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Cirrhosis of the Liver Community
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Avatar universal

healthy foods

what foods are helpful with controlling cirrhosis of liver
23 Responses
Avatar universal
There have been many past threads on the subject.
I will summarize what I remember reading
No red meat, no salt, minimal sugar
Poultry and fish are fine should  be organic
Alot of veggies and fruits
Best fruits are dark fruits like berries
Best veggies artichoke and beets
Avoid processed foods
Stay with wholesome simple foods.
Drink a lot of water
coffee is (strangely) good for the liver.
Avoid kombucha- otherwise good for you but not w/ liver disease.
Vitamins w/o iron
446474 tn?1446351282
COMMUNITY LEADER
No food will "control cirrhosis". Cirrhosis is not caused by any food. It can be caused by many different things that injure the liver of a period of many decades. A virus, alcohol, a hereditary condition or something else. If that underlying cause can be removed, there is a chance (depending on how damaged the liver is) to stop and reverse the progression of disease. So the diagnosis of the cause of cirrhosis is needed to manage the illness.

Cirrhosis is a progressive disease no food will stop cirrhosis from getting worse with time.

Make no mistake about it, without proper treatment and the option of a transplant liver cirrhosis in time can be a fatal disease. All person with cirrhosis should be under the care of a hepatologist at a liver transplant center. Only they can help manage your cirrhosis and diet is only one small part of living with cirrhosis.

Thinking that changing the food you eat will not have an impact on the fatal nature of liver disease. Serious intensive medical care and treatment is the only thing that can stop cirrhosis from getting worse with time. Cirrhosis of the liver is a potentially fatal disease and should be dealt with in a serious manner.

"Cirrhosis is generally irreversible, and treatment usually focuses on preventing progression and complications. In advanced stages of cirrhosis the only option is a liver transplant."
"Cirrhosis is the twelfth leading cause of death by disease, accounting for 27,000 deaths each year."

Only after a hepatologist knows the cause and extent of your liver disease will they be able to advise you on what foods may create more problems and what type and amount of foods you should eat.

Hector
Avatar universal
Nutrition is not only essential to the health of a patient with cirrhosis but to anyone living with a medical condition.  Our minds must not only be strong but our bodies as well.  To state that diet and nutrition would not have an impact on liver disease could be gravely false.  Why put greater stress on a liver and cause cirrhosis to progress any quicker than it has to by eating fatty foods, processed food chemicals, etc.  Patients with cirrhosis have livers that are dealing with enough as it is, why not help create a stronger organ that has a better chance of survival?  Is this not in at least some way, controlling the disease? Maybe the word control is too much, what if we say... guiding the disease while building a stronger body.

Now, to say nutrition is a cure or the only treatment, that would be false.  I will not say that diet and nutrition are the only treatments but I will say that I feel most people neglect such areas when they are critical to survival of even the fittest.  Following doctors’ orders is always important for they are the specialists who guide us, treat us, and care for us.  They should be our starting point but we also must take our health into our own hands by learning and sharing.  Communities such as this allow us to do just that.  Hurrah for Med Help!
1475202 tn?1536274577
COMMUNITY LEADER
Maintaining a healthy diet is critical to those with cirrhosis. Cirrhosis hinders the body’s ability to absorb nutrition so in many cases vitamin supplements are required. A healthy diet will aid your liver in recovery and the effectiveness of that recovery since time is crucial.

The best diet for someone with cirrhosis is very close to the one you needed before you had cirrhosis. Foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins of proper types and in proper amounts are very appropriate. In addition, it is a good idea to take a daily multivitamin. B-complex and zinc sulfate are often prescribed. You should always consult your gastroenterologist or hepatologist before adding any medications to your diet.
Avoiding medication that metabolize in the liver is also important (such as pain medication, prescription and OTC- over the counter whenever possible) this is to include headache medication as well. Keep in mind everything ingested must be broken down and filtered by the liver so we want to be as careful and helpful as we know how.
Depending on the severity (stage) of your cirrhosis certain foods may need to be avoided or portioned such as “protein” commonly induces symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy (HE) or a low sodium diet may need to be exercised to avoid water retention for those with ascites. Foods with high levels of antioxidants are also very helpful in assisting your body with removing toxins (a function of the liver no longer performed effectively due to cirrhosis)

Though Hector is right in concluding “diet does not control cirrhosis” it can be a very effective way to aid your liver in the best recovery possible meanwhile assisting with the above mention symptoms making day to day life more comfortable. (ie: a person with HE eats a steak is more likely to feel the effects of that high level protein the day following due to the amount of ammonia the liver will produce to break down the proteins and then fail at removing all of the ammonia. The ammonia will then enter the blood stream and reach the brain increasing the severity of symptoms –Hence Hepatic Encephalopathy)

I hope this will in some way help you out, Take care and Welcome to MedHelp!

Randy
2025701 tn?1328923233
One more piece of info is that fried foods, barbecued, Baked and roasted foods that are cooked at high temp. for long periods of time release a carcinogen that could speed up the progression.
I am goin to cosult a nutritionist that wants all my labword, biop. report and all test pertaining to my cirrhosis and if I get any more suggestions other than what these good people said I will post it. thnx, Bootcamp
163305 tn?1333672171
If your cirrhosis is decompensated limit your salt intake.
Read labels. Avoid sodium ( salt) and any additives.
Obviously, no alcohol.

Fresh ideally organic and freshly prepared food is always best. Keep exercising too.

As Hector pointed out, no diet will reverse cirrhosis but eating right can help mitigate the side effects of having cirrhosis.

Rivil, I think the only thing strange about coffee being good for the liver, is that we were all told for so many years that it was bad ;)
1654058 tn?1407162666
It's amazing how much better you will feel with a liver loving diet. If you've not been organically minded, it may take a while for you to get the hang of it. It can seem expensive, but it doesn't have to be.
Plan on spending a bit more time in the kitchen because processed foods contain a lot of sodium. But you know what? Most people love my cooking because it is fresh and full of flavor. And... no carb hangover. haha.
Good luck, Karen :)
Avatar universal
i had hepatitis c for a while. now its turned into cirrhosis of the liver.im really really weak feeling all the time. but i know i dont eat right.to tell the truth im not even able to cook or clean, because of NO ENGERY..IM NOW SEEING A DR.i have some more testing to do, then he is gonna start treatments.my stomach is swollan bad. he says it dont have anything to do with cirrhosis.but i have seen on the computer where that is a side affect for some people.have any of yall had any of these symptons?
1475202 tn?1536274577
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hello Debbie and welcome to MedHelp!

There is some really good information in this thread that I think can help you get your energy back up pertaining to your diet. What type of doctor are you seeing? Also was imaging or biopsy used for your diagnosis?

A swollen abdomen is a common side effect of cirrhosis referred to as ascites (water retention). A low sodium diet along with diuretic medication is common treatment for this. This diagnosis can be made with an ultrasound and should be treated right away as it can potentially become life threatening if bacteria should grow. In more severe cases fluid must be drained from the abdomen. This is a more common side effect of "decompensated cirrhosis" so at this point it is diet is critical.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cirrhosis is divided into stages: Compensated and decompensated.
•Compensated cirrhosis means that the body still functions fairly well despite scarring of the liver. Many people with compensated cirrhosis experience few or no symptoms.
•Decompensated cirrhosis means that the severe scarring of the liver has damaged and disrupted essential body functions. Patients with decompensated cirrhosis develop many serious and life-threatening symptoms and complications.


Read more: http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/who_gets_cirrhosis_000075_3.htm#ixzz22QDDhENN

I hope this information will help you out. Please let me know if I can help with anything else. Take care.

Randy
163305 tn?1333672171
You need to see a hepatologist, a liver specialist, not just a regular doctor.
Try to stop eating salt/sodium altogether.

There is a list of doctors recommended for the treatment of hep C by our members on this link.
If you can't find one there, call your closest university or hospital and tell them you need to see a hepatologist.
Good luck.

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/353221/If-you-are-looking-for-a-good-doctor-to-treat-hep-C?personal_page_id=17823
Avatar universal
I eat a vegan diet. I do use some fish oil for inflammation (adds calories also, but could increase bleeding). I eat oats, veggies and flaxseed. I only eat about 300 mg of sodium daily. I eat soft foods, and I try to chew well. I take kyolic garlic capsules and ginger capsules. I take one camu camu capsule daily for natural vitamin C. I don't use multivitamins and in my opinion, no one should use multivitamins - too dangerous. Iron is not the only risk. Don't use vitamin K1 (unless doctor say to) or K2 pills. I do use 1000 IU vitamin D3 and a very low dose vitamin B. I just can't seem to get enough b vitamins from food, so I take the risk. At a low dose, it seems ok. I don't use folic acid though. I currently don't eat legumes, but peas or lentils might be an idea. Squash perhaps. Teff, quinoa, buckwheat etc. Animal protein should be avoided. Protein amount - you can find government guidelines online. I eat about 50-55 grams I think.
Avatar universal
I forgot to mention - If you have cirrhosis or liver disease, you should not use vitamin K2 and MK-7. K2 MK-7 stays in your blood for 3 days and can build up and cause toxicity, especially in people with liver damage. MK-7 is found in natto, so avoiding natto might be a good idea.
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