When is protein restriction indicated in the treatment of cirrhosis?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: David C Wolf, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Answer

Protein restriction is rarely necessary in patients with symptoms of chronic encephalopathy. Many patients with cirrhosis have protein-calorie malnutrition at baseline; the routine restriction of dietary protein intake increases their risk for worsening malnutrition.

In the author's opinion, protein restriction is infrequently valuable in patients with an acute flare-up of symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy. One study randomized hospitalized patients with hepatic encephalopathy to receive either a normal-protein diet or a low-protein diet, in addition to standard treatment measures, and found no difference between the 2 groups in outcomes for hepatic encephalopathy. [44]


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!