Diet - liver disease

Definition

Some people with liver disease must eat a special diet. This diet helps the liver function and protects it from working too hard.

Function

Proteins normally help the body repair tissue. They also prevent fatty buildup and damage to the liver cells.

In people with badly damaged livers, proteins are not properly processed. Waste products may build up and affect the brain.

Dietary changes for liver disease may involve:

Side Effects

Liver disease can affect the absorption of food and the production of proteins and vitamins. Therefore, your diet may influence your weight, appetite, and the amounts of vitamins in your body. DO NOT limit protein too much, because it can result in a lack of certain amino acids.

Recommendations

The changes you will need to make will depend on how well your liver is working. Talk to your provider about the kind of diet that is best for you so that you get the right amount of nutrition.

General recommendations for people with severe liver disease include:

SAMPLE MENU

Breakfast

Lunch

Mid-afternoon snack

Dinner

Evening snack

Most of the time, you do not have to avoid specific foods.

Talk to your provider if you have questions about your diet or symptoms.


Review Date: 4/24/2017
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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