Diet in Alcoholic Liver Disease
What Is Alcoholic Liver Disease?
An alcohol liver disease is one of the leading causes of liver damage in the western countries. The number of deaths caused by this disease is increasing day by the day. However, every regular or heavy drinker does not develop alcoholic liver diseases. How does alcohol damage the liver? Well alcohol has a chemical called “Acetaldehyde”; this chemical has negative effects on the health of heavy drinkers. An interesting fact is that the liver has the ability to heal itself; this is why it is difficult to analyze the liver damage, the liver has the ability to perform even if ¾ of the liver is damaged.
There are three main stages of this disease. In the first stage, the alcoholic fatty acids start to accumulate in the liver. The second stage is Alcoholic Hepatitis which results in the swelling of the liver, this happens after a few years of heavy drinking. The final stage is Liver Cirrhosis, in this stage the liver has been swollen for a long time; resulting in scarring and loss of function of the liver. There are many different symptoms that are associated with this disease such as internal bleeding, skin changes and effects on the nervous system. If the disease is in the second stage, you can avoid this disease by quitting alcohol altogether. However, if the disease reaches the final stage you might need a liver transplant.
Alcoholic Liver Disease Diet
Liver plays a very important role in the body. It helps the body use the nutrients we get from food. Liver diseases such as alcoholic liver disease can disrupt our use of nutrients. Hence there are certain changes that need to be made in the diet. Fitness Republic tells you about Alcoholic liver disease diet which would help heal the liver.
It is vital to include food rich in Vitamins such as Vitamin B, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K in your diet. This is because when the liver is damaged, it cannot produce Vitamins so in order to fulfill the Daily Vitamin Requirements, consume foods such as carrots, potatoes, egg yolk, soybean oil, nuts, citrus fruits and broccoli! In the third stage of Alcoholic liver disease there are symptoms such as internal bleeding, which is usually caused by Vitamin K deficiency, so eating foods with Vitamin K can reduce the amount of internal bleeding.
Another important nutrient which should be included in the liver diet is Carbohydrates. You first need to consult a doctor about the amount of carbohydrates you should consume in a day. The reason why carbohydrates should be included in the diet is because a damaged liver cannot produce proteins and process food. Consumption of carbohydrates would help in the breaking down of proteins. Foods such as grains, breads, potatoes, corn, rice and oats are rich source of carbohydrates.
Vitamin A plays a very important role for an Alcoholic liver disease patient, this Vitamin acts like as a potent antioxidant which prevents additional damage to the liver such as liver infections. If there is a Vitamin A deficiency, you can take care of that by including Beta-carotene in your liver diet. Foods which are rich in Beta-carotene include carrots, mangoes and spinach.
Your Liver diet should also include Proteins; nevertheless, the amount of proteins that should be consumed depends on the stage of the Alcoholic liver disease. Proteins are imperative to maintain the healthy functioning of the liver, the safe amount of protein intake is 1 to 1.2g/kg/day.
Caution: If the patient is diagnosed with ‘Encephalopathy’, protein intake should be restricted. Foods that are rich in proteins include eggs and dairy products such as milk.
Food That You Should Avoid
There are certain types of foods which need to be avoided because they can be harmful for the liver. These foods should be avoided and taken out of your liver diet.
If you have liver swelling, the amount of liquids that you consume should be decreased. Liquids include water, milk, juice and other beverages. Excess liquids can greatly deteriorate the swelling. It is also important that you quit drinking; any drink with alcohol should be avoided!
Sodium should be avoided if you are suffering from Alcoholic liver disease; this is because sodium promotes the body to retain liquids. These liquids cause the swelling of the liver. Foods that are rich in sodium include soups, table salts, bacon and packaged snack foods.