Do you have an inflamed/enlarged spleen? The spleen is a vital organ located near the ribs. There are various factors that can cause an inflamed spleen including infection, liver problems, and some kinds of cancer. If you want to impress your friends/family the fancy name for an enlarged spleen is “splenomegaly.” We don’t hear as much about the spleen as the heart, lungs, liver, etc. One of the main problems of an enlarged spleen is there usually aren’t any symptoms. This highlights the importance of routine physical checkups. The doctor can feel when a patient has an enlarged spleen, order tests to learn the root cause, and share a sample inflamed spleen diet.
Like many other health conditions, one treatment for an enlarged spleen is diet changes. In a sense heat “powers” the spleen. So, you should avoid foods like cold drinks and frozen food. If you have an inflamed spleen you should also avoid foods like white sugar and sweets since they can also cause problems. There are many spleen-friendly foods you should consider if you have a spleen condition. They include lean meats, brown rice, lightly-cooked veggies, and beans. If you want to use natural remedies you should also consider various herbs like dried ginger and hemp seed pill (HSP).
What Is an Inflamed Spleen?
Most of us have heard of the spleen and know it has something to do with the stomach. However, what exactly is it? The spleen is an abdominal organ and located on the left side near the ribs. In the past, the medical world didn’t understand the importance of the spleen.
However, scientists now know that spleen is important for many body functions. So, removing the spleen can be dangerous for patients unless it’s a medical emergency.
The organ is made up of white/red tissue. This allows it to perform different functions. This explains why people with no spleens are at greater risk of having pneumonia and other major infections, and also shorter lifespan.
The spleen is a soft organ that has several jobs. It filters out old blood cells. The spleen prevents infection by making white blood cells. It also helps with blood clotting by storing red blood cells.
If you have an enlarged spleen you probably won’t experience any symptoms. However, you might experience symptoms like:
- Feeling full
- Many infections
- Pain/fullness in the upper abdomen
- Small appetite
You experience these symptoms because the spleen isn’t working properly. As it becomes bigger it filters normal and sick red blood cells. This reduces how many healthy cells are flowing in the bloodstream.
It’s important to treat an inflamed spleen ASAP. That’s because it can develop into complications like infection and a ruptured spleen. These are more serious conditions that are tougher to treat.
There are also various causes of an inflamed spleen. They include:
- Bacterial infections (heart infection)
- Parasitic infections (malaria)
- Veins (blood clot)
- Blood cancers (leukemia)
- Liver disease (cirrhosis)
- Anemia (red blood cells)
- Viral infections (mono)
Anyone can experience inflamed spleen. However, certain groups have a higher risk including:
- People with different genetic disorders that affect the spleen/liver
- People who travel to areas where malaria is a problem
- Kids/young adults with mono or other infections
Inflamed Spleen Diet
Here are some spleen-friendly foods to add to your diet if you have an inflamed spleen:
|Brown rice||Herbal tea||Rice porridge|
|Cherries||Herbs (dried ginger)||Sesame seeds|
|Coconut||Kidney beans||Slow-cooked food (crockpot)|
|Dates||Lean meats||Soups/Stews (carrots, turnips, cabbage, herbs)|
|Ginger||Spring onions||Sunflower seeds|
One non-traditional treatment for the inflamed spleen is something called hemp seed pill (HSP). This pill is a mixture of stuff like apricot seeds, bitter orange, hemp seeds, magnolia bark, and rhubarb.
Studies show that HSP can be effective not only for spleen health but also for other digestion problems like constipation. One study showed that high HSP doses were effective in the treatment of nearly 100 constipation patients.
As always, it’s important to talk to your doctor about which treatments/diet would be most effective for your particular condition. The doctor might recommend certain ingredients/foods based on factors like the symptoms/causes of your inflamed spleen.
Here are some spleen-friendly recipes for treating enlarged spleen:
CHICKEN GINGER CONGEE
- Shredded chicken breast (1-2 cups)
- Fresh ginger (2)
- Yellow onion (1/2, diced)
- Carrots (3, medium)
- Chinese red dates (5)
- Goji berries (3 TBSP, dried)
- Sea salt
- Add chicken, carrots, ginger, onion, and dates to water (1 quart) and simmer for 1 hour (uncovered)
- Add goji berries during the last 15 minutes
- Use 1 quart of soup as a base for congee
- Bay leaf (1)
- Carrots (3, chopped)
- Celery stalks (3-4, chopped)
- Onion (1, halved)
- Turnip (1, halved)
- Parsnip (1, halved)
- Garlic clove (1, crushed)
- Purple cabbage (1/2 head)
- Add water or bone broth (1-2 quarts) to a large pot. Add cabbage, parsnip, turnip, and garlic.
- Put carrots, onion, and celery. Cook for 30-60 min. or after cabbage gets soft.
- After cooking remove turnip/parsnip.
- Cook at low/medium heat for 1 hr. or until the liquid turns purple.
Tips for Healthy Spleen
Eat at regular times
The reason is when you have irregular eating habits it can cause problems for the spleen. For example, if you skip breakfast this can weaken the spleen. Other possible issues can be large/late dinners, as well as snacks.
Whenever possible try to eat at regular times. The largest meal should be lunch, followed by breakfast and dinner. If you’re going to eat snacks keep them light and healthy.
Watch out for symptoms
It’s important to know the symptoms of an unhealthy spleen. They include indigestion, fatigue, LBM, and cold limbs.
Both of these substances are bad for the spleen and pancreas. Make sure to stay away from “damp” foods. That includes sugars, fat, alcohol, and dairy. Avoid foods with high moisture content since they’re bad for people with an inflamed spleen.
This is important besides watching your diet. Make sure to exercise regularly, worry less, and avoid damp environments.
Eat more beans/peas and whole grains
Both of these foods are good for a healthy spleen. Try to eat these foods daily:
Other good foods for your meals include lean meats, and yellow/orange root crops like carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and squash. These foods aren’t just spleen-friendly but can also be good options for maintaining general health.
Avoid raw/cold foods
It’s important to avoid foods like raw veggies or food right out of the fridge. That’s because they put out the digestive “fire.” You should especially avoid raw vegetable salads whose ingredients are high-water should be avoided. That’s because they can boost swelling.
It’s better to eat foods that are spleen-friendly like herbal teas, pears, grapes, dates, carrots, potatoes, cereals, cinnamon, and honey for your inflamed spleen diet.