Anti Liver Cirrhosis Diet with Vitamin C, B Complex, Vegetable Protein, Carbohydrates, Minerals
Cirrhosis is a dreaded liver disease. Diet is among the primary tools in preventing or reversing the effects of liver cirrhosis. Since nutritional deficiencies are common in cirrhosis patients, it is important to choose healthy foods that provide the right nutrients that fight cirrhosis.
Liver Cirrhosis Definition, Symptoms and Complications
Liver cirrhosis is a chronic disease where normal liver cells are replaced by scar tissue. In its early stages, symptoms may be minimal, but the liver is already being increasingly infiltrated by fibrous tissue. Soon, a patient will experience fatigue, nausea and poor appetite. In the later stages, jaundice may develop, with blood vessels protruding up the skin.
Prolonged heavy alcohol intake is the usual culprit that leads to cirrhosis. But cirrhosis can also result from hepatitis, inflammation or blockage of the bile ducts, hereditary factors, or a reaction against certain drugs or toxins. Liver damage might be irreversible, but the progress of cirrhosis can be halted, its complications treated particularly with diet and other countermeasures.
Foods and Nutrients that Fight Liver Cirrhosis
- Eat plenty of protein, but not animal protein. Vegetable protein is recommended. The recommended daily protein intake for liver cirrhosis patients is 0.54 gm per pound (1.2 gm per kilogram) of body weight. Researchers have discovered that vegetable protein from foods like soy, peas and legumes are helpful to patients who develop hepatic encephalopathy, some kind of mental confusion resulting from complications.
- Carbohydrates are essential for cirrhosis patients because of the fatigue that results from the disease. Carbohydrates become a prime source for energy.
- Polyunsaturated fats from oily fish, corn oil, safflower oil can also provide the calories needed without overburdening the liver. A daily intake of 2,000 to 3,000 calories might be necessary if the patient has lost considerable amount of weight due to liver cirrhosis.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin, and can boost the immune system. Vitamin C for cirrhosis patients is best sourced from fruits, particularly citrus fruits, and vegetables.
- Vitamins and minerals. Since liver cirrhosis patients are almost certainly vitamin and mineral deficient, it is important to replenish the nutrients through foods like enriched cereals, breads, potatoes, pasta and legumes for B complex and other vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables are reliable sources of almost every vitamin and mineral.
- Drink plenty of water or fluids.
What to Avoid to Prevent or Reverse the Effects of Liver Cirrhosis
- Whether alcohol is the cause of liver cirrhosis or not, it is essential to avoid alcohol permanently, to prevent further liver damage. Although scar tissue is irreplaceable, the liver is an amazing organ that has the ability to heal itself.
- Avoid salts. Patients suffering from liver cirrhosis often develop abdominal swelling, known as ascites. Often, the whole body becomes puffy and swollen. Salts worsen ascites.
- Liver cirrhosis patients might also develop varices, which are varicose veins in the esophagus. These veins can rupture and cause severe bleeding. Thus, for this condition, it is important for food to be soft and chewed thoroughly.
Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal: An A to Z Guide to Safe and Healthy Eating. The Reader’s Digest. 2004, Montreal, Canada. 416 pages. Hardbound.
Photo by Nephron
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or as guide for treatment without the opinion of a health professional. A physician’s advice is more important and reliable for any health concern.