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Diet for cirrhosis of the liver?

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  • Diet for cirrhosis of the liver?

    Hello all. My friend has stage four cirrhosis of the liver. I'm not very familiar with the dietary procedures of this condition. I realize that the outlook likely isn't very good, but what dietary measures could be taken to help prevent any more damage? He's on a ton of pain meds, but I'm not sure specifically what. I figure that a standard primal diet would be a step in the right direction, but I see a lot of conflicting information about this disease. Any help would be appreciated.

    EDIT: My friend also has hepatitis C, and is in his 50's.
    Last edited by Beefsister; 06-19-2011, 04:25 PM.
    Remember, you are unique just like everybody else.

  • #2


    • #3
      Getting rid of the sugar is essential, although it only becomes cirrhosis when the environment is very inflammatory. Someone with cirrhosis should eat a fair amount of fatty fish and avoid too much omega-6 fat and anything else that tends to be inflammatory. Good saturated fats like coconut and beef fat will increase adiponectin levels and attenuate the inflammation. Curcumin and milk thistle are excellent supplements to take. Choline is needed to prevent steatosis and so is methionine, so have them eat eggs and/or liver and a fairly high protein intake for the first little bit. All-around good nutrition is important.
      Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

      Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


      • #4
        My mom also has cirrhosis and hep c from a blood transfusion in 1962; she was diagnosed in 2004. Primal is not the way to go with cirrhosis. Diet is tricky with cirrhosis, especially as it progresses and fluid starts accumulating and complications start developing. My mom weights 70 lbs and is pretty malnourished, which is often a problem for people with cirrhosis...Anyway, dietary changes wont really prevent further damage; you can't undo the damage, but you can slow down the progression of the disease by removing the cause such as not drinking alcohol, taking medications for chronic hepatitis etc. As far as diet, protein can be tricky in the advanced stages. I found this excerpt re: protein--"patients need adequate, but not excessive protein in your diet. High-quality dietary protein may be particularly important for you if you have buildup of fluid in the abdomen or swelling of the feet, legs, or back. Protein also helps to repair muscle mass. But too much protein can raise ammonia levels and trigger hepatic encephalopathy (see Complications). In general, your doctor needs to determine how much protein is right for you. Your doctor may recommend eating vegetable protein, such as soy, instead of animal protein".
        And this--"many people mistakenly believe that the more protein they consume, the better. Not only is this belief misguided, but for someone with liver damage such an approach to nutrition can actually be downright dangerous. The trouble is that a damaged liver cannot process as much healthy liver. And, when a damaged liver gets unduly overloaded with protein, encephalopathy ( a state of mental confusion that can lead to coma) may occur. Protein intake must be adjusted in accordance with a person's body weight and the degree of liver damage present. Approximately 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight is recommended in the diet each day for someone with stable liver disease. People with unstable liver disease or decompensated cirrhosis need to lower the percentage of protein content in their diets so that it falls between approximately 10 to 15 %. And, they need to eat only vegetable sources of protein. A diet high in animal protein ( which typically contains a lot of ammonia) may precipitate an episode of encephalopathy among these people. Vegetarian diets, on the other hand, have a low ammonia content and have been shown to be much less likely than animal protein diets to induce encephalopathy. It is important to keep in mind that some popular weight-loss diets involve the consumption of a very high animal protein content. People with cirrhosis are advised to avoid any such diets".
        When ascites (accumulation of fluid) begins, sodium has to be watched very carefully, often restricted to a low sodium diet and diuretics. So avoid excess salt. People with cirrhosis also have difficulty digesting and absorbing fat in their diet.
        I think it's great you're trying to help, but I would advise diet for your friend be left up to his dr or he should at least educate himself on the proper dietary guidelines he should follow. My heart goes out to him as he struggles daily with this awful disease. God bless


        • #5
          I remember when reading Weston Price's book, somewhere it said that primitive people eat the part of the animal that they want to heal themselves.
          I would think that eating liver is good to heal your own liver.
          My husband had liver poisoning from all the chemical meds he took. His teeth, eyes and skin turned yellow, too. He was diagnosed with liver disease (not sure what that meant at the time) but was told that this damage is permanent.
          Today...10 years later he is fully recovered.

          He is still on meds, feeding his liver a load of toxins on a daily basis, yet his liver # came back normal.
          He takes Raw Thymus, Raw Thyroid (all glands not just thyroid gland) and Raw Liver Pills daily with 1000-2000mg of artic fish oil.
          His teeth are white, his gums are healthy pink, he has a rosey cheek color again and is eyes are clear.


          • #6
            Definitely get him to watch the video posted above "Sugar: The Bitter Truth". The effect of fructose on the liver mimics that of alcohol.

            Is his cirrhosis caused by alcohol?


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bosnic View Post
              Is his cirrhosis caused by alcohol?
              No, he stated above he has HepC, which if left untreated long enough, leads to cirrhosis.


              • #8
                Fatty liver from diabetes cotinues on to cirrhosis which is a good indication that carbohydrate should be very limited regardless of how the cirrhosis occurred.
                Too much protein is not recommended. But adequate protein is a must. Keeping amonia, etc low is important. (Bowel movements are important for removal of chemicals such as amonia).
                CO has healing properties.