Diet for Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is a condition wherein you come across widespread nodules in the liver combined with fibrosis. The fibrosis and nodule formation distort the normal liver structure, which interferes with blood flow through the liver. The liver is unable to perform its biochemical functions. Scar tissue replaces normal, healthy tissue, blocking the flow of blood through the organ and preventing it from working as it should. Chronic alcoholism and hepatitis C are major causes of it.

Cirrhosis can affect the body’ss absorption of nutrients and in turn cause malnutrition. A diet for those affected by cirrhosis is similar to a diet prescribed for those not suffering from cirrhosis. Confusing? Well, let’s make it clearer for you.

Diet tips for Cirrhosis

  • Correct amount of protein has to be prescribed. Too much protein will increase the amount of ammonia in the blood and too less of it will deter the healing process of the liver cirrhosis
  • Sodium (salt) increases water retention in the body and therefore it is advisable to reduce sodium intake by avoiding foods such as canned soups and vegetables, cold cuts, dairy products, and condiments like mayonnaise and ketchup. Most prepared foods contain liberal amounts of sodium, while fresh foods contain almost no sodium at all. A good salt substitute is lemon juice.
  • Non-meat proteins are recommended such as those found in vegetables and milk
  • A liver affected by cirrhosis finds it difficult to digest fats. It cannot metabolize fat soluble vitamins such A,D,E and K
  • Avoid alcohol
  • B vitamins, C & E vitamins are very useful
  • Avoid consumption of shellfish
  • Reduce salt intake
  • Reduce iron intake. Avoid cooking in iron utensils
  • Drink 2 or 3 cups of freshly brewed coffee
  • Less copper intake is good by avoiding chocolates, nuts, shelfish, and mushrooms
  • Use Medium Chain Triglycerides oils (MCT) and safflower oil for cooking
  • One should avoid alcohol
  • The intake of medications should be limited. Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and naxproxen should not be taken
  • Try not to fall sick. Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B, influenza
  • Eat one hard boiled egg as it contains Vitamin B
  • Eat a diet that is high in calories and nutrients
  • Freshly extracted juices from red beets, lemon, papaya and grapes can be taken
  • All refined, processed and canned foods, sugar in any form, spices and condiments, strong tea and coffee, fried foods, all preparations cooked in ghee, oil or butter and all meats rich in fat should be avoided
  • It is good to take raw vegetables. Vegetables such as beets, squashes, bitter gourds, egg-plants, tomatoes, carrots, radishes are good

One must eat sensibly when suffering from cirrhosis. One must eat foods that do not aggravate the condition.