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What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Myelofibrosis?

Myelofibrosis which is also known as primary myelofibrosis (PMF) is quite a rare bone marrow disorder characterized by abnormal blood cells and fibrosis (scar tissue formation) in the bone marrow. The only potential cure is stem cell transplantation but most patients are not eligible to undergo a stem cell transplantation, therefore, treatment is to control the symptoms and to prolong life as long as possible while preserving the quality of life.

Dietary changes cannot cure the disease but it can help to improve the symptoms, reduce side effects from the drugs given for treatment, make you physically and mentally healthy and overall improve all aspects of the disease. You will feel much better and fit in carrying out your daily routines. There is no specific diet that you should follow for myelofibrosis but you should follow a healthy diet that is recommended generally.

What To Eat When You Have Myelofibrosis?

What To Eat When You Have Myelofibrosis?

  • An anti-inflammatory diet rich in antioxidants
  • According to studies, eating this kind of diet reduces the inflammation and toxic stage that is already in the body and prevents further inflammation.
  • Most of you must have heard about Anti-inflammatory diet rich in antioxidants it’s basically having a plant-based diet and that mean loads of antioxidants.
  • Have plenty of vegetables and fruits.
  • This also includes whole-grains (bread, cereals, noodles, and brown rice), nuts and legumes.
  • Now, you must be wondering then what about proteins and fat? Should I not consume any? Have food with unsaturated fat which is plant-based fat such as olive oil, sunflower oil. You can have fish but try to follow a plant-based diet as much as possible.
  • Include herbs and spices more to your diet.
  • Some of the food that has cytotoxic properties are apples, cranberries, rosemary, turmeric, basil, broccoli, and cabbage.
  • However, any fruit or vegetable is good as long as you don’t have kidney problems or electrolyte imbalances.
  • Have more green leafy vegetables such as spinach, beans, lentils, and nuts. To increase absorption, have a glass of orange juice or lemon juice along with it.

If you have a loss of appetite or loss of weigh have small meals more frequently rather than having big meals. It is important you consume calorie dense food to gain weight.(1)

What To Avoid When You Have Myelofibrosis?

Avoid or at least reduce all animal-based products especially red meat and processed meat should not be consumed at all. Studies have shown that these have many carcinogens and it induces inflammation in the body. In myelofibrosis the risk of thrombosis is high due to the increased platelets levels, therefore, you are at increased risk of thrombosis and more inflammation in the body can lead to the formation of plaques in the blood vessels.

  • Avoid dairy products as much as possible as these also tend to induce inflammation in the body.
  • Avoid food with refined carbohydrates and replace those with whole-grains.
  • Avoid food with saturated fat (animal food) and food with trans-fat such as French fries and bakery good.
  • Reduce salt; go along with the policy of no added salt.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks and caffeine products.(1)


There isn’t any specific diet especially for myelofibrosis; therefore, a healthy diet that is recommended can be followed with few alterations depending on the symptoms. Basically, follow an anti-inflammatory diet rich in antioxidant which means have more fruits, vegetables, whole-grain food, nuts, legumes, fish and plant-based fat. Have more green leafy vegetables to increase the iron content. Add more herbs and spices to your diet as most of these have beneficial properties. Avoid or at least reduce animal proteins as much as possible especially red meat and processed meat. Avoid dairy products, refined carbohydrates, added salt, carbonated drinks, and caffeine products.


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:June 21, 2022

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