We start with the fact that the fundamental problem is the bio-chemical flow between the liver and fat cells. When diet is poorly balanced, over time fat accumulates in the liver and by itself is rather benign but when other chemistries like insulin management begin to degrade you get inflammation which leads to fibrosis and if not stopped progresses to cirrhosis. Since there is no treatment your tool is diet and the question is to avoid anything that stresses the liver and load up on anything that is protective. Easy peasy right. Well let's take a look
- eliminate all alcohol
- eliminate most saturated fat and no red meat
- eliminate all non skim dairy products
- eliminate trans-fat and all hydrogenated oils
- eliminate all high fructose corn syrup
- eliminate most sodium -- the goal 1,500 mg of salt or less.
- eliminate all added dietary sugar
- eliminate processed grains, no white flour or white rice
- Avoid most products hustled by the supplement industry
- Make sure that any medications you take are not harming your liver
Oh my god. That is a terrible list. Not possible to live that way. OK, take a breath. The goal is to take as much pressure off the liver as possible, provide molecules from your diet that are protective and don't stimulate the stellate cells to initiate scaring, but still provide proper nutrition. So what do you do?
- For oil get 60 ml, that's 1/4 cup, a day of extra virgin olive oil
- Take one tablespoon per day of refined fish or salmon oil
- Don't buy prepared foods without reading the label, there isn't actually much that you can buy
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables but remember the salt limit
- Learn to like kale, lima beans, brussel sprouts, etc.
- Look for fiber like whole wheat bread no white breads and use brown rice
- Eat fatty fish like salmon at least a few times a week
- Eat skinless chicken or turkey and lean pork, fresh pork not processed like ham
- Explore new foods like quinoa as a grain
- Eat plenty of vegetable protein like beans.
- Take 400 mg to 800 mg of vitamin E
- Drink 3 to 4 cups of paper filtered coffee daily
- Be aware that eating out is tough as very little of it is good for you
You get the idea. you might call this a type of Mediterranean diet but the excess olive oil is specifically a medicine. The rest is mostly nutrition. The fish oil is to get a significant source of omega 3 oil to balance the omega 6 you routinely get in food. The salt limitation is good for you and lowers your blood pressure.
So why should you think this might work for you? Without getting too technical your energy systems are built around triglycerides. Any oil can be used by the body to make them but if made with unsaturated oil they are better for the body. More importantly olive oil is mostly an omega 9 fatty acid. Good olive oil is a complex mixture of around 30 oils and phyto chemicals which support liver function and soothe activated stellate cells which cools inflammation. Good olive oil causes a burning feeling at the back of your throat. Those are the phyto chemicals and more is better if you ever go to an oil tasting bar. The omega 3 reduces the amount of inflammation caused by omega 6 and is required for good health even if you don't have liver disease.
DISCLAIMER: Be aware that I am not a doctor. I cannot give medical advice. I am a cirrhosis patient and I have apparently halted the progression of my disease following this strategy. You must not assume that this advice will necessarily apply to your situation and you must work closely with your physicians as your situation is unique to you.
Please note that everyone has different a different culture and diet preferences. We cannot provide a diet plan that suits everyone so we offer you the general guidelines but each person has to look at their personal food choices and modify them to be as kind as they can to their liver. There is no one size fits all plan.
If you're proactive - probably. Contact Mariel.* She knows how to help.
Unfortunately, transplants allocations are not fair. If you need a transplant you need to understand this. This video does a good job of explaning how the system works.
- The National Waiting List has 120,000+ people and continues to grow exponentially
- The list gets bigger by 4,000 patients that are added every year
- There are only 28,000 transplant surgeries annually, steady since 2005
In a world of organ shortages, families need the power of analytical and strategic information to make wise and proactive decisions to get patients to transplant sooner for best possible outcome. Although “waiting” is never easy, having the best groundwork put together enables your family to focus on health stability and enjoying life together.
To get near the top of the List and be considered for transplant, you must be among the sickest. You may want to seek professional help with your decision of where to seek a transplant. Compare Transplant Centers provides the guidance patients need to understand their real transplant situation. They'll review your personal situation and provides unbiased and strategic comparisons of all the transplant centers within your reach.
We recommend Compare Transplant Centers as they offer multi-listing recommendations at transplant centers in other Organ Procurements Organizations (OPOs) and other Regions, if at all possible, for a final catch-all. You need this research to understand all the possibilities for your exact situation, to understand the best transplant center recommendation/s and possible pairings, based on SRTR and OPTN statistical data and best strategic practices, utilizing UNOS policies and guidelines.
You need the following statistics on all transplant centers of interest:
- The very latest Wait List numbers in any blood type, broken down by MELD ranges, per hospital, Organ Procurements Organizations (OPO) and Region
- The most current available 1 year survival statistic percentages, per hospital
- Recent MELD-at-Transplant percentages, identifying the hospital’s “sweet spot” of transplant probability
- Specific to your liver disease, highlight each hospital’s transplant history by current year and number to date
* Mariel Carr is a Liver Transplant Consultant. She is the founder and owner of Compare Transplant Centers.