Diet Plan For Liver Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis of the liver refers to the condition in which liver function is seriously affected as a result of the destruction of liver cells due to necrosis, fatty infiltration and fibrosis. There are three types of cirrhosis: (1) Diffuse hepatic fibrosis (2) Post-necrotic scarring which occurs in livers which have undergone massive necrosis and (3) Biliary cirrhosis which occurs due to biliary obstruction and superimposed infection or toxins which produce cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis of the liver occurs commonly among chronic alcoholics and also in individuals who had attacks of hepatitis due to various infections. When cirrhosis of liver has advanced to a last stage, there are always associated signs of malnutrition such as wasting of muscle, low serum albumin, oedema and retention of sodium. Obstruction of hepatic and portal veins leads to congestion of abdominal viscera and development of ascites.


The cause for ascites are: (1) Portal hypertension and lymphatic obstruction, (2) Reduced osmotic pressure of the plasma due to the failure of synthesis of albumin in the liver and (3) Increased retention of sodium. The treatment of ascites is to give a diet rich in proteins but low in sodium and also diuretics to increase urinary output of sodium and fluid. Supplementation with potassium salts may be necessary to make up potassium losses from the body.


The principles of treatment are as follows: (1) Rest in bed (2) Treatment of complications such as ascites, portal hypertension, etc. and (3) Diet.

Dietary Management

Calories: The patients are usually undernourished. A high calorie diet has to be be given.

Proteins: As the patients suffer from protein deficiency and have low serum albumin levels, a high protein diet should be given.

Fats: Fat has to be given in restricted amounts at the rate of 0.5 g per kg body weight.

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates should provide more than 60% of the total calories in the diet.

Minerals: Sodium intake should be restricted. Potassium salts should be administered if diuretics are administered for treating ascites and oedema. Iron salts should be administered to cure an anemia which is invariably present.

Vitamins: The patients should be given one multivitamin tablet providing daily requirements of all essential vitamins. Folic acid and B12 should be administered parenterally for treating macrocytic anemia.

The daily menu and pattern of diet are given below:

Daily Menu For An Adult Suffering From Cirrhosis Of Liver

Early morningTea or coffee-1 cupTea or coffee-1 cup
BreakfastCornflakes with milk and sugar-1 serving
Cheese-2 slices
Milk-1 cup
Fruits-1 serving
Cornflakes with milk and sugar-1 serving
Boiled eggs-2
Milk-1 cup
Fruits-1 serving
Mid-morningFruit juice-1 glassFruit juice-1 glass
LunchBread or cooked rice or chapati-1 serving
Dhal soup with calcium caseinate (4 tea spoons)
Cooked vegetables
Curd-2 cups
Fruits-1 serving
Bread, cooked rice or chapati-1 serving
Mutton soup-1 serving
mutton or liver curry-1 serving
Curd-1 cup
Fruits-1 serving
EveningSandwiches (with cheese)-2
Fruit juice-1 glass
Sandwiches (with mutton)
Fruit juice-1 serving
DinnerSame as lunchSame as lunch

Note: Salt should not be added during or after cooking.

Diet For An Adult Suffering From Cirrhosis Of Liver

Milk (half fat)800500
Meat and liver_100
Calcium caseinate5020
Fats and oils (rich in essential fatty acids)2020
Fruit juice500500