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Idiopathic myelofibrosis – causes, side effects and treatments at

Thursday, May 24, 2018 by

An idiopathic myelofibrosis is a chronic myeloproliferative disorder characterized by spontaneous scarring (fibrosis) of the bone marrow, which disrupts the normal production of blood cells. This leads to severe anemia and enlargement of the spleen and liver.

Myelofibrosis usually begins gradually and worsens over time. It can be associated with a variety of diseases, primarily myeloproliferative disorders (disease of the bone marrow).

Idiopathic myelofibrosis is also known as agnogenic myeloid metaplasia.

Known symptoms of idiopathic myelofibrosis

Most of the symptoms of primary myelofibrosis are related to abnormalities affecting the production of blood cells. Most blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and released into the bloodstream to perform their specific functions: Red blood cells deliver oxygen, white blood cells fight off infections, and platelets form clots to stop any bleeding.

Bone marrow fibrosis can inflame the tissue around the bone and make your bones and joints ache. You can also have joint pain from gout, caused by too much uric acid, which deposits sharp crystals in your joints. You may also have intense itching, run a low fever, or have night sweats.

Other symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Abdominal fullness, pain, or feeling full after eating a small amount of food (because of an enlarged spleen)
  • Bone pain
  • Easy bleeding and bruising
  • Fatigue
  • Increased likelihood of getting an infection
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath from any exerted effort such as exercise

Body systems harmed by idiopathic myelofibrosis

Many patients with myelofibrosis will have symptoms caused by the enlargement of the spleen, including pain when you breathe deeply and loss of appetite.

In myelofibrosis, your spleen gets bigger and makes too much blood, which can lead to high blood pressure in the portal vein. This forces blood into small veins in your esophagus and stomach. These fragile, stretched veins can burst, which can cause gastrointestinal bleeding.

When your body is forming blood in your liver and spleen, you may develop tumors elsewhere in your body, such as the lymph nodes, spinal cord and lungs, or even acute leukemia.

Complications may include:

  • Development of acute myelogenous leukemia
  • Infections
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Liver failure

Food items or nutrients that may prevent idiopathic myelofibrosis

Your bone marrow is predominantly found inside the bones of your legs and arms. It consists of fat cells, blood vessels and specialized cells that produce the three types of  blood cells – red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Add more foods and nutrients that support bone marrow health and the production of your blood cells, such as the following:

  • Protein — Good sources include meat, poultry, fish, dairy foods, legumes, and vegetables.
  • Iron — Animal sources such as liver and organ meats, poultry, fish and shellfish contain heme iron, which is more easily absorbed by your body. Plant foods such as whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds give you less readily absorbed non-heme iron.
  • Folic acid — from foods such as brown rice, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, chickpeas, and fortified cereals.
  • Vitamin B6 — Your bone marrow also requires vitamin B6 – pyridoxine – to form hemoglobin. Foods rich in vitamin B6 include poultry, fish, eggs, whole grains, milk, potatoes and fortified cereals.

Calcium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acid and strontium are also important nutrients needed for optimal bone health.

Treatments, management plans for idiopathic myelofibrosis

Below are some herbs and spices that help relieve and heal myelofibrosis and even bone cancer symptoms:

  • Turmeric
  • Goldenseal and Echinacea
  • Cayenne
  • Astragalus

Where to learn more


An idiopathic myelofibrosis is a chronic myeloproliferative disorder characterized by fibrosis of the bone marrow, which disrupts the normal production of blood cells.

Severe anemia and enlarged spleen and liver are the hallmark symptoms of idiopathic myelofibrosis.

Sources include:


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