PBC Foundation
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Eating habits

Does anyone have any information on good things to eat if you have PBC and PSC ? Trying to start taking baby steps into connecting mind body and soul and I need to definitely work on my own health first and foremost. I know broccoli is good for the liver, any Specific meats and or seasonings? All information would appreciated. Thank you..

-Veronica W.

United States FL

9 Replies

My specialist when I was first diagnosed in Spain told me to eat normally and that i didn't need to take vitamins except calcium and vitamin D. Having said that the diet is far superior in Spain to here. I now live here in the UK and have put on weight. Vegetables are of poor quality here and expensive. Luckily I now have a garden and will grow a lot of what I eat. My advice would be to eat a balanced diet, don't eat ready made food, avoid trans-fats, limit fats/oils and cheese, cut down on salt. Eat a couple of pieces of fruit from the season a day, have fresh vegetables, fish a couple of times a week. Drink water and have a little of what you fancy now and then.


Would agree with above comment. Cauliflower also good, turmeric apparently is especially good and coffee believe it or not. Really though lower fat & sugar can't go wrong x


Hello bluetopia86.

I did ask about if there was anything I should avoid dietarywise when I was said to have some liver problem back in later 2010 on my first hospital consultation. (I had the antibodies test that day and 6/7 weeks later was to be informed I had PBC.) The consultant just said to me, 'The liver likes calories' and basically just continue having a sensible diet. He knew I wasn't a drinker, I'd stressed that to my GP in the early days of abnormal LFTs (liver function test) but to me alcohol is common sense as everyone else on here will more than likely be in agreement. I chose not to bother with alcohol after my first abnormal LFTs. It just doesn't bother me not consuming alcohol.

I've been diagnosed with PBC for over 4yrs now but fair to say it is really 5yrs since I started itching, reason I went to the GP in the first place.

I've always been partial to eating fruit and vegetables so I just continue. I have found as I have got older (I am soon-to-be 51) that certain vegetables can 'repeat' (ie cucumbers or onions eaten raw) so I do try to avoid those now.

I cook from fresh myself and anything I use tends to be as additive-free as possible. I like to know what is in my food. I scrutinize certain things for additives like MSG and avoid that as I personally do not think it could be good. Same with artificial sweeteners but I was not partial to them pre-PBc diagnosis.

Some say go gluten-free but I have done a bit of gluten-free myself when my son had a temporary bowel problem thought to be caused by too much antibiotics in a short space of time. He had to avoid wheat products for awhile but then gradually reintroduced them so I would make a pie or bake some buns with gluten-free flour. I slowly reverted back to my wholemeal self-raising flour or white self-raising for baking. For me I didn't find eating gluten-free for a temporary spell made much difference at all to me. I've never had a gluten intolerance and thinking, I don't overly-consume wheat products in particular. I have never been partial to buying pies and the like, they are something I eat less frequently.

As Junolee stated, coffee is said to be good for liver function but not in over-consumption. I used to drink more tea than coffee but continue to have a cup after breakfast and then one before the evening meal. I then have the odd cup of red tea following the evening meal as it is supposed to be rehydrating and caffeine-free. I once did post a short article on this site (last year) about some finding about coffee.

I see broccoli in particular as a good source of iron and I steam vegetables like this so they keep their texture and colour. More recently I have taken to peeling and cutting into fingers, carrots and eating those as a snack. Apples are another of my favourites, I peel, cut into slices.

I think now having PBC one thing that I do take even more care about is the eating of fats in my diet. Given bile helps to break down fats in our body in my way of thinking slightly less of it might be better as though I am not sure, I seem to think that perhaps bile is made 'to order' in our system. I still have a gallbladder as I have read some on this site no longer do. If the gallbladder stores bile and then empties just after we have eaten then at some point it is going to have to re-fill. Urso we take adds further bile to the system for better digestion as due to PBC it can cause some bile leakage via the bile ducts into the liver itself.

I have a cut-off from eating. I don't tend to have anything except perhaps a dry bisuit with a cup of tea during the evening. I find it seems to work better for me this way.


Hmmmm, I actually read and found a list of some foods we should avoid or not. One was interesting to me as we all feel that broccoli is good for us, but the info I read said to avoid veggies with copper content, & broccoli was one of them. I believe the advice was small quantities are ok, but not to eat a lot!


Can you remember where you read this, I would be interested in reading about it as I eat a lot of fresh broccoli, at least ffour times a week as it's quick to cook after working all day.


Was trying to find the site again to no avail; sorry! I know I printed out a copy also at the time. If I find it in my mess, I'll let you know. I asked my doctor about it and he didn't seem concerned, more like one would have to eat an awful lot!


I was told to eat little and often which I have to say holds off the nausea also helps prevents that sinking/dissy feeling. Obviously you may not have any of these symptoms. Also not too much red meat or very rich food. It is logical really just treat your system gently.if u want a cream cake then you can probably get away with eating one. ...if I then had fish n chips that would be enough to make me sick.!!! But every one is different. ..watch out for hidden alcohol I had some in a very well watered Christmas pudding! ! Which made me feel really bad.i know it's nothing to do with pbc but its processing it is the problem

Follow your body as well you will know what upsets you and doesn't .good luck


Many medics say "little and often". This does help in terms of addressing peaks and troughs of energy and any building up of bile and or digestive fluids.

Anecdotally, lots of members benefit from cutting out sweets, milk chocolate and heavily processed foods. As a rule. Of thumb, buy ingredients- not anything made.

That said, listen to your body. If your body isn't tolerating fat, then listen. If your body isn't tolerating gluten/wheat products, then listen.

Finally, keep hydrated. Try to take at least 3 litres of water each day. There are many reasons for this- energy levels, organ well-being, flushing out the system, water is said to help burn fat as part of a healthy lifestyle, etc.

3 litres sounds a lot but it is actually easily achievable.




I find it funny that some doctors say, little red meat, but my GI doctor who seemed to know quite a bit about PBC and saw it in me well before my biopsy recommended a Paleo diet. I realize that this is a "newer" diagnosed issue, so the info out there is still new. I however have acute pancreatitis on top of PBC, Barrette's Esophagus and Gerd. I can't really have most meat aside from chicken. I am at a bit of a loss on what to eat. I am slowly working on a spreadsheet that lists what I can and can't have in regards to the PBC and Pancreas. If anyone has both of these autoimmune issues, let me know. I would love compare diets and finalize this spreadsheet, in the event someone else comes along with both ailments (I hope not!) which both present unique diet concerns.


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