weight loss

Diet and Weight Loss with Cirrhosis

Diet and Weight Loss

I’m was only a slim guy before being hit with cirrhosis in Nov 2008, weighing around 155lbs. Over the Christmas period I was unbelievably sick and was throwing up at the top end and the bottom end was like a Peruvian mud slide!

I lost weight, particularly muscle on my arms, shoulders, legs etc. This coupled with several paracentecis procedures has progressively reduced my weight to 138.6lbs as of this morning. The previous 2 procedures dropped my weight to 145lbs and then down to 140lbs.

I’m concerned the next one will drop me to 135 or lower.

It doesn’t seem to make any difference what I eat, I have always had a small appetite though, but I just cannot regain body weight.

 I spoke with my GI last week and he thought it was unusual and had I ever been tested for aids!!! So I said, WTF, and I guess it was one of the blood tests I had done.

 I’m worried because it seems like I’m wasting away and I’m getting a bit ticked off with people looking at me as if I had leprosy, aids, or cancer!

 Oh, I’m taking spironalactone (aldactone) and Lasix, but if my weight is falling fast I cut back or cut out the Lasix.

 so, if any of you good people can either put my mind at rest in that what I’m going through is normal, or suggest ways of regaining weight I would be really grateful.

Answer #1

how is your protein intake? Are your doctors limiting your protein because of encephalopathy issues? My BF takes in 2, 8 oz. bottles of Boost Plus daily. It has extra calories and protein which has helped him to gain back some dry weight. We figure he has gained back 8 pounds so far.

Not totally great but, still awesome. He was down to 125 from 180 because of muscle wasting. Of course this counts against his 2 liters of fluid daily but, it is a small price to pay. He seems to be getting stronger and more mobile so I have to assume this is a good thing. Talk to your doctor about the safety of nutritional supplements before you do anything else.

Answer #2

BF was diagnosed with ESLD in October ’08. I had been begging him to stop drinking because I could see the changes in his body. Weight loss and lack of appetite. (He was always a picky eater to begin with and an alcoholic.) He was hospitalized with HRS-2 in January and it took until February to get the OK to take the Boost Plus supplements.

So I’d say 8 lbs in 3 months. That may not seem like much but, when you are talking about weight gain in the face of cirrhosis, it is pretty darn good. Naturally the doctors are keeping close tabs on his electrolytes but, all seems good for now.

We do not limit his protein intake as that has not been a problem for him as of yet, (fingers crossed, lol.) His GI doc was really on board with the Boost Plus. I took in a label to have him look at it. You may want to run it by your doc first.

Answer #3

About the muscle wasting, yes, that too is par for the course with this illness. I recently spoke with the visiting nurse that has been coming out to see my spouse since he came home from the ICU a few weeks ago. The subject was hubby’s diet. The nurse mentioned eggs, milk, low salt varieties of turkey meat and some cheeses.

I remember the hospital feeding him those Carnation Instant Breakfast shakes. I bought some of those, and they are 1 cup of milk(we use skim), and the packet of powder, mixed up. I took a sip off of his mixing spoon. It was pretty good! You get a lot of nutrients and calories from this small intake of food.

Try it. Also, I make a very simple chicken soup with boneless chicken, carrots, celery, onions, potatoes and sometimes egg noodles that he seems to like very much. This seems to appeal to him even when he is very sick to his stomach. Let’s see… Oh yes, macaroni salad with tuna fish mixed in is another thing my Daniel seems to like.

I put macaroni(elbows), carrots, celery, tuna, green peppers if you like them,with Miracle Whip Lite, and season it with onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. I use a little sea salt to taste when I eat it, but ration this fiercely with my husband. Milkshakes are o.k., too.

Answer #4

Do you eat pasta? You can make it all sorts of ways without much salt at all. And it certainly bulks people up. I was always told protein was good for exactly the reason you’re asking… to rebuild muscles. But I was also warned not to go all Atkins (ie you need carbs, too.)

Answer #5

Obviously, you’re going to want to run this by your G.I. first…. See if you are able to do the Carnation Instant Breakfasts. They are loaded with protein and other nutrients. I think like 3-4 of those concoctions fulfills almost all of your recommended daily intake for most vitamins & such… AFTER my transplant, the hospital was shoving those down my throat like crazy (along with other yucky protein powder supplements) but to be honest, they taste pretty good! I still drink at least one a day.

I’m guessing if you’re dropping even more weight that you probably aren’t retaining fluid horribly which is a good thing because you need to mix these with 8 ounces of milk. Carb loads are good too…. Again, you know the drill, each one of our diets might be not considered good for ya – only the doc could tell ya that.

Answer #6

My best suggestion eat as much protein as possible. Protein deficiency will become a problem as your disease gets worse. I hate things like ensure make me gag. I add Instant breakfast powder or as they recently changed the name to breakfast essentials any time I drink milk. Eat lots cheese and chicken fish lean pork and beef but I would recomend something other than shrimp. Salmon, Orange roughy, cod, sole etc.

Protein is a major concern trust me I been to the point of extreme malnutrician and every time it’s protein that they tell me to eat. I would hen do as much as possible to stay active, walk lift small weights if possible take part in household chores otherwise you will shrink away to nothing like I did prior to transplant and I’m still fighting it.

Answer #7

Peanut butter sandwich with honey, bananas, almonds, milk shakes, pour gravy over all your taters and meat and I also give Kev Ensure and the instant breakfast drinks, this is a everyday battle with us also. We just keep giving him something to eat every couple of hours.

Answer #8

I have found the most awesome way to regain lost weight. I got down to 69 lbs (I’m 5′ 1”-but I still looked like a Holocaust victim) and now I’m finally at a healthy 103.

Basically, everything you use milk in (cooking wise) substitute it with heavy whipping cream. Also, try making “magic milk” This is 1/2 C whole milk with 1/2 C of cream. Add a little chocolate syrup so it doesn’t taste too buttery. Trust me, Kraft mac and cheese is phenomonally delicious with cream instead of milk!

Too bad I’m back at a normal weight, now I can’t eat “extreme” food anymore…  Hope this works for you-If I can gain 40 lbs in under 3 months, anybody can gain any amount they need to back.