Making healthy lifestyle changes can help stop cirrhosis getting worse. It can also reduce your risk of developing further health problems.
There are a number of things you can do to help stay healthy and reduce your chances of developing further problems:
- avoid alcohol if your liver problems are alcohol-related
- lose weight if you're overweight or obese
- take regular exercise to reduce muscle wasting
- practise good hygiene to reduce your chances of developing infections
- speak to your GP about vaccinations you may need, such as the annual flu vaccine or travel vaccines
- speak to your GP or pharmacist if you're taking over-the-counter or prescription medications, as cirrhosis can affect the way some medicines work
Malnutrition is common in people with cirrhosis, so it's important you have a balanced diet to help you get all the nutrients you need.
Cutting down on salt can help reduce your risk of developing swelling in your legs, feet and tummy caused by a build-up of fluid.
The damage to your liver can also mean it's unable to store glycogen, which provides short-term energy.
When this happens, the body uses its own muscle tissue to provide energy between meals, which leads to muscle wasting and weakness. This means you may need extra calories and protein in your diet.
Healthy snacking between meals can top up your calories and protein. It may also be helpful to eat 3 or 4 small meals a day, rather than 1 or 2 large meals.