Modification of diet is the first line of treatment in many medical cases. When your doctor orders you to eat certain foods and stop eating other foods, just follow the orders; the doctor knows better. Here are the diet modifications that doctors order their patients to follow typically in one of the major health problems; liver diseases.
Diet modification in liver diseases:
The goal of the diet modification is to promote the liver tissue healing.
The diet therapy appropriate for hepatitis includes the following considerations:
A. High protein diet with recommended daily intake of 100 to 150 gram. This aims to permit liver cell regeneration.
B. High carbohydrate diet with recommended daily intake of 300 to 400 gram. This aims to replenish glycogen storage, meet caloric needs and spare protein for liver cell repair.
C. Moderate fat diet with recommended daily intake of 80 to 100 gram. This aims to make the diet more acceptable such as oil, butter and cream is prescribed.
D. High energy diet with recommended daily intake of 2500 to 3000 calories. This aims to meet the demand of tissue repair.
E. High vitamins diet with recommended daily intake of 2 to 3 timed of the normal daily intake. This aims to replace and to aid in liver cell regeneration.
F. Feeding is important. It is recommended that the patient of hepatitis should have three meals and three snakes. This aims to increase the patient’s tolerance.
G. High fluid intake with recommended daily intake of 3000 to 3500 ml. This aims to replace the fluid that the patient will lose due to sweating that result from the fever.
2. Diet therapy for liver cirrhosis:
A. Early liver cirrhosis: the patient should follow the same tips of hepatitis.
B. Late liver cirrhosis: the patient also will follow the same tips as hepatitis except in 4 main points:
1) Protein restriction: The recommended daily intake is from 0 to 50 gram. More than that will lead to hepatic coma. This results from the ammonia produced by the digestion process of proteins; this ammonia reaches the brain causing the hepatic coma.
2) Sodium restriction: the daily intake of sodium must be from 0.5 to 1 gram. This aims to solve two of the most common complications of the liver cirrhosis; edema and ascites.
3) Altering consistency of diet: in semisolid or liquid diet to avoid potential rupture and hemorrhage of esophageal varies.
4) Caloric intake should be from 1500 to 2000 calories per day.
3. Hepatic encephalopathy (coma):
Hepatic coma resulting from the inability of damaged liver cells to metabolize ammonia compounds. As we said that ammonia is produced in the intestine by bacterial action. This protein may be either ingested or derived from swallowed blood.
The diet therapy of hepatic coma is as the diet therapy of late liver cirrhosis and we add the following:
1) Vitamin K. This aims to reduce bleeding.
2) Broad spectrum antibiotics to eradicate the intestinal bacteria in order to prevent it from formation of ammonia.