Malnutrition is common in patients with end-stage liver failure and hepatic encephalopathy, and is considered a significant prognostic factor affecting quality of life, outcome, and survival. The liver plays a crucial role in the regulation of nutrition by trafficking the metabolism of nutrients, their distribution and appropriate use by the body. Nutritional consequences with the potential to cause nervous system dysfunction occur in liver failure, and many factors contribute to malnutrition in hepatic failure. Patients at risk of malnutrition are relatively difficult to identify since liver disease may interfere with biomarkers of malnutrition. The supplementation of the diet with amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins as well as probiotics in addition to meeting energy and protein requirements may improve nutritional status, liver function, and hepatic encephalopathy in patients with end-stage liver failure. Malnutrition is a common complication of end-stage liver failure cirrhosis and is an important prognostic indicator of clinical outcome survival rate, length of hospital stay, posttransplantation morbidity, and quality of life in patients with cirrhosis. The causes of malnutrition in liver disease are complex and multifactorial.
Interviewer: You’ve been diagnosed with liver disease. How is that going to affect your diet? We’ll talk about that next on The Scope. Announcer: Medical news and research from University of Utah physicians and specialists you can use for a happier and healthier life. You’re listening to The Scope. Interviewer: After you’ve been diagnosed with liver disease, dietary changes can make a difference. We’re going to find out what you should be eating and what you should be avoiding right now, with Doctor Juan Gallegos. He’s a liver expert at the University of Utah hospital. Tell us about diet and the importance of diet with liver disease. Juan Gallegos: Thank you, Scot. It is very important because the liver receives most of the nutrition that you get through your mouth. It actually makes it into the blood from the small bowel and, then, that blood has to go and get through the liver.
So, what should you eat to ensure that your liver can function normally? Still, here are some general food tips for a healthy or healthier liver. Bile is a liquid made in the liver that helps break down fats in the small intestine. Bile duct disease keeps bile from flowing to the small intestine. Hepatitis C is a disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus. You get the message because your liver is able to function properly and, provided your overall health is good, you feel in great physical shape.