Keto diet: Can anybody tell me if the... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Keto diet

Foxdud profile image

Can anybody tell me if the keto diet is any good when you have liver disease because a friend of mine who has studied nutrition for a number of years and has been ketogenic for six years tells me how good it is and how her and her partner are actually educating the nhs on it’s benefits (hard go believe I know ) …. Thanks in advance Foxdud x

44 Replies

Hi Foxdud. Its a high fat, low protein diet which completely opposes what a damaged liver needs. So l certainly wouldn't recommend it. You need low fat, high protein and measured carbohydrates and plenty of exercise. There have also been cases of the keto diet causing kidney damage. Steer clear of faddy diets, just stick to a healthy eating plan. Laura

Foxdud profile image
Foxdud in reply to laura53923

Thanks for your reply just eating healthy at the moment not spoke to a dietitian yet as I was told I didn’t need to !!! 👍🏻

laura53923 profile image
laura53923 in reply to Foxdud

Excellent... keep that up along with your exercise 🚴‍♂️🏋️‍♂️⛹️‍♂️

Great photo by the way 🤣

Foxdud profile image
Foxdud in reply to laura53923

Thankyou I think 🤔🤣😂 I’m still working 10hrs a day 5 days a week in a physical job so I’m getting plenty of exercise over 10000 steps a day should j be doing more ?? Because in am so tired after a day at work.

laura53923 profile image
laura53923 in reply to Foxdud

I think you are doing great! Do make sure you don't over do it. It's important to be getting the balance right. Are you sleeping well?

Foxdud profile image
Foxdud in reply to laura53923

Extremely well but still feel tired when I wake up , before I would have 5hrs sleep and that would be enough now it’s 8hrs at least .

laura53923 profile image
laura53923 in reply to Foxdud

Lucky you .... 8 hours !! .... l'm going to kill that cat who sits on my garage roof wailing at 3am !!!!

Hello 👋 You will find any good Dietician will advise you against any diet and advise you personally - as everyone is different and there are different stages of Liver Disease(is it yourself that has Liver Disease, your friend, or a general question?).

I was told to have Protein, extremely salt, low sugar but fresh fruit veg, then carbs' before bed. I had decomoensated Cirrhosis and am now Compensated if this helps?

Take care 🙂

Foxdud profile image
Foxdud in reply to Kji378

It’s for me I have cirrhosis got a consultation at hospital end of month so hoping that they will put me in touch with a dietitian as I BC also have gout too so I need a diet that suits both illnesses cheers for your reply 👍🏻

Kji378 profile image
Kji378 in reply to Foxdud

Ouchy... gout 😣, I can't help there, but once again I'm sure they will get you with a personal diet.

Do you have ascites? If so they may advise a seriously LOW salt.

You could ring the BLT helpline they are brilliant!

The hours open are (I think) Mon-Fri 10am - 3pm 08006527330.

Obviously (also to help with gout) stay off the pop, try reducing red meats (if you do eat them). 🙂

Foxdud profile image
Foxdud in reply to Kji378

Not got ascites and I have spoke to BLT a couple of times don’t finish work till 3.30pm so it’s difficult and I’ve not had red meat since I was diagnosed and I’m a butcher !!! 😂👍🏻

You can still enjoy red meat just make sure its lean and in moderation. Its a great source of protein. Chicken and turkey are particularly good as is fish. Fill up with plenty of fresh fruit and veg and salad👍

Foxdud profile image
Foxdud in reply to laura53923

I’m eating fish or chicken everyday and also fresh fruit, veg and salad I just thought red meat was a no no !! Also love fresh tuna and apparently that’s to be avoided can’t have offal or shellfish due gout , that’s why I would like to see a dietitian to see what I should eat for both illnesses

laura53923 profile image
laura53923 in reply to Foxdud

Good plan

Kji378 profile image
Kji378 in reply to laura53923

Laura, does red meat aggravate uric acid - gout? It might be me making it up, or have dreamt it 🤔

(I've finished Tracey Island now! 😁)

chrisw740 profile image
chrisw740 in reply to Kji378

This page on all purine rich foods that aggrevate gout may be useful

mayoclinic.org/healthy-life....

Foxdud profile image
Foxdud in reply to chrisw740

Thankyou Chris 👍🏻

laura53923 profile image
laura53923 in reply to chrisw740

Thanks Chris !

Kji378 profile image
Kji378 in reply to chrisw740

Brilliant! 😃

laura53923 profile image
laura53923 in reply to Kji378

Oh well done ! X

laura53923 profile image
laura53923 in reply to Kji378

I know nothing about gout except that it's very painful !!

Kji378 profile image
Kji378 in reply to laura53923

I remember my dad in agony just from a bed sheet being moved slightly sweeping his foot. It didn't sound nice! 🥺😥

Foxdud profile image
Foxdud in reply to Kji378

Yeah the pain is unbelievable the bed sheet is a nightmare. 6 weeks is the longest I’ve had it so not good

laura53923 profile image
laura53923 in reply to Foxdud

Ooo you poor thing. Agreed a dietician's advice would definately be of great benefit as you have cirrhosis to consider and gout thrown into the mix, both requiring specific food stuffs. Speak again to your doctor about a referal ? Good luck 🙂

Kji378 profile image
Kji378 in reply to Foxdud

You poor bugger. I can't help anymore really, but deffo speak to Dietician as soon as. Good luck 👍

I have had severe fatty liver disease for a while and after losing over 40lbs by eating a so called “liver diet” (low salt, no red meat, fruits and grains etc ) I went back to my specialist to retest and he said congrats on your weight loss but your fatty liver didn’t improve significantly. I decided to cut out all sugar and carbs including grains and fruit. Now I eat as much red meat as I want (grass fed, mind you) salt in normal amounts, lots of good oils (olive and avocados) lots of grass fed Irish butter TONS of broccoli, zucchini and asparagus (the ABCs). Pasture raised eggs..

I retested again last month, and my Fatty Liver has improved significantly to the point where I no longer need a medication that’s under clinical trial that my specialist wanted me to get on. I hate taking any type of meds and to have been a guinea pig scared the crap out of me! I have lost another 20lbs and hopefully I’ll continue reversing it and my scarring. Moral of the story is Keto works. At least for me it does. But you have to make it “clean keto” only grass fed meats and cheeses, green veggies and healthy oils. Oh and I’m also no longer pre-diabetic and my triglycerides are perfect :)

TT-2018 profile image
TT-2018 in reply to Lvone38

Replacing carbohydrates with fats and higher fat sources of protein could increase your intake of saturated fat, which can raise the amount of cholesterol in your blood – a risk factor for heart disease.

When you're low on glucose, the body breaks down stored fat to convert it into energy. This process causes a build-up of ketones in the blood, resulting in ketosis.

This can cause headaches, weakness, feeling sick, dehydration, dizziness and irritability.

Try to limit the amount of sugary foods you eat and instead include healthier sources of carbohydrate in your diet, such as wholegrains, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, and legumes.

Lvone38 profile image
Lvone38 in reply to TT-2018

What happens when you literally break your pancreas and liver by overeating carbs and sugar even fruit is you become insulin resistant such as in my case. Even eating good carbs and fruit, my body stored it straight into my organs in the liver first. Think of it as a team effort: when you eat carbohydrates and sugar even that found in fruit (fructose) your liver starts burning it for fuel through a process called gluconeogenisis . The pancreas is what starts creating the insulin secretion first. What happens when you overload your body with the wrong glucose over time and don’t use it for fuel? It goes straight to storage in your organs IE: heart, liver. The alternative to glucose production by your liver is ketones, which by removing carbohydrates and sugar it starts producing instead of glucose for energy. This form of energy is actual more rudimentary and primal to man and thus provides better function of tryglycerides and fat burning. Again, I no longer have high cholesterol or a pre diabetic system. Most importantly I want to note that everyone is different and this works for me. I talked to my specialist about it and he thinks it’s safe at least compared to the alternative (cirrhosis and possibly death) I would talk to your doc first before any dietary lifestyle changes.

TT-2018 profile image
TT-2018 in reply to Lvone38

I am fine but thank you for asking. Pre-transplant, a dietitian put me on a balanced diet, which included carbohydrates, and low sodium. I continue to eat healthily, post transplant and my latest blood results are all in range.

1ChLoE profile image
1ChLoE in reply to Lvone38

I totally agree with what you are saying, low carbs moderate protein and high fat works. We have been brought up to believe that low fat is good. Low fat is full of sugars, lots hidden under a different name. Carbohydrates are not good, they just turn to sugar. Our food has been processed for many years and it is not healthy. Just look at the rise in obesity, diabetes, heart disease to name but a few.

Just do some general research, the information is all there. This is not just my opinion, many highly intelligent people have spent many years researching this. Well done Lvone on your results.

Hi Fox, I think the answer is that it depends on which liver disease as they can have different diet requirements.

In my case, I had nafld caused by my carb and sugar intact being really high. So a keto-ish/low carb diet ( less than 100g of carbs per day) made sense for me. I am not a dietician, but I also am against the blanket statement of "fresh fruit" as not all fruits are created equal. I was shocked at how much fructose was in bananas and apples for example, so I stick to a cup of strawberries, raspberries or black berries.

Limiting carbs, even natural ones like potatoes and brown rice, is also really important in my opinion.

With carbs and sugar being cut way down, the calories had to come from some where so my fat in take went up. But unlike keto (and atkins before it), I just dont think it is healthy to sit around and eat sausage and cheese all day.

Hope this helps.

Trust9 profile image
Trust9Administrator

Everyone has very interesting personal experiences, and what works for some may not suit others.

At the British Liver Trust we would always encourage you to discuss any dietary changes with your own doctors and registered dietitians .

Trust9

Kji378 profile image
Kji378 in reply to Trust9

YES.. Exactly! 😃

As an edit : my comment below was a response to a now deleted post but I'll leave it here non the less... it was not to the original poster.

-----------

There is a big difference between giving motivational support to others and your enthusiastic promotion of extreme weight loss. Indeed rapid weight loss is only ever justified if there's an urgent health risk related to a persons obesity and in that situation, the programme needs close medical supervision. Weight loss of 6-7lbs a week like yours comes with the very real risk of rebound NASH and can be very tough on the kidneys too.

I would hate to put you off your journey which must take commendable resolve and commitment but regularly parachuting into other threads promoting something that has its own very serious complications is perhaps inappropriate. The moderate introduction of some ketosis is not the same body shock weight loss. You've been told you have S0 fatty infiltration and a decent enough low kpa of 6.1 so please give some consideration to the unintended consequences of aggressive dieting.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl....

fattyliverdisease.com/losin...

laura53923 profile image
laura53923 in reply to chrisw740

Thankyou

Mkulikov1 profile image
Mkulikov1 in reply to chrisw740

Please read my latest post. I understand

chrisw740 profile image
chrisw740 in reply to Mkulikov1

I have and understand too. This should not be adversarial. I am comfortable with my take on rapid weight loss in the above reply and hope its a measured response. I hope too that you chose to stay.

Best

Chris

To be perfectly honest there is little real need to follow any specific faddy diet. There must be hundreds every year announced that do miracles for everything from rapid weight loss to curing your bunions, lol.

Some people will undoubtedly see benefit. But most faddy diets are so restrictive they are nigh on impossible to follow long term and therefore many of the gains are easily lost.

The right diet for one person may be very different to another depending on the stage of their disease. However, eating a relatively healthy and balanced diet with some exercise would usually be sufficient to keep most people in the healthy zone and most people will see results by just doing this. Ok, they may take slightly longer to achieve but at least they are sustainable.

The NHS website has some good advice on this so is worth a read up.

The diet industry is worth billions each year because people always look for the easy quick win option. Sustainable weight loss can take a bit of perseverance and patience. Most people don't want to do that and would prefer the 'get rich quick with little effort' approach. Thats just human nature that the diet industry takes advantage of with great success. Its also the reason why each year or two they'll be a new one promoted. The book sales will have eased off, so it'll be time to launch something new. 😆😆😆.

Foxdud profile image
Foxdud in reply to Kristian

Thanks for the reply I’m not trying to lose weight as such just trying to eat whats best for both of my illnesses liver disease/gout and the couple I know keep telling me about the keto diet and the benefits ,I’m waiting to speak to a dietitian and take it from there .

Once again Thankyou 👍🏻

Kristian profile image
Kristian in reply to Foxdud

Thats a good plan. The gout would certainly cimplicate things.

chrisw740 profile image
chrisw740 in reply to Foxdud

As a small side note there does seem to be reasonable evidence for introducing cherries to your diet in terms of gout and they remain a low sugar low GI fruit.... Just a thought.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl....

Foxdud profile image
Foxdud in reply to chrisw740

I tried cherry juice from the chemist unfortunately it had no effect I do also eat cherries most days there never seems to be any rhyme or reason as to when I get an attack, my job is very physical so maybe the stress on joints won’t help either .Thanks for trying to help what an unbelievable response from everyone 👍🏻

Lvone38 profile image
Lvone38 in reply to Kristian

For the record I don’t call my way of eating “keto” because it is not a faddy diet. We are not supposed to be eating ridiculous amounts of sugar and refined carbs anyway. We are supposed to be eating good quality fats such as those in nuts and olive oil and lots of greens. Nothing faddy in that. I agree on the rapid weight loss being bad. In some cases rapid weight loss can actually cause fatty liver due to the body storing fat in the organs by thinking it’s in starvation mode. However, if one is heavier the rapid weight loss will happen whether we like it or not do to physics. IE: A semi truck will use more gas going down the block than a tiny compact car. I use a TEE calculator to see what my total caloric energy needs for the day are and then subtract a hundred or so from that. That works for me and it doesn’t keep me hungry.

I actually think just not overeating is the key to staying healthy..a little bit of everything at the right quantity and regular normal exercise should keep most people a healthy normal weight!As for changing diet for cirrhosis I don't actually think there is a need especially if your already eating a balanced diet!

Diets are so hard to keep to for most people and tend to do more harm than good in the long-term!

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