Have you been diagnosed with a liver cyst? While this condition is somewhat common, only 5% of people experience symptoms. Tests can also be performed to find out whether or not you‘ve developed liver cysts. It’s possible to have a small liver cyst for years and not be aware of it if it doesn’t cause any health issues for you. Health experts don’t know the exact cause of bile duct problems that trigger the bumps that require a liver cyst diet.
If you have liver cysts, you should generally eat and avoid the same foods as other liver conditions. They include fatty liver disease, liver cirrhosis, and bile duct disease. However, while the dietary guidelines are generally the same, you should know the specific foods to eat and avoid if you have a liver cyst.
What Exactly Is a Liver Cyst?
These are liquid-filled sacs in the liver. The good news is cysts are benign (non-cancerous). There’s usually no treatment required unless form systems and affect liver function.
Only about 5% of the total population experiences liver cysts, and among that figure, only about 5% experience symptoms. It’s possible to have one or multiple cysts with or without symptoms.
People can sometimes have liver cysts for years and not be diagnosed It doesn’t cause pain/discomfort until the cyst gets bigger. When that happens, there might be symptoms like abdominal pain/bloating. If the cyst gets large enough, you might be able to feel it outside the stomach.
One complication that can happen is the cyst might start to bleed, which can cause sharp/sudden pain in the upper abdominal area. Sometimes the bleeding stops without any treatment. If that happens, then within a couple of days, symptoms like pain might decrease.
Liver cysts result from bile duct issues. However, scientists are still researching the real cause of the cysts. Bile is a liver-made fluid that improves digestion. The fluid moves through tube-like structures to the gallbladder.
People can get cysts in different ways. Some people are born with them, and others develop them as middle-aged/senior adults. However, it’s possible for cysts that exist at birth to not cause any symptoms until the patient becomes an adult.
Liver cysts are also related to parasites that are found in areas where sheep and cattle live. If you eat contaminated food, you can get an infection. The parasite can then cause cysts to form in various body parts like the liver.
Liver Cyst Diet: Foods to Eat
In recent years nuts/seeds have been trending for low-carb diets. When you subtract the fiber content, the net carbs are quite low. Walnuts are high omega-3 fatty acids, which can help people with liver issues like liver disease and cysts.
This is something you should be consuming anyway but it’s also helpful benefits like liver function. Try to drink at least 3 liters/12 glasses and especially for situations like hot summers or gym workouts.
Some options include spinach, kale, and broccoli. Studies show that different leafy greens can help with issues like fat buildup in the liver. That is what causes fatty liver disease and can lead to various issues like cysts over time. Leafy greens are also low in calories and carbs and can be flavored with lots of herbs, spices, and sauces.
Options like tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, and sardines are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. That is a healthy fat that can reduce liver fat, which can also reduce inflammation. Besides that, fish is also high in protein and vitamins/minerals, which are other ways they can help to improve liver health.
Are you looking for another reason to drink more coffee? If so, then consider the benefits of liver enzymes. Several studies show that liver disease can help to reduce liver damage versus non-coffee drinkers. It seems to be the caffeine that reduces irregular liver enzymes, which can help treat cysts.
That can include options like soy milk, soy burgers, and tofu. These foods might help to reduce fat buildup while providing protein. Fun Fact: Soybeans are one of the few “complete proteins” that have all nine essential amino acids (EAAs) humans must get from food
Liver Cyst Diet: Foods to Avoid
If you’re going to eat clams, oysters, and other shellfish, they can be quite healthy. That’s due to nutrients like protein, healthy fat, and vitamins/minerals. However, make sure to avoid raw/undercooked shellfish if you have liver cysts and other related issues. Besides the risk of worsening cysts, you might also experience other issues, like food poisoning.
Make sure to minimize fried foods at home and restaurants as they can cause a lot of health issues. Certain exceptions are somewhat healthier based on the type of cooking oil that’s used and how long the foods are fried. However, in general, you should minimize your intake of fried foods and especially if you have liver cysts.
That includes white bread, noodles, rice, etc. Due to the foods being highly-processed, there’s less protein, vitamins/minerals, and fiber. Refined grains are more likely to trigger inflammation and worsen cysts.
Fat, Sugar and Salt
Limit fat, sugar, and salt intake as these are substances that can greatly impact your liver health. Consider that liver disease starts with fatty liver disease, which can lead to liver cirrhosis over time.
Meanwhile, all of these substances can cause a world of health issues when you consume too much. They include fatty liver, inflammation, and blood sugar spikes. These are all situations that can worsen your cysts, so should be avoided on a liver cyst diet.