3 Tips Every Person with Cirrhosis Must Follow
Cirrhosis is a chronic, irreversible liver disease that can affect a person’s quality of life. However, following these tips can help you handle the condition and make it much simpler and easier.
The illness happens when the liver repeatedly overworks itself. For example, if you consume a lot of alcohol for a long period of time, or most of your life, this will harm your hepatic tissues, forming what is known as fibrosis.
Fibrosis eventually leads to cirrhosis. Over time, the liver gets hard and shrinks, but it can improve if the cause is eliminated. However, the condition isn’t reversible.
Tips for cirrhosis
There are certain things you need to do if you want your symptoms to improve. People with cirrhosis may experience:
- Fluid retention
- Clotting problems
- Bleeding of the esophageal varices
- Sexual impotence
Recommended reading: 5 Ways to Protect Yourself From the Liver Damage Caused by Alcohol
1. Eat right
The liver influences the nutritional status of people. Hence, consuming alcohol or certain medications can affect it. Therefore, let’s take a look at some tips for cirrhosis on nutrition that we should keep in mind:
- Don’t eat big meals. Instead, eat 5 meals a day at least, with food properly spaced out.
- Eat a variety of foods.
- Stay hydrated; try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
- Don’t consume any alcoholic drinks, not even as a treat.
- Don’t eat quickly because it hinders proper digestion.
2. Watch your bowl movements
Another tip for cirrhosis is to keep an eye on your bowel movements, though you should also watch your urination patterns too. The reason is that cirrhosis can lead to hepatic encephalopathy if toxins are not removed from your body, and one way that happens is through bowel movements.
To ensure the system works well, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Your doctor may also recommend laxatives to make sure you have one bowel movement per day.
As for urine, pay attention to how many times you have to go to the bathroom per day. If you are not urinating much, you may have fluid retention. Your doctor can check for abdominal bloating, the color of your urine, and changes in weight.
3. Pay attention to your skin
Skin problems are common in people with cirrhosis. Thus, it’s important to follow skincare tips for cirrhosis, like the following:
- Moisturize your skin twice a day, once in the morning and again at night.
- Drink enough water to hydrate yourself from the inside out.
- If your skin is itchy, use soothing lotion.
- Perfume is not recommended.
- Don’t take hot showers — warm is better.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles if your gums bleed.
Another article for you: 8 Foods to Avoid for a Healthy Liver
Other aspects to keep in mind
While we’ve talked about the most important tips for cirrhosis above, you should also know, for example, that if you exercise, it should be moderate. People with cirrhosis can get fatigued quickly. Also, don’t do abdominal exercises.
Despite the physical changes you may go through, try to still go out, meet up with friends, etc. You may have a tendency to isolate yourself, but that’s not good. Seeing a good psychologist may be a good idea.
If cirrhosis comes up when you’re at an advanced age, lower your risk of falling as much as you can. Your medication may make you weak, so wear no-slip shoes, use a rubber mat in the shower, and consider getting help from a cane.
Cirrhosis is a life-long illness, but this these tips you can handle it better. Take care of yourself, don’t isolate yourself, and you’ll feel much better.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Aceves-Martins Magaly. Cuidado nutricional de pacientes con cirrosis hepática. Nutr. Hosp. [Internet]. 2014 . 29( 2 ): 246-258. Disponible en: http://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0212-16112014000200003&lng=es. http://dx.doi.org/10.3305/nh.2014.29.2.7024.
- Somi M, Rahimi A, Moshrefi B, Razaeifar P, Maghami J. Nutritional status and blood trace elements in cirrhotic patients. Hep Mon 2007; 7 (1): 27-32.
- Fuhrman MP, Charney P, Mueller CM. Hepatic proteins and nutrition assessment. J Am Diet Assoc 2004; 104 (8): 1258-64.