If you are not taking care of your spleen, then there will be the chance for the liver gets burdensome which can affect your liver and can cause liver diseases. The spleen is an important organ for the proper functioning immune system. If you test positive for an enlarged spleen, then following a proper diet is the natural way to reduce the enlarged spleen. In this article, we will mainly focus on Foods To Avoid With Enlarged Spleen.
What Is Spleen?
The spleen is the largest organ in the lymphatic system found in all vertebrates. It is located in the upper left part and back of your abdomen, underneath the left side of the diaphragm. It performs multiple functions to keep the body normal. The functions include maintaining fluid balance, regulating the immune system, and easy absorption of fats. It helps in maintaining healthy red and white blood cells and platelets.
As a part of an immune response, the white blood cells produced in the spleen help in removing bacteria, dead tissue, and waste matter from the blood and filtering the blood. And finally, it protects your body against infection. The spleen consists of two tissues called white pulp and red pulp. These two tissues split up their functions between them.
What Is An Enlarged Spleen?
The normal healthy spleen appears fist in size and weighs around 70 – 200 grams. The enlarged spleen weighs around 400 – 500 grams and this condition is referred to as Splenomegaly. If it weighs more than 1 kg then it is called massive splenomegaly. So, what causes the spleen gets enlarged.
Top 6 Causes An Enlarged Spleen
Not all times the enlarged spleen is in splenomegaly condition. Sometimes due to being overactive in its process it appears enlarged and this is called hypersplenism. There are no such big issues when the spleen is in hypersplenism. But if gets enlarged due to other causes then it is the problem.
There are various causes of an enlarged spleen and they include;
- Infections include viral infections, parasitic infections, and bacterial infections that can cause an enlarged spleen.
- Can occur due to blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. Leukemia is a blood cancer where the count of white blood cells is higher than red blood cells and platelets. It can swell the spleen. In lymphoma, lymphocytes in the spleen get affected and grow out of control.
- A liver condition cirrhosis and other liver diseases can cause an enlarged spleen
- Congestive heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis can lead to splenomegaly.
- Inflammatory diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and sarcoidosis can cause splenomegaly.
- And other conditions that cause enlarged spleen are trauma, certain cancers, abscess, heart failure, contagious diseases like mononucleosis, and blood diseases.
8 Common Enlarged Spleen Symptoms
It is hard to find the presence of splenomegaly in the body since the symptoms are rare. It can find through some of the common symptoms are;
- Unable to eat a large meal
- Pain on the upper left side of the abdomen and spread to the left shoulder
- Feeling fullness or discomfort
- Weight loss
- Frequent infections
Sometimes you can reduce the symptoms of the condition by following the proper diet. There is no defined diet to reduce the symptoms of an enlarged spleen. But avoiding certain foods in the diet can protect from developing the diseases.
7 Foods To Avoid With Enlarged Spleen
- Sugar-sweetened foods, sweets, and Beverages- Sugary foods can create negative effects on your general immune system. It can make the spleen overact to fight against infection and diseases. So, it can cause an enlarged spleen. Examples of sugary foods are soda, candy, ice cream, sugary baked items, milkshakes, iced tea, and energy drinks.
- Fast Food- Fast foods are bad for your immune system as they prepare with too much salt. Excessive salt can reduce your immune power. So, avoiding fast foods will keep you away from an enlarged spleen. Examples of fast food are burgers, pizzas, nuggets, French fries, snacks, chats, and donuts.
- Alcohol- If people with enlarged spleen drink alcohol it worsens the condition most. It affects the immune system and disturbs the function of the spleen. Alcohol lowers the blood cell level and can cause anemia. It also affects the platelets which help with blood clotting. By reducing alcohol consumption you can reduce the symptoms of an enlarged spleen.
- Caffeine- Although caffeine is a good source of antioxidants and reduces inflammation, too much consumption can affect your sleeping pattern. A sleepless night can affect your immune system. It can worsen the splenomegaly condition further. Avoid consuming too much caffeine to reduce the enlarged spleen symptoms.
- Refined carbohydrates- Refined carbohydrates consist of excess sugar that can limit the ability of the immune system. By cutting the consumption of refined carbohydrates, you can reduce the risk of an enlarged spleen.
- Cold foods- Cold and raw food items are not good for people with the condition enlarged spleen. The refrigerated foods are hard to digest. Raw vegetables and green salads may contain higher water content that can increase the swelling. So, by limiting the cold and raw food items you can limit the splenomegaly symptoms.
- Processed Oils and Ultra-processed Snacks- Consuming the food prepared with processed oils can increase the free radicals count in the body. These free radicals can damage body tissue and cause inflammation. This creates a way for the infections and diseases to test your immune system. Similarly avoid ultra-processed snacks like chips, crackers, and other baked foods. These foods are not good for your immune system and may worsen the enlarged spleen medical condition. Source
Foods To Add To Control Enlarged Spleen
Like there are foods to avoid with an enlarged spleen to improve the condition, adding certain foods to your diet helps you protect against disease and improve overall health. It is the way to reduce an enlarged spleen naturally. What are the foods can add? Read further.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of minerals and vitamins and can boost your immunity. They also help in reducing inflammation. Fruits and vegetables that can add to your diet are berries, citrus fruits, bananas, apples, cherries, spinach, broccoli, peppers, and asparagus. Vitamin A in green vegetables is good for your immune system.
For easy digestion, you can prefer cooked vegetables not to worse enlarged spleen condition. Vegetables like pumpkin, turnip, winter squash, carrot, and parsnip can add to the diet list. And legumes like peas, black beans, and garbanzo can also add.
Seeds And Nuts
You can consume seeds and nuts such as cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sesame, chia, and nuts. It improves overall health and protects against the enlarged spleen condition.
Spices And Herbs
Spices and Herbs are good for the spleen. You can add spices and herbs like ginger, rosemary, cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, basil, oregano, and capsicum to your diet to protect against an enlarged spleen.
Nutrition-packed whole grains such as oats, brown rice, barley, and quinoa can add to your diet to maintain a healthy spleen.
Olive oil, full-fat yogurt, coconut, and avocados are the source of healthy fats that can add to the diet to protect the spleen against a disease called splenomegaly.
Foods can worsen or improve the disease condition. If you are following a diet with foods that reduce the disease condition can sometimes cure, but not sure. You may ask, whether the spleen can return to its normal size. It all depends upon the cause. The enlarged spleen condition in infectious mononucleosis can return to its normal condition as the infection gets cured.
However, whether the condition is unchangeable or changeable, following a proper diet can improve the condition. So, once you found an enlarged spleen through any of the tests, try to avoid mentioned foods to improve your disease condition.
The article written by me is for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice. The reader should always consult a Medical practitioner concerning any medical condition.