The Liver is the largest internal organ in the body. It has many important roles in our health including the metabolism of nutrients, storage and activation of vitamins and minerals, filtering the blood, removal of drugs and hormones, synthesis and excretion of bile.
Liver Disease can be in an Acute of Chronic disease. Acute disease may result from viral infections, alcohol, drugs or poison. Chronic disease may occur when there is significant damage to the liver from alcohol, drugs, infections, autoimmune diseases (eg Primary Biliary Cirrosis), metabolic disorders (eg Haemachromatosis), biliary obstructions, vascular disorders, or a fatty liver. The other form of Liver Disease is liver cancer.
Malnutrition is very common for people with Chronic Liver Disease and Liver cancer. In the advanced stages of Liver Disease people may experience muscle wasting, weakness and fatigue, fluid retention (ascites and odema), confusion, yellowing of the skin (jaundice), and gastrointestinal bleeding.
Give the close link between nutrition and liver function, what you eat can influence your health if you have Liver Disease. A Dietitian can help guide you with the latest scientific evidence on an appropriate diet. This may include helping you to lose weight is a safe manner if you have a Fatty Liver Disease. Or if you have advanced liver disease, a Dietitian can assist with preventing or correcting malnutrition and the symptoms of your condition.