Diet and Nutrition For Liver Transplant Patient
You have been ill for a long time prior to the transplant and have probably lost a lot of weight. Therefore eating properly in an important part of your recovery process and a healthy balanced diet will help you get back to your feet again.
Eating a well balanced diet is especially important after liver transplant to help you recover and to keep you healthy.
In general your diet after liver transplant should be low in salt cholesterol fat of sugar. To prevent damaging your new liver. It is important to avoid alcohol.
Patients may suffer a loss of appetite after surgery. The appetite slowly improves with time. It is important however to follow a high protein diet to facilitate wound healing and liver regeneration. It is necessary the dietician will advise supplements in diet if patient prefer a certain type of meal or cuisine they should check with the dietician.
Food - How to prepare /consume
- Food should be cooked hygienically
- Wash utensils well before cooking
- Wash and cook in clean water.
- Use boiled /Filtered water
- Drink plenty of fluids; intake is not restricted as per transplant
- Fruits and vegetables- Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day after washing well and peering off the skin
- Have enough fiber in your diet
- Whole grain cereals and bread
- Consume a balanced low fat, high protein diet, cheese soya, eggs, chicken fish
- In a few weeks, a patient can follow the diet before the transplant.
Foods to avoid
- Avoid deep fried or greasy foods
- Do not eat leftover food
- Avoid raw eggs or mayonnaise.
- Avoid partially cooked food
- Avoid red meat.
- Avoid over ripe fruit
- Do not consume expired packaged foods.
- If potassium is high, avoid food such as banana, coconut water fruit juices /pulp
- If blood sugar is high avoid sweets and fruits such as mangoes.
- Weigh yourself everyday
- Avoid sugary snacks such as cakes and biscuits between meals. if you feel hungry eat some fruits and vegetables (low in calories)
- Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice, pomegranates or Seville oranges due to their effect on a group of immunosuppression drugs, Medication (Calcinerium inhibitors)
- Vegetables that grow in soil e.g. potatoes should always be peeled and cooked in boiling water. Cooking vegetables in a pressure cooker is a good way of saving the vitamin content. Do eat raw vegetables. e.g. lettuce
- Do not eat cheese from unpasteurized milk and avoid cheese with mould.
- Only buy small amounts of daily products at one time so that you can eat them while they are still fresh.
- Do not drink alcohol beverages or use alcohol in cooking.
While on steroids, try to restrict your salt intake by
- Using salt sparingly when cooking
- Trying not to add salt to cooked food or salad
- Avoiding salty foods, e.g. potato crisps , pickles and tinned food
Exercise & Physical Fitness
Exercise and physical activity should be a regular part of your life after a liver transplant to continue improving your overall physical and mental health.
- Soon After your transplant you should walk as much as you can. Then depending on your progress you can start incorporating more physical activity into your daily life.
- Walking bicycling low impact strength training and other physical activities you enjoy can all be a part of a healthy active lifestyle after transplant. But be sure to check with your transplant team before starting or changing the post transplant exercise routine.
- Avoid lifting heavy weights (>5 kgs) including babies or performing exercises including abdominal exercises weight training and swimming.
- It is common to experience weakness and mild abdominal discomfort at the site of the operation, especially with the movements for the first few weeks to months after transplant. Do not postpone exercising because of this. The transplant team should be contacted if the patients have severe discomfort with movements.
- Perform Deep Breathing exercise to expand lungs and help cough out Sputum.
- The Physiotherapist wail teach limb exercises so that limb muscles are strengthened blood circulation is increased and the risk of complications such as various thrombosis is reduced
- Take adequate rest and sleep.
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