Health and Fitness

What not to eat and drink after liver transplant

Liver Transplant Surgery 

It is a surgery done to replace the diseased liver with a new liver taken from a donor (can be a living donor or a deceased donor). The liver has a variety of functions in the body including- 

  • Processing nutrients
  • Producing bile
  • Making protein can help in blood clotting
  • Removing bacteria and toxins from the blood
  • Preventing infections

The liver transplant cost  in India varies amongst a couple of factors – 

  • Age of the patient
  • Type of donor available (deceased or living)
  • blood group matching of patient and donor
  • Liver Disease diagnosed 

After a liver transplant is done, the patient has to remain on a strict follow up with the doctors. This is to keep a check on the newly transplanted liver and if it is working properly or not. The patient undergoes regular blood tests to keep a check on organ rejection and other transplant-related issues. 

What is Organ Rejection? 

The body’s natural immune system may attack the new liver considering it a “foreign body”. The immune system in the body rejects the organ, and this phenomenon is countered by giving the patient immuno-suppressants. 

Signs of organ rejection – 

  • Abnormal blood tests
  • Feeling tired
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Yellowish discoloration of the eyes

What care is needed after a liver transplant? 

Some symptoms that the patient should keep a check on after the transplant –

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Vomiting 
  • Sore throat

You should follow certain instructions after a liver transplant surgery – 

  • Take medicines on time.
  • Stay away from sick people.
  • Inform the doctor when you’re feeling sick.
  • Keep your appointments and blood works scheduled.
  • Get cancer screening done after regular intervals.
  • Eat healthy foods, avoid liquor

Dietary habits to be followed after a liver transplant – 

Diet plays a big role in the recovery of a patient after a transplant. It is recommended to eat healthy, exercise, and take precautions. A healthy well-balanced diet is required to prevent high blood pressure and keep the overall weight normal. 

Certain types of foods are contraindicated to patients who have undergone transplant surgery. Immuno-suppressant drugs are the medicines given to lower the body’s immune response and reduce the chances of organ rejection. However, taking these medicines also increases the chances of getting infections.  To prevent chances of infection, you should take care that

  • Concerns about food handling safety
  • Being careful when ‘eating out’
  • Avoiding high-risk foods

High-risk foods that should be avoided are – 

It is recommended that you avoid foods that may be spoiled, or not consume food after their ‘use by’ date

raw or undercooked food- 

  • Meat, fish or poultry
  • Prawns
  • Crayfish
  • Crab
  • Squid 
  • Sushi 

    Dairy products – 

  • Unpasteurized milk, cheese or yogurt
  • Uncooked or undercooked eggs 

    Fruits and vegetables – 

  • Grapefruit or grapefruit juice and Pomegranate or pomegranate juice; these work against the immuno-suppressant drugs
  • Unwashed raw fruits and damaged fruits
  • Unwashed vegetables or salads
  • Sprouts (such as alfalfa or bean sprouts)

Some suggestions by a dietician for the post-operative liver transplant diet may include – 

  • Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day
  • Lean meat, fish or poultry
  • Whole-grain bread and cereals
  • Eating enough fiber in the everyday diet
  • Maintaining a low-salt and low-fat diet
  • Drinking low-fat milk, to keep the calcium levels normal
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Staying hydrated with enough water intake in a day.

General to-do routines that every liver transplant patient should follow – 

  • Eat healthy foods, exercise, and don’t smoke cigarettes
  • Limit drinking alcoholic beverages or use alcohol in cooking.
  • Protect yourself from soil exposure by wearing shoes, socks, long-sleeve shirts, and long pants.
  • Avoid pets such as rodents, reptiles, and birds.
  • Protect yourself against organisms that can transmit diseases, such as ticks and mosquitoes, by
    • using insect repellent
    • wearing shoes, socks, long-sleeve shirts, and long pants
    • not going outdoors at times when organisms are most likely to be active, such as at dawn and dusk
    • If you are planning on traveling, especially to developing countries, talk with your transplant team at least 2 months before leaving to determine the best ways to reduce travel-related risks.

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