the body. It is recommended in myelodysplastic syndrome to have all the fruits that can be peeled off. Dates are allowed in small quantity.

Vegetables– fresh vegetables after thorough cleaning must be included in the diet of MDS patients. It should be cooked properly before use as raw vegetables increase the risk of infection in myelodysplastic syndrome.

Liquid diet– water intake and liquid intake is good for myelodysplastic syndrome. Fruit juices and vegetable soups provide lots of benefits to the health in myelodysplastic syndrome. It supplies energy and maintains the water balance in the body. Coconut water is the best way to hydrate the body and neutralize the toxins from acidic food in the body.

Ghee– ghee is preferred more than butter or cheese that benefit the body by maintaining healthy body fat.(1)

What To Avoid When You Have A Myelodysplastic Syndrome?

Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, etc should be avoided.

Greasy food items such as banana, yogurt, ladies finger, etc should be avoided.

Packed or processed food such as pasta, noodles, etc should be avoided.

Mangoes, chickoo, and grapes are not recommended if myelodysplastic syndrome patients have constipation or diabetes as associated complaints.

Packed beverages or soft drinks should be avoided in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome as they release CO2 that reduces the oxygen level in the healthy cells of the body.

Alcohol consumption– alcohol consumption is not considered good for health in any case. In myelodysplastic syndrome, it promotes the abnormal cell division and causes other damages to the health.(1)


Myelodysplastic syndrome happens due to faulty bone marrow. Diet modification can help to rule out various other health ailments projected with myelodysplastic syndrome. Fruits and vegetables consumed in the right way replenish the body with so many essential nutrients. Other dietary modification discussed above maintains the energy level and strengthen the immune system of the body to fight against infections.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 22, 2020

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