Are diet restrictions recommended in the treatment of pleural effusion (fluid on the lungs)?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Kamran Boka, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Restriction of fat intake may help in the treatment of chylous effusions, although management remains controversial. Ongoing drainage of these effusions can rapidly deplete patients of fat and protein stores and lymphocytes. Limiting oral fat intake may slow the accumulation of chylous effusions in some patients. Hyperalimentation or total parenteral nutrition can preserve nutritional stores and limit accumulation of the chylous effusion but probably should be restricted to patients in whom definitive therapy for the underlying cause of the chylous effusion is possible.


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