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Liver Diseases
Liver is a vital organ of human body as it is the centre for major metabolic processes and storehouse of several important nutrients. Liver diseases hamper the normal functioning of the liver affecting the entire organ system. Liver diseases include infective or viral hepatitis, cirrhosis of liver and hepatic coma.

INFECTIVE OR VIRAL HEPATITIS is the common cause of jaundice. The two viruses responsible are hepatitis A and B virus. Anorexia, fever, Headache, Rapid Weight Loss, Loss of muscle tone and Abdominal discomfort are some of the early symptoms.

CIRRHOSIS OF LIVER is a condition in which there is destruction of the liver cells due to necrosis, fatty infiltration, fibrosis and nodular regeneration. It is a serious and irreversible disease.

HEPATIC COMA is a complex syndrome characterized by neurological disturbances, which may develop as a complication of severe liver disease. It results from entrance of certain nitrogen containing substances such as ammonia into the cerebral circulation. Gastrointestinal bleeding, severe infection and surgical procedures may precipitate hepatic coma. Confusion, restlessness, inappropriate behavior and drowsiness are present.

High carbohydrate and moderate fat diet is recommended.

Proteins can be given in high amounts in both hepatitis and cirrhosis as protein helps in regeneration of cells but needs to be restricted in hepatic coma.

Adequate amounts of minerals and vitamins should be prescribed. Supplementations may be provided if needed. Sodium needs to be restricted but only if ascites or local edema is present.

Small attractive meals at regular intervals are better tolerated.

Overfeeding should be avoided.

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