A deficiency in red blood cell production can make you feel tired, cause dizziness and shortness of breath; a low platelet count can cause bleeding and blistering while low white blood cell count can leave your body defenceless against infection.
Whilst most people with a blood or bone marrow disorder will require medical intervention at some point, there are things that you can eat to help stimulate healthy blood production, whilst you are ill and while you are recovering from a bone marrow transplant. At Bone Marrow transplant Mexico our nutritionists will advise you on what you can eat to promote good health, whilst our team of doctors will, in partnership with the nutritionist, devise a supplementation program to help your body to heal effectively. Here are a few things you can try to get in your day to day diet, to promote optimal health:
A high iron intake can help your bone marrow to function better. According to one study, your body only absorbs 1 milligram of every 10-20 milligrams of iron that you consume. Your lymphatic organs (bone marrow, spleen and liver) will store 30% of your iron but most of it is absorbed by the bone marrow to make new red blood cells (a process known as erythropoiesis).
Iron rich foods include red meat (well cooked, if you are neutrapenic), green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, spinach and broccoli and lima beans. High Vitamin C consumption is also important for the absorption of iron, although a vitamin supplement may be a safer way of getting enough vitamin C if you have neutropenia.
Folic Acid and B12
Folic Acid is a vitamin that helps your platelets, the cells responsible for blood thickening and clotting, to function. It also aids in DNA synthesis, helping healthy cells to reproduce. Without folic acid, your bone marrow won’t be able to divide and reproduce properly. Folic Acid works with vitamin B12, which stimulates enzymes in the bone marrow to encourage the production of bone marrow cells.
Some Foods that Contain Folic Acid and Vitamin B12
You can find Folic Acid in liver and egg yolk, although these need to be well cooked (no runny yolks!) if you have neutropenia. Beans, sweet potato, wholegrain bread, spinach and cabbage are also high in the vitamin.
One of the roles of vitamin A is to control the proteins produced by your cells to help the healthy development of new cells. The role of vitamin A in promoting the healthy development and maturation of stem cells in the bone marrow is particularly important. If you don’t have enough vitamin A, your bone marrow won’t be able to produce stem cells.
You can get lots of vitamin A from foods including carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, pumpkin, cod liver oil and eggs (well-cooked for neutrapenics).
Bone Marrow Transplant Mexico is a part of Angeles Health, Mexico’s largest network of hospitals. We are passionate about treating the patient, working on their nutrition levels to optimize the effectiveness of our procedures and reduce recovery time.
Through supplementing our bone marrow transplant procedures with nutrition and lifestyle advice we make sure that once we get our patients healthy we help them to stay healthy, for life.
If you would like to know more about Bone Marrow Transplant and how it could cure you or a loved one from a chronic bone marrow disorder, such as aplastic anemia or leukemia, contact us for a free consultation.