Caring for yourself after a liver transplant is crucial to your recovery. The first year will be hard and don’t expect to do everything yourself. Your family and friends are always ready to lend you a helping hand. You just need to ask. To ensure a proper recovery, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Have checkups regularly
Your body’s immune system will recognize your new liver as a foreign object and will attempt to reject it by attacking your new liver. This is why you will need to take the immunosuppressive drugs prescribed by your doctor. This will suppress your immune system from reacting. You will also need to see your doctor regularly to monitor your liver through routine blood tests.
Eat well-rounded meals
Make sure that you have a healthy diet with low sodium, low fats, and low cholesterol. If you used to be a fast-food lover, you have to give up your favorite food. Eat home-cooked food with lots of vegetables, fruits and provide enough protein from fish, lean meats, eggs and dairy produce. Besides, whole grains are very helpful for your new liver, so don’t skip them. You should be able to eat what you want with one key exception. Don’t eat uncooked seafood because it can give you serious infections.
Liver disease may cause the loss of appetite and lead to malnourishment. Most patients are malnourished by the time of the transplant. Your health care team, as well as friends and family, and most importantly yourself, need to realize the important of getting as much nutrition as possible. Patients who are better nourished generally have fewer complications, spend less time in hospital care, and have a shorter recovery time.
Drink enough water
Water contains an amount of natural minerals. The best source of water should be those where the water is removed from the carbon and chlorine particles. Besides, don’t forget to add some lemon juice to your water to increase the alkaline and cleansing properties. Lemon and all citrus fruits contain a huge of vitamin C and minerals that boost your body functions and enhance the liver cleansing process.
Don’t forget to get away from alcohol because it’s a toxin and it inhibits proper absorption of nutrients. Avoid drinking beer, wine or champagne as well as any form of liquor. Take note that some over-the-counter pain medications such as cough syrup also contain alcohol.
Try a combo of diet and exercise to keep the pounds off. Of course working out at a gym may be unrealistic. Light exercises, such as lifting cans of soup or small weights, are good ways to get exercise done at home. If you’re having trouble sticking to a healthy weight on your own, ask your doctor for help. Getting active is even more important because it can help you keep up your strength. That is important for people with liver disease since you can lose muscle mass and muscle tone if your liver disease gets worse.
It’s important that you choose an exercise routine that is suitable for you. For example people with mild Hepatitis C should get the same amount of exercise as healthy people. Each week, get at least 2 1/2 hours of physical activity that gets your heart pumping. Also, do some muscle strengthening twice a week. You can start by going for a 5-10 minute walk outside or in a nearby center. Aim to increase the time you spend walking by one minute every day you walk. Your ultimate goal is to walk for 30 minutes, 3 times each week.
Keep your mind free of stress
Everyone has stress, but living with a long-term disease can increase stress. No one can be healthy with stress. In the early months after transplant, you can experience a variety of emotions including anger, frustration, guilt, and depression. Relaxation and balance your life with positive thoughts and spending more time with family and the people you love may help you overcome this difficult period.
Health is the most valuable thing in life. A healthy body and positive thoughts will not only bring you happiness but also your family’s happiness. So, live your life in a right way and be always healthy.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: September 20, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
Liver Guide. http://www.universitytransplantcenter.com/files/Liver_Guide.pdf. Accessed September 20, 2016.
Hepatitis - Self-care. http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/features/self-care?page=2. Accessed September 20, 2016.