Foods to Reduce My Swollen Liver


Can I Eat Certain Foods to Reduce My Swollen
Liver? A swollen liver, known as hepatomegaly, can
be the result of many conditions, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic
liver disease, hepatitis and cancer. Treatment for a swollen or enlarged liver
focuses on managing the underlying cause, and a doctor needs to determine which course
of treatment, including dietary changes, is best. Diet and exercise improvements along with
weight loss are known to improve a common reason for swollen liver — fatty liver disease. There are many foods that can be incorporated
into the daily diet to help manage an enlarged liver. Lifestyle Factors Diet and lifestyle changes help prevent and
manage some complications associated with a swollen liver. For example, avoiding alcohol is important
to prevent further damage in alcoholic liver disease, and sodium restriction is important
to help manage the swelling related to advanced liver disease. Also, if the enlarged liver is caused by accumulation
of fat, called fatty liver, abdominal obesity is directly associated with its development,
according to a review article published in the May 2007 issue of “Epidemiological Reviews.” The 2012 practice guidelines published in
the “American Journal of Gastroenterology” report that weight loss can improve liver
health, specifically for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In addition, abstinence from smoking and alcohol
can improve overall liver health. Carbohydrate Foods A July 2015 review article published in “Journal
of Medicine and Life” suggests a low- to moderate-carbohydrate diet may be beneficial for those diagnosed
with NAFLD, a common condition that can cause a liver to be enlarged, or swollen. As its name implies, NAFLD is fatty liver
that is not caused by alcohol use, and over time this condition can cause liver scarring
or liver failure. This same literature review indicated that
whole-grain consumption was linked to losing abdominal fat, a mainstay of therapy to reduce
a fatty liver. The focus need not be on strictly limiting
carbohydrates but instead on choosing high-fiber, quality carbohydrate foods. In moderate portions, these foods are a healthful
addition to the diet: — Fruits. — Vegetables. — Whole-grain breads or pasta, brown rice,
quinoa or oatmeal. — Legumes such as pinto beans, kidney beans
or lentils. — Reduced-fat or nonfat milk products, such
as plain yogurt. Omega-3 Fats Choosing the best types of dietary fat may
also help with the management of an enlarged liver. High intakes of saturated and trans fat — the
fat found in milk and meats and hard fats such as shortening — as well as a low intake
of omega-3 fatty acids have been implicated to worsening of NAFLD. In a February 2010 review article published
in “Practical Gastroenterology,” supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids was linked to a reduction
in fatty liver. While the majority of research investigated
the benefits of omega-3 supplements, not foods, adding more omega-3 rich foods to your diet
may be of benefit. The following foods provide omega-3 fatty
acids: — Fatty fish such as sardines, tuna and salmon. — Walnuts, chia seeds and ground flaxseed. — Flaxseed oil and canola oil. — Soy products such as tofu or natto. Protein Sources In general, protein needs do not change for
someone with an enlarged liver. A December 2014 review article published in
“Integrative Medicine Research” indicated that lean protein sources such as skinless
poultry and fish and plant proteins such as nuts, beans and soy should be recommended
for management of NAFLD. In turn, they could benefit those with an
enlarged, fatty liver. The recommended protein-rich foods include:
— Lean poultry, lean meat and fish. — Legumes such as beans and lentils. — Eggs. — Nuts, seeds and soy. Diet Patterns The Mediterranean diet is a food pattern that
incorporates a variety of whole, unprocessed foods and emphasizes plant foods. Foods common in the Mediterranean diet include
fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, wine and olive oil. Moderate intake of milk, yogurt or cheese
and small amounts of meat are typically consumed. This dietary pattern, minus the wine, has
been linked to improved liver function in NAFLD, according to a small study published
in the July 2013 issue of “Journal of Hepatology.” This study suggests the whole diet, rather
than individual foods, may be an important focus. Warnings and Precautions A swollen or enlarged liver has many potential
causes, including hepatitis, mononucleosis, cancer, toxins and genetic conditions. For most of these conditions, there may not
be a specific therapeutic role of diet — other than maintaining good nutrition and managing
any complications, such as fluid retention or malnutrition. If you have an enlarged liver, your doctor
will determine the underlying cause and course of treatment. Seek advice from your doctor about any diet
changes that may benefit your health, and ask for a referral to a registered dietitian
to set up a plan to improve your liver health, facilitate weight loss, if needed, and ensure
all nutrient needs are met. Visit the website. Click Below

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