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What Food to Eat for Inflammation of Pleurisy

by
author image Catherine Frances
Catherine Frances began writing professionally in 2011. She graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., earning a B.S. in nutritional science. While at university, she competed as a sprinter on Pepperdine’s NCAA Division 1 track team. Frances has worked as a Peer Nutrition Educator and also volunteered in medical-surgical and postpartum departments of a hospital.
What Food to Eat for Inflammation of Pleurisy
Stir fried green beans with chicken. Photo Credit Elena_Danileiko/iStock/Getty Images

Inflammation of pleurisy is an inflammation of the membrane around the lungs, called the pleura. This membrane is two layers thick and lines the chest cavity, thereby protecting the lungs. In healthy individuals, there is a thick layer of fluid between the two pleura. In pleurisy, however, these two layers become inflamed; in the case of wet pleurisy, they fill up with liquid which can become infected. Good diet choices can come alongside medications to assist the body with combating this disease.

Foods for Inflammation

Pleurisy is a disease of infection, and Harvard Medical School makes certain recommendations to deal with inflammation. Avoid saturated and trans fat oils in favor of olive oil. Consume fewer refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice, French fries and soda and instead eat whole-grain products. Fruits and vegetables should be a large component of the diet because they act as anti-inflammatory agents as do nuts. Moderate alcohol consumption, defined as one drink a day, also quenches inflammation. Finally, cocoa and dark chocolate are also beneficial but only if low in sugar and fat.

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Food for Inflammation of Pleurisy

Inflammation of pleurisy usually only lasts between one week to 10 days and is not a chronic, recurrent disease. The foods that fight inflammation can shorten healing time but because the disease is short, diet is not nearly as important as following doctor's orders as to medications and medical procedures. As with any disease or condition, it is important to discuss food choices with a medical doctor, since there are drug interactions that may occur. Ultimately, eating a well-balanced diet and consuming adequate quantities of fluids — at least eight 8 oz. cups of water daily — will be beneficial, whether or not one suffers from this disease. Fluids are especially beneficial for inflammation of pleurisy because liquids keep air passages moist and help get rid of germs and irritants.

Causes of Pleurisy

Pleurisy can be caused two different ways. It can either begin with a germ attaching itself directly to the pleura because of an injury or growth or when germs from another chest disease reach the pleura. Diseases that may spread to infect the pleura include pneumonia, tuberculosis, lung abscesses, a lung tumor or any other illness that affects the chest. Consequently, diet does not play a prominent role in either getting or curing this disease.

Lifestyle Changes

A healthful diet is vital to maintain overall health, but to treat and cure inflammation of pleurisy, prescription medication and possibly fluid drainage are both necessary. There are additional ways to ease and treat the symptoms of pleurisy. Several lifestyle changes may also help relieve symptoms of the illness, according to the Mayo Clinic. Lay on the side that experiences pain, which may help lessen the pain. Take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen to help with the pain and inflammation. Try to get as much rest as possible, and don’t overdo it when the symptoms begin to diminish.

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