I just received some info from the nutrionist at work and she listed a few things to avoid if your ammonia level is getting too high. This can cause confusion, lethargy and coma. ?? brain fog?
eat only vegetable sources of protein
avoid animal protein
avoid gelatin (jello), cheese, salami, peanut butter and onions. States that these foods produce more ammonia.
So what is in my fridge. Those no calorie jello cups to snack on. Guess out they go.
You guys probably already know all of this but just thought I'd post it anyway.
From what I've been reading and been told, one of the functions of the liver is to regulate the amount of glucose, protein and fats that enter the bloodstream. It also processes vitamins and minerals. Like Iron. My iron is elevated so this dietician also said to limit red meats. Guess that has the most iron in it. And there are two kinds of iron. Seems like the animal iron sources, like red meat, are the ones to avoid. When we have the liver damage (cirrhosis) the liver can't process these things like normal.
My hepatogist is the one who ordered the ammonia level on me last week. When the dietician learned that I had an elevated ammonia level she asked me how high it was. When I told her she immediately asked me if I was getting confused at all. I guess that since this has been a long time process for me instead of an acute illness, my body has compensated for these elevated levels because so far I don't seem to be getting confused or lethargic. So I'm going to try to avoid some of these things she told me about. Worth checking in to.
the disease plays out differently with everybody, but from my understanding, patients probably have more difficulty with amonia levels, etc etc...the farther they go along in the disease process, close to cirrhosis, etc...course I'm no doc, but here is an excellent symptoms page, explaining the different processes, etc....
I'm emptying mine too. I have a huge chunk of Gouda cheese that's going to a friend tomorrow. The dietician also told me to cut back on my salt intake so I've also bagged up my popcorn and am trying to make myself get rid of some of the soup I have. I just wonder what exactly I can eat. My daughter and her husband are vegetarians but they eat cheese, eggs and fish so maybe I need to eat more like they do. Minus the cheese and limiting the eggs. I wasn't told to cut out all protein but to limit it to 5 ounces (cooked) a day. Now I have to figure out about how much that is. This can get really confusing.
One thing that is good is putting Brewers Yeast on your popcorn instead of salt. It's yummy and good for you. That way you can still have it! It comes in a shaker kind of thing, so it's easy to do.
We eat a LOT of falafel now insteadf of a hamburger, we have those. It is very easy to make, keeps well and is delicious on top of being good for you. You do need a food processor. Chick peas(garbanzo beans) are very cheap, whole meals for hardly anything.
I found when changing my eating habits, if I replaced an old "stand by " food with something really tasty, I'd stick with it.
Steel cut oatmeal is good for you and easy, it too keeps well and you can micro it.
I had the hardest time with eating tons of veggies, I had no appetite and only wanted tiny amounts. The supplement helped a lot. Now I have a big appetite back!
Eat mostly carbs. I eat very little red meat. I read labels and avoid salt and iron. You can get protein from beans and eggs. I eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies, and seeds- as organic and fresh as possible. I have a juicer and make beet, carrot, ginger juice.
I add flax seed meal to hot cereal and smoothies. Yogurt is good.
It is challenging and surprising how many additives are in our food. Bagged salad has salt added.
Do allow yourself some slack, moderation is the key. I still keep some good quality chocolate around and snack on it occasionally.
Then there are the supplements...
It's funny, I did read that I should eat lots of carbs and that's the one thing the doc told me not to eat cause I need to lose some weight. Ideally 40 pounds should go. I've bagged up my microwave popcorn to take to work and a full box of cereal that has 100% of the daily requirements of iron in one serving. And the servings aren't big. Never realized how much Iron is in everything. You're right. And I know I need to cut back on the salt intake too and that's another problem. I thought I'd like eating soup and bought some cans of lentil soup. Lots of salt. So I have to start reading labels. I will try to eat more fresh fruit and veggies.
When you say you eat seeds do you mean like sunflower and things like that cause I didn't think nuts were good. Thanks for all the info. Keep it coming. I need to learn as much as I can. I had my final test done today, an EGD, looking for espohageal varices and finally had something come back normal so next week I talk treatment. I'm ready to get started so I can get it over with.
OK, educate me. What the heck is falafel and what is steel cut oatmeal? Where do you find those things? Do you buy the chick peas dry and then cook them? And I can't imagine Brewers Yeast on popcorn. What does it taste like?
When I first heard about Brewers Yeast, I was suspicious, but it is really yummy.I am really picky and was stuck in my ways, but even I like it!
just google organic grains, lots of places to buy. I can get any bean or grain in bulk at the store, but I know that isn't available everywhere.
falafel beans are not cooked prior to use. Instead they are soaked, then ground with the addition of a small quantity of onion, parsley, garlic, cumin and coriander.
Hummus is also made from chick peas and is a great spread and dip,you can add things to it for flavor. One of my faves is kalamata olives or artichoke hearts.
Falafel is ground then cooked up, I make little patties, wet your hand to make patties, cook in a little olive oil and put them in pita bread with salad greens and tomatoes, top it with yogurt/cucumber dill sauce.You can use flat bread or Naan or even tortillas.
The whole meal takes under 15 min. Super fast and easy.
I got my husband off Carl's Jr. burgers by substituting falafels!
Chick peas cost about a buck a pound, and a pound is a LOT of falafel.
6 cups beans, one whole bunch parsley (tops) half an onion,garlic to taste tbsp. coriander, tbsp. cumin. and zap it in the cuisinart.
Damaged livers have a harder time processing food. This is why we should eat several smaller meals daily.
And why complex carbs are better than sweets. Not all carbs are fattening. Try wild rice salad and yes, nuts are difficult to digest but I eat small amounts of them anyhow. (However, I'm thin and try to keep my weight up.)
When you shop think fresh and additive free. Popcorn popped at home in an airpopper will be healthier than microwaved preflavored. Hot whole grain cereal (not instant) is healthier than most boxed cereals.
You can make your own soup and freeze some for later.
One reason to restrict salt is those with cirrhosis are prone to ascites. I was able to get rid of it by first taking diuretics and have kept it away by controlling my salt intake.
If there is a health food store or Whole Foods near you, try shopping there. But still read labels.
My hepatlogist said too much iron can cause cirrhosis. I take a ironless multiple vitamin daily.
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