Cirrhosis is a life threatening liver disease, which is incurable in most cases. Liver being the second largest organ of our body has a unique regenerative capability where the damaged liver cells are regenerated. In Cirrhosis, scarring occurs in the liver tissues, which destroys the regenerative capacity making the liver a hardened mass.
Liver is one of the vital organs of our body, which drives out toxins from the body constantly through faeces and urine. It is also the main digestive organ of the body that helps in proper nutrient absorption by our body. Prolonged unhealthy lifestyle and wrong eating habits are the prime causes of cirrhosis. In a few cases, medications and some underlying disease can also cause cirrhosis. Most of the vital functions of the liver are impaired due to this ailment, which if not treated properly ultimately leads to death.
Ideal Diet For Cirrhosis
A special diet for Cirrhosis is required which forms the basis of the treatment. You need to know which foods you should avoid and which foods you should eat regularly. It is recommended to have food in small portions at regular intervals throughout the day.
Foods to Avoid
High Fat Foods
In Cirrhosis, the liver fails to break down fats due to the reduced production of bile. Therefore, avoid high fat foods like butter, full cream milk and cheese, hydrogenated oils and red meat. Fried foods, salad dressings, mayonnaise etc. should be avoided strictly.
Lower Your Sodium Intake
Cirrhosis causes fluid retention in the abdomen (called ascites) which can be potentially life threatening. You doctor may advise salt less or a very low sodium diet to prevent fluid retention in the body.
Consume table salt in a measured amount as suggested by the doctor. Avoid processed and canned foods which are often loaded with sodium.
Avoid Sugary Foods
You need to limit your sugar intake as the impaired metabolic functions of the liver will not be able to maintain the blood glucose level properly.
Strictly avoid foods made from simple carbohydrates like ice cream, sweets, candies, pastries, cookies and doughnuts. Sweetened fruit juices available in stores should be avoided as well.
Give Up Drinking
Excessive consumption of alcohol causes toxicity of the liver leading to this serious ailment.
Abstaining from alcoholism may help in restoring the regenerative power of the liver slowly. Avoid taking over the counter medicines containing alcohol.
Foods To Eat
Fresh Fruits And Vegetables
Suffering from Cirrhosis means that your body is running low in nutrients which should be replenished by eating fresh fruits and vegetables in measured amounts.
Cucumbers, potatoes, carrots, cabbages, sprouted grains, lettuce are helpful in this condition. Eating a small apple, orange or a few grapes can provide you the necessary nutrients. Avoid eating raw vegetables.
Maintain Your Protein Intake
Your body needs enough protein to build muscle mass, but the damaged liver many not be able to handle too much of protein consumption.
Vegetable protein in the form of legumes, beans and sprouts are easily digestible and can be consumed in moderate amounts. You can eat egg white or lean meat depending upon the severity of the condition.
Take Complex Carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates are very helpful in maintaining blood sugar levels as these take longer time to assimilate in the blood. Brown rice, oats and whole grains are best options to maintain your blood glucose levels.
Eat Healthy Fats
It is not advisable to avoid fatty foods completely, but one should opt for healthy fats. Use Olive or canola oil for cooking. These contain high amounts of healthy fats essential for your body.
Avocados, fish oil and almonds are other beneficial sources of healthy fats, which are easily digestible. However, the intake of healthy fats should be limited as well.