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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the treatment for cirrhosis?

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    Dung Pham

    Dietitian

    Dung is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who currently works in Community Health and Private Practice as a HACC/CH dietitian and Health Coach. She has also … View Profile

    From a dietary perspective depending on the severity of cirrhosis management can include
    -Fluid restriction as specified from the health care team
    -No added salt diet
    -Adequate protein and energy
    -Abstinence of alcohol
    Most people suffering from cirrhosis are malnourished due to loss of appetite resulting in loss of weight so it is therefore important to ensure adequate nutrition

    From a medical point of view treatment is based on symptoms and also the cause of cirrhosis but can include-diuretics, antihypertensives, laxatives if constipated and parcentesis.

  • Ashleigh is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD, AN) and registered with the Dietitian's Association of Australia with experience in both clinical and private practice. Ashleigh's … View Profile

    Liver cirrhosis is liver damage whereby the healthy cells are replaced by scar tissue. Liver cirrhosis is irreversible and treatment aims to halt liver damage, manage the symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. In liver cirrhosis, the liver is unable to perform its vital function of metabolism, production of proteins and filtering of toxins.

    In terms of dietary management for liver cirrhosis, the following recommendations are made:

    • High energy, high protein diet - liver disease is often associated with weight loss including fat and muscle wasting. A high energy, high protein diet is important to maintain the muscle stores as well as provide essential nutrients for functioning.
    • No added salt diet - reduces the risk of fluid retention or the build up of ascites.
    • Fluid restriction - will be determined by the treating medical team. This will also help to reduce fluid retention.
    • Laxatives - help to remove toxins from the body.

    In order to ensure you are consuming a balanced diet that is adequate to meet your nutritional requirements, I recommend you seek advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian.

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