The liver is one of the important organs of the human body which plays an essential role in the process of digestion by performing more than 5,000 essential functions every minute. These functions include storing the glucose, producing the bile to help digest foods high in fat and cholesterol, metabolizing and detoxifying the harmful toxins like alcohol and drugs present in the body. Liver diseases like Hepatitis, cirrhosis, or end stage liver disease can make it difficult for the liver to perform its tasks and the liver may have to be replaced by a healthy one. Especially, in case of end stage liver disease, it is a known fact that the liver has completely failed and needs to be replaced with a new one.
According to the American Liver Foundation, liver failure is known to be the seventh leading cause of deaths in the United States of America. These deaths include adults between 25-64 years of age. Also, statistics reveal that every one out of 10 adults in the United States is suffering from some kind of liver disease. The reason behind this lies in our lifestyle and diet. The food from the fast food joints and the alcohol is causing a lot of stress on the liver and making the liver unfit to perform the functions as efficiently as it should.
Nutritional Diet for End Stage Liver Disease
If a person is showing the symptoms of this condition, and is diagnosed with the same, the doctor would first check the condition of the liver in this case. Now that we are speaking about the end stage liver disease, it signifies that the condition of the liver cannot be improved, and a liver transplant would be required immediately. Therefore, it becomes necessary to eat foods that can go easy on the liver when it comes to digestion, and to not put a lot of stress on the liver. Mentioned below are the foods that should be included in the diet and foods that should be completely avoided.
Food Items to Consume
The dietitian would generally advice you to consume the following foods.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Leaned meat and poultry (in limited amounts only)
- Low sodium and low-fat cheese
- Yogurt and milk
- Egg Whites
- Grilled salmon
- Whole grains
- Unsalted nuts and seeds
- Consumption of 5-10 grams of Omega 3 fats per day is also good for dealing with liver diseases.
- It is advised to consume at least 1-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight, on a daily basis. Meaning, if you weigh about 50 kg, then consuming 50-75 grams of protein per day in your diet is essential when dealing with a liver disease.
Food Items to Avoid
Food items that are high in fats, sodium, sugar, and cholesterol should be extremely avoided as these food items end up adding a lot of strain to the unhealthy liver. It is best to stick with natural foods and not for foods that are canned or processed.
Mentioned below are some of the food choices that should be a complete NO.
- Fried Foods like, french fries, fried meat, burgers, and all the other fast food options.
- Foods that are canned, frozen, and processed should also be avoided as they contain a high amount of sodium which is not good for the liver.
- Red meat like pork, beef, mutton, etc., should be avoided.
- Salted cheese, butter, whole milk, etc., is an absolute no.
- The unhealthy snacks like chips, pretzels, nachos, popcorn, biscuits, and white bread should be avoided as well.
- Sweets and desserts with high concentration of sugar should not be eaten at all.
- Pickles, sodas, ketchup, sauce, spicy food is also not good.
- One should ban the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, gas based drinks, and cigarettes.
By consuming the right diet and nutrition, one can definitely increase the end stage liver disease life expectancy, when compared to a person who is not eating what is right in a crucial condition like this. When the diet is backed up by proper treatment and care, the patient can live a more comfortable life. The diet also depends upon the condition of the person. It is best to get in touch with a health care specialist to know more about the diet and liver failure treatment depending upon the patient's condition. Take care.