Objective: To study of the dietary practices and beliefs of patients suffering from chronic liver disease. Setting: Two private tertcary care hospitals. Method: Fifty patients presenting to the Gastroenterology Clinics at the Aga Khan University Hospital and Baqai Hospital, with compensated liver disease and no other co-morbid condition which required dietary modifications, were enrolled in the study. Patients were interviewed regarding their current dietary practices using an open-ended questionnaire. Results: The mean age of the patients was 48 years and the majority were in relatively poor nutritional status. Four had BMI's <18; 58% had Hb <12 g/dl and 36% had albumin levels <3 gm/dl. The percentage of patients avoiding various foods is as follows: meats 72%, fats and oils 64 %, salt 42%, spices 34%, milk and milk products 28%, rice 20%. Conclusion: The most commonly cited reason for avoiding a given food was the advice of the family doctor, followed by advice by gastroenterologisls, family and friends. Concepts from alternative medicine and continuation of dietary restrictions imposed during a decompensated phase also influenced intake. Compromised nutritional status is a poor predictor of clinical outcome in liver disease therefore it is important that gastroenterologists be proactive regarding nutritional counseling and both patients and their primary care physicians understand the importance of not imposing unnecessary restrictions on dietary intake.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 1999|