Essential Thrombocytosis Foods to Avoid

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Essential thrombocytosis occurs when blood platelets run amok, but medication and careful nutrition can manage the disease.
Essential thrombocytosis occurs when blood platelets run amok, but medication and careful nutrition can manage the disease. (Image: blood cells image by Jesse-lee Lang from Fotolia.com)

Thrombocytosis is a blood disease characterized by excessive amounts of blood-clotting cells in the blood known as platelets. When too many platelets congregate, the risk for clots in blood vessels rises, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. While the treatment of this condition often involves medications that reduce platelets and risk of bleeding, the University of Maryland Medical Center promotes sound nutrition, dietary supplementation and the avoidance of several categories of foods as part of a total strategy for managing this disease.

Refined Foods

Essential thrombocytosis sufferers would do well to avoid refined foods, including grains that have been stripped of their endosperms (bran) and sugar. Whole grains should be chosen whenever possible; that is, whole wheat pastas, brown rice and wholen grain breads. Whole grains lower cholesterol (a concern for anyone with a blood disorder) and promote intestinal health.

Fats

Vegetable oils should replace saturated fats. Choose olive and canola oils in cooking. Forget the butter. Saturated fats are implicated in cardiovascular disease, including atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. People with thrombocytosis are already at risk for heart attack and stroke given the tendency for their blood to clot.

Trans-fatty acids are often hidden in store-bought baked goods such as crackers and cookies. They're found in donuts, fried potatoes, margarine and a range of processed foods. Because they have a negative impact on the blood, people with thrombocytosis must be particularly wary of trans fats, as they should of alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. Trans fats are worse than saturated fats because they heighten LDL, or bad, cholesterol in the blood.

Meat, Alcohol, Caffeine and Tobacco

All of these substances work against cardiovacular health, which is already compromised in people with thrombocytosis. Replace red meat with lean protein sources, such as poultry, cold-water fish, beans and tofu. Caffeine and tobacco raise blood pressure. Alcohol, if not consumed very moderately, in the short term, can create nutritional imbalances.

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