Category Archives: Liver

Liver disease drug could help restore cells damaged by Alzheimer’s

AlzA drug which has been utilized to treat liver disease for decades could offer assistance restore cells damaged by Alzheimer’s. Researchers discovered the drug ursodeoxycholic corrosive (UDCA) progresses mitochondrial dysfunction which is known to be a causative factor for both sporadic and familial Alzheimer’s disease. Mitochondria play a significant role in both neuronal cell survival and death as they control the vitality metabolism and cell death pathways acting as a cell’s battery, concurring to the research.

Mitochondrial abnormalities have been distinguished in numerous cell sorts in Alzheimer’s illness, with deficits occurring before the advancement of the classical pathological accumulations. The energy changes have been found in many diverse cells from people with Alzheimer’s. It is thought they are one of the earliest changes to occur within the brain cells, maybe even before side effects are detailed by individuals living with the disease. The vitality changes have been found in numerous distinctive cells from individuals with Alzheimer’s. For the primary time in actual Alzheimer’s persistent tissue, this consider has appeared that the medicate UDCA corrosive can boost the performance of the cells’ batteries, the mitochondria conjointly known as the powerhouse of the cell.

We too found that the drug, which is as of now in clinical utilize for the liver disease, acts by changing the shape of the batteries which might tell us more approximately how other drugs can be useful in Alzheimer’s. Most importantly we found the drug to be dynamic in cells from individuals with the most common sort of the obliterating illness sporadic Alzheimer’s which may mean it has the potential for thousands of patients As the drug is as of now in clinical use for liver illness; this speeds up the potential time it might take to get this drug to the clinic for patients.alz2

Alzheimer’s disease is the driving cause of dementia around the world and is the most common neurodegenerative disorder. Utilizing tissue collected from diverse patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers who conducted the later study affirmed that the existing drug did progress mitochondrial function. The current medicines for Alzheimer’s focus on abating down the progression of a few of these symptoms and overseeing the condition’s effect on a person’s behavior and mental state.


Fontan-associated liver disease (FALD) comprises a wide range of structural and functional modifications of the liver caused by hemodynamic disturbances following Fontan surgery. As in all forms of the chronic liver disease, FALD advances through a few stages sometime recently reaching the last stage, when the most complications of portal hypertension and hepatocellular carcinoma occur. In spite of the fact that liver damage in Fontan patients is widespread, it likely begins some time recently surgery and its progression differ in each patient.

Fontan‐associated liver disease (FALD) is a process universal to the post‐Fontan population and includes a spectrum of pathology that ranges from mild liver fibrosis (LF) to liver cirrhosis (LC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). FALD is a non-cardiac complication of the Fontan circulation, which has been recognized with increasing frequency in adolescents and adults.

The etiology of FALD is not entirely known, but is likely multifactorial, with physiological derangements, particularly elevation in central venous pressures, medical complications, and surgical interventions likely contributing to liver


The pathogenesis of liver fibrosis in the Fontan population is not well-documented. Fibro genesis is thought to be driven by a non-inflammatory mechanism, as the inflammatory infiltrate in biopsy and autopsy samples is minimal or absent.

The key point in the pathophysiology of FALD is a disturbance in the liver’s vascular supply and drainage. Elevated systemic venous pressure leads to inefficient blood drainage of the liver, determining a state of chronic passive congestion. This state promotes sinusoidal dilation and blood hyper filtration causing per sinusoidal edema and hypoxia in centrilobular hepatocytes. Finally, it should be highlighted that Fontan patients feature additional risk factors for chronic liver disease which are unrelated to this unique vascular system. These include a higher prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection.li2


Risk factors for FALD include higher Fontan pressures, increasing age, longer duration of Fontan, underlying, alcohol use, hepatitis B or C and hepatotoxic drug use.

Prevention of FALD is an important consideration. This can be attempted by optimization of anatomy and physiology, as well as prevention of liver injury both prior to and after the Fontan. Examples of prevention of liver injury include an aggressive approach towards immunization against and treatment of viral hepatitis, as well as avoidance of and obesity (steatohepatitis) and hepatoxins.

Treatment of FALD (patients with cirrhosis or stage III/IV fibrosis) is based on optimization of the Fontan circulation and hepatology consultation. Testing serum alpha-fetoprotein and liver imaging every 6 months should be considered because of increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Intestinal failure associated liver disease (IFALD)

Intestinal failure (IF)-associated liver disease (IFALD) alludes to hepatobiliary dysfunction, which emerges amid parenteral nutrition (PN) conveyed for compromised bowel function and related intestinal failure. The clinical trademark of IFALD is cholestasis, which may rapidly advance to biliary cirrhosis and liver failure especially in newborns with immature liver function. Initial histological changes are dominated by cholestasis and inflammation, which are to a great extent supplanted by fibrosis and steatosis with the drawn-out length of PN and increasing age. Irregular liver fibrosis and steatosis persist after weaning of PN in a significant extent of patients. Pathogenesis of IFALD is complex and multifactorial including both hepatotoxic impacts of Parental Nutrition and exasperates intestinal function.IF

All PN lipids excluding fish oil-derived emulsions contain plant sterols, which in experimental studies enact Kupffer cells through toll-like receptor 4 signaling and constrict bile transporter expression synergistically with increased lipopolysaccharide permeability. Plant sterols correlate with biochemical and histological signs of liver damage in children with In the event that who to show intestinal obstruction dysfunction with an overabundance of lipopolysaccharide creating Proteobacteria in their intestinal microbiota in association with intestinal inflammation and elevated serum proinflammatory cytokines.

Reduction of farnesoid X receptor induction and fibroblast development factor 19 secretion due to extensive distal resection and altered bile acid metabolism may contribute to the maintenance of liver injury too after weaning off PN. No particular treatment for IFALD is currently accessible. Multidisciplinary preventive measures incorporate confinement of PN lipid load and plant sterol substance, whereas maintaining a balanced fatty acid profile and avoidance of systemic bacteremia by dedicated central venous catheter care and surgical treatment of obstructive brief bowel pathology inclining to bacterial overgrowth.

Lipid emulsions, manganese toxicity, and choline deficiency are associated with both hepatic steatosis and cholestasis in adults and children. Administration methodologies for the avoidance of intestinal failure– an induced liver disease incorporate early enteral bolstering, a multidisciplinary approach to the administration of parenteral nourishment, and aseptic catheter procedures to diminish sepsis. The expansion of choline, taurine, and cysteine to PN arrangements may moreover play a part. Oral administration of ursodeoxycholic acid may progress bile flow and decrease gallbladder stasis. Survival after either isolated small bowel or combined liver and small bowel transplantation is approximately 50% at 5 years, making this an acceptable therapeutic choice in adults and children with irreversible liver and intestinal failure.

SBS severity depends on the digestive tract length and its versatile capacity. The introduction of PN has given rise to an unused trust in the treatment of Intestinal Failure related with the SBS giving an increment in the survival of these patients. One of the foremost predominant and severe complications in SBS patients on PN is hepatobiliary dysfunction, commonly referred to as intestinal failure-associated liver disease (IFALD). IFALD is characterized as the persistent elevation of serum transaminases 1.5 times over the upper limit of the ordinary within the presence of SBS.if2

It is often difficult to estimate the degree to which type of hepatocellular dysfunction is a consequence of the SBS, nutritional support, or drug therapy used for the management of SBS.

Types of three hepatobiliary disorders are associated with IFALD:

  • cholestasis,
  • steatosis,
  • formation of gallbladder stones

Steatosis is more prominent in adults, while cholestasis affects more in children and both can progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis, and end-stage liver disease.

Esophageal Varices: Stomach and Liver Disorder

Esophageal varices are swollen veins within the lining of the lower esophagus near the stomach. Gastric varices are swollen veins within the lining of the stomach. Swollen veins within the esophagus or stomach take after the varicose veins that some individuals have in their legs. Because the veins within the esophagus are so near to the surface of the throat, swollen veins in this area can break and cause perilous bleeding. Oesophageal varices nearly continuously occur in individuals who have cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis causes scarring of the liver, which moderates the flow of blood through the liver. Scarring causes blood to back up within the portal vein, the most veins that deliver blood from the stomach and intestines to the liver. This “back up” causes high blood pressure within the portal vein and other adjacent veins; this is usually called portal hypertension.

Less common causes of portal hypertension and oesophageal varices include blood clots in the veins driving to and from the liver and schistosomiasis. Schistosomiasis may be a parasitic disease that can clog up the liver, causing pressure to back up within the portal vein. The reinforcement of blood forces veins to extend within the region of the stomach and esophagus. The veins do not enlarge in a uniform fashion. Oesophageal varices, as a rule, have extended unpredictably shaped bulbous regions (varicosities) that are hindered by smaller regions. Liver cirrhosis (particularly cirrhosis caused by alcoholism)



Portal hypertension frequently does not cause any indications. In some cases it is, to begin with, discovered when the varices bleed. When significant bleeding occurs, an individual will vomit blood, frequently in large amounts. Individuals with enormous bleeding feel woozy and may lose consciousness. Some individuals drain in smaller amounts over a longer period, and they swallow the blood rather than vomit. Their stools may contain red or tarry-black blood. People with esophageal varices caused by cirrhosis will ordinarily have other indications related to their liver disease.13


The most ideal way to prevent esophageal varices is to reduce the chance of cirrhosis. The most cause of cirrhosis is alcohol abuse and Patients with hepatitis B or hepatitis C too are at chance of treating cirrhosis. Intravenous drug utilize could be a major risk factor for hepatitis B and C. Children, young teens and all healthcare specialists and older grown-ups at risk of hepatitis B ought to be immunized against the disease. There’s no immunization to avoid individuals from contracting hepatitis C. If affected by esophageal varices, treatment may be able to avoid bleeding. This treatment incorporates endoscopic banding or sclerotherapy to shrivel the varices. Drugs to decrease entry blood pressure — such as propranolol (Inderal), nadolol (Corgard) and isosorbide mononitrate (Isordil, Sorbitrate) — too can be utilized alone or in combination with endoscopic techniques.

Pears can assist your Liver

Pectin is a polysaccharide which contains pectin acids. It is a long chain molecule basically made up of sugars and acids, which is effective in binding with cholesterol and blocking its absorption activity. It is also a starch, and which acts as a thickening agent in cooking. Studies have shown that Pectin activity has significantly reduced LDL cholesterol as well as the absorption of cholesterol in the liver and bile acid metabolism. It has also shown functions like binding to bile acids, reducing hepatic cholesterol concentrations. The skin of the pear fruit contains the highest concentrations of pectin.


Opuntia belongs to a genus in the cactus family known as the Cactaceae. The young stem segments, called nopales, which are edible and the fruit of opuntias, called tuna, is edible, although it has the small spines like projection on the outer skin.  Nopal cactus, which is also commonly known as prickly pear, is a member of the genus Opuntia and is native to arid regions of the Western Hemisphere. The nopal cactus grows spiny leaves which are flat, called cladodes, which are a staple in traditional diets in parts of the Mexico and Southwest United States. These nopales are often eaten raw, mashed into a sauce or boiled into syrup and offers some potential health benefits.

The protective and health benefits of nopal cactus on the liver were demonstrated in a study, Obese laboratory rats that were given a diet containing 4 percent nopal for few weeks experienced about a 50 percent reduction in their triglyceride levels in their livers in comparison to a control group that didn’t receive nopal. The Liver enlargement is due to fatty decreased on the nopal diet, as also the levels of liver enzymes which, when elevated, indicate stress on the liver. The nopal-fed rats showed lower levels of oxidized lipids, resulted due to the accumulated toxins and waste products on lipids.


Prickly pear is popularly known as an edible cactus, which is commonly consumed as fruit and juices. This fruit is very beneficial for liver diseases, wounds, and ulcers.

The Cactus leaf also known as Optunia contains several antioxidants that can help protect healthy cells from damage by free radicals. In a study, researchers evaluated the effect of cactus leaf on cells extracted from colon, breast, prostate, and liver cancers. The phytochemicals extracted from the leaf were found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, meaning the healthy cells, normal was unharmed. Researchers would have to try and in vivo study to see what effect cactus leaf provides to real human participants.

Eating Mushrooms Could Improve – The Regulation of Glucose in the Liver

Eating white button mushrooms can make little shifts within the microbial community of the gut, which may improve the regulation of glucose within the liver. In the consideration, the analysts appeared that feeding white button mushrooms to mice changed the composition of gut microbes — microbiota — to deliver more brief chain fatty acids, particularly, propionate from succinate. The succinate and propionate present in the liver can alter the expression of genes required to oversee glucose production.

Regulation of glucose 1

Managing glucose way better has implications for diabetes, as well as other metabolic diseases. Normally glucose is provided from the food individuals eat. Insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into the cells. Diabetes happens when either there’s not sufficient insulin or the insulin that is made isn’t compelling, resulting in high blood glucose levels. Diabetes and pre-diabetes contribute to extreme life-threatening illnesses including heart disease and stroke. The analysts utilized two sorts of mice in the study: One bunch of mice had microbiota, the other bunch did not have microbiota and were germ-free mice.

Mice with the microbiota may well be compared with the germ-free mice. There were huge differences within the kinds of metabolites we found within the gastrointestinal tract, as well as in the liver and serum, of the animals nourished mushrooms that had microbiota than the ones that didn’t. The researchers encouraged the mice about every day serving measure of the mushrooms. For people, a daily serving the measure would be approximately 3 ounces. It turns out; expending the mushrooms can set off a chain reaction among the gut microbes, extending the populace of Prevotella, bacteria that produce propionate and succinate. These acids can alter the expression of genes that are keys to the pathway between the brain and the intestine that makes a difference manage the generation of glucose.

According to the researchers, the mushrooms, in this case, serve as a prebiotic, which may be a substance that feeds useful microbes that already exist within the intestine. Probiotics are beneficial microbes that are introduced into the digestive system.

 Useful benefits of mushrooms as a prebiotic.

Regulation of glucose 2The Lingzhi or Reishi mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum, has long been utilized for therapeutic purposes. Reishi mushrooms help in controlling blood glucose levels, modulation of the immune system, offer liver protection, and offer assistance to the body maintains optimal levels of microbes. In traditional Chinese medication, Reishi mushrooms are believed to replenish Qi, treat a sleeping disorder and relieve a cough and asthma among other things. Reishi mushrooms contain carbohydrates, fat, fibers, and protein along with a few vitamins and minerals, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper. The Reishi mushroom contains several bioactive molecules namely the nucleotides and their derivatives, phenols, terpenoids, steroids, glycoproteins, and polysaccharides.

 About 8% of the mushroom contains the Polysaccharides, which comprises of several health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorigenic, antiulcer, hypoglycemic, and immune stimulating effects. Terpenes have also been shown to have anti-tumorigenic, anti-inflammatory, and lipid-lowering properties. Other molecules and compounds found in Reishi mushrooms have been shown to be anti-tumorigenic, lipid-lowering, antiviral, and antioxidant effects.

Hepatobiliary manifestations in inflammatory bowel disease

1Several complications of IBD are related to the liver and the biliary system, which are closely interrelated to with the intestine. The liver which acts as a “processing plant” in the body takes what have been ingested and broken down. It then further sends some of that material to blood cells throughout the body and rest is filtered out and eliminated as waste. The liver also produces bile salts, acids, and cholesterol which are stored in the gallbladder until they are required to help break down digested fat. The primary function of the bile ducts is to transport bile or waste from the liver to the small intestine in the body. The pancreas, which is connected to the same common bile duct as the liver and gallbladder, also transports enzymes to the intestines in turn helping in breaking down of food.

The liver may develop an active inflammation, which usually reduces with appropriate treatment of IBD and this disease involving the liver affects which is about a 5% of people with IBD.

  • The most common symptoms tend to be is low energy and fatigue.
  • The symptoms of more advanced Liver disease include itching, fluid retention, fatigue, jaundice, and a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen.
  • The blood tests can confirms the presence of liver disease, but sometimes X-ray, an ultrasound, or the liver biopsy mostly makes the definitive diagnosis.

    The foremost liver complication of inflammatory bowel disease is a generally harmless one, influencing people with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s illness similarly. The condition moreover is connected with other unrelated conditions—including diabetes, pregnancy, and weight. Fatty liver is caused by an abnormality in liver metabolism that results in the accumulation of fat. Because it may be a reasonably minor problem and causes no symptoms, it generally does not require any treatment. It also does not progress to chronic liver disease. In some cases, patients with steatosis are prescribed with steriods.
    This condition is a form of severe inflammation and scarring that develops within the bile ducts.  Almost all PSC patients have develops IBD. PSC occurs more frequently in people with ulcerative colitis than in those with Crohn’s disease. The symptoms incorporate nausea, weight loss, jaundice, and itching. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis usually does not progress with therapeutic treatment for IBD and may ultimately require a liver transplantation for patients. The cause is not known and there’s successful medicine for PSC. To correct the extreme narrowing of the bile ducts, a balloon-tipped tube may be embedded into the duct to enlarge it. Only about some percent of ulcerative colitis patients and 1% of those Crohn’s disease patients develop this condition. On extremely rare events, cancer of the bile ducts (cholangiocarcinoma) may develop. There is also an increased incidence of colonial cancer in IBD patients who have sclerosing cholangitis.
    Hepatitis is a non-specific term for inflammation of the liver and chronic hepatitis also known as long-term hepatitis can be from inflammation of the liver itself related to the IBD, called auto-immune hepatitis. It is treated with the same sorts of medication that ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s infection are treated with to decrease the inflammation. Hepatitis can moreover be from infections like Hepatitis A, B or C disease and ought to be treating the same as in patients without IBD.

Hepatic Complications in Breast Cancer


Secondary breast cancer within the liver happens when breast cancer cells spread to the liver. It can to be known as liver metastases. When breast cancer spreads to the liver, it can be treated but cannot be cured. Treatment points to control and moderate down the spread of cancer soothe symptoms and give you the best quality of life for as long as possible.

Secondary breast cancer within the liver isn’t the same as cancer that begun within the liver. Hepatic infection related to breast cancer is common and can result from the metastatic spread of the tumor to the liver, or can be caused by systemic treatment with chemotherapeutic or anti-endocrine operators. Metastatic disease to the liver can display clinically and pathologically in various ways. Little is known as to why breast cancer can now and then display as liver-dominant infection or with the liver association as a late event within the disease course. Be that as it may, there are numerous postulations involving metastasis organotropism, which might offer future knowledge. The backbone of treatment for hepatic metastases proceeds to be systemic therapy, but a few locoregional aide therapies exist. In spite of these treatments, liver metastasis from breast cancer is related with a poor prognosis.

Ongoing research of the mechanisms and tropism of liver metastasis from breast cancer will ideally result in moved forward targeted treatments to reduce their frequency and improve results when they arise. Liver metastases may display asymptomatically amid a metastatic screen or may display with upper stomach fullness, a mass, ascites, jaundice or weight loss. Ultrasound or CT check more often than not affirms the diagnosis. Liver work tests are unhinged in 92% of patients at presentation with gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and alkaline phosphatase being the foremost commonly elevated enzymes.

Factors adversely affecting prognosis incorporates jaundice, deranged liver function tests, ascites, discernable hepatomegaly, poor performance status and infection restricted to the liver. The interval between primary presentation and metastatic infection is a vital indicator of survival in bone metastases but may not be vital in liver metastases. The tumor marker CA15-3 is regularly higher in patients who do poorly but is not reported to be an autonomous indicator of survival. Carcino-embryonic antigen (CEA) has not been previously considered in this regard in spite of the fact that it is recognized as useful in checking disease progression.

The influence of infection pattern, both outside the liver and inside the liver has received little consideration. Two studies propose that extra-hepatic disease may impair survival, but there is no information on the prognostic noteworthiness of disease dispersion inside the liver. This study has examined the cases of all patients showing a long time to a single breast unit with metastatic breast cancer involving the liver at the metastatic diagnosis. Survival from the time of metastatic diagnosis was compared with essential disease information, persistent characteristics and design of metastatic disease in an attempt to set up factors anticipating the result. It is hoped that these prognostic factors may be of advantage in fitting treatment to dodge toxicity to patients with only a brief life expectancy for whom palliative support would be most appropriate.

Traditional Chinese Therapy for the Liver


According to Traditional Chinese Medication (TCM), numerous issues with the eyes are related to the well-being of the liver organ system. Methodologies to restore the liver to optimal work subsequently improve eye health. However, there’s another more user-friendly branch of TCM that can effectively accomplish the same deed. Those who take the time to learn about the imbalances that affect the eyes can utilize TCM dietary therapy to improve the wellbeing of their liver for their eyes’ benefit.

In TCM, the wellbeing of the liver goes far beyond any Western therapeutic diagnosis. In this lays one of TCM’s most prominent strengths – the ability to detect an imbalance in an organ system prior to an affirmed sickness. Truly considered to be the mystery behind the lifespan of numerous Chinese heads, TCM practitioners were customary only paid when their patients were healthy. This is often possible because indications of lopsidedness are detectable long before a physical problem manifests. By recognizing which pattern a person’s signs and symptoms drop beneath, imbalances can be rectified before a genuine ailment takes hold. Liver Imbalances That Affect the Eyes

The following three TCM liver imbalances are behind a variety of eye-related problems:

  1. Liver Blood Insufficiency – Liver blood is believed to nourish and moisten the eyes. When the liver blood is insufficient, common problems include hazy vision, myopia, and “floaters”  in the eyes, color visual impairment or dry eyes. In addition, liver blood deficiency can cause pale or scanty monthly cycle, weakness and muscle cramps.
  2. Liver Heat – When there is heat within the liver and liver channel, the eyes are likely to be dry, bloodshot, and painful or have a burning sensation. In addition, liver heat is frequently associated with irritability, outrage or dissatisfaction and may be accompanied by a headache.
  3. Internal Liver Wind – A result of extreme warm within the liver, the inner liver wind cause upward movement of the eyeball and with involuntarily movement (nystagmus). In addition, the liver wind is related with extreme emotional stress, vertigo, dizziness, neck stiffness and headache.

TCM Dietary Therapy

Dietary therapy is known to be most powerful tool for correcting organ imbalances and is often utilized in combination with the other branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine, specifically acupuncture, homegrown therapy and Qi Gong (therapeutic development exercise). For an eye problem that falls into one of the three liver imbalances listed over, the TCM treatment methodologies are:

  • Tonify a liver blood deficiency
  • Cool liver heat
  • Extinguish internal liver wind

Foods known to accomplish these strategies are:

  • Tonify liver blood – spirulina, chlorophyll- rich foods, dark grapes, blackberries, dandelion leaf, black sesame seed, oysters, kelp, avocado, huckleberries, dates, chicken, artichoke, blackstrap molasses, gelatin, beets, soup, eggs, beef and organic animal liver.
  • Cool liver heat –celery, millet, plums, mushrooms, mung beans, mung sprouts, rhubarb, cucumber, watercress, seaweed, lettuce, tofu, radish and daikon radish. The chrysanthemum flower tea is known to relief from the liver heat and benefit the eyes, especially in cases of red, blurry eyes, painful, dry or excessive tearing.
  • Extinguish/reduce liver wind – celery, basil, sage, black soybean, black sesame seed, fennel, fresh cold-pressed flax oil, lemon and chamomile, ginger, anise, oats, pine nuts, coconut. The foods like eggs, crab meat and buckwheat are known to worsen liver wind.

 Various aspects of TCM includes acupuncture, dietary treatment, herbology and Qi Gong are likely to be employed together for ideal healing results. In any case, can take control of the liver’s health by starting the process on own. In spite of the fact that TCM dietary therapy is just one way to correct an organ imbalance, it may be an effective tool. After identifying that the liver organ is in disharmony, which is impacting the eyes, the necessary dietary suggestions can be taken to assist control the liver and eyes back to a more balanced, healthful state.

Improving quality of Life with Intestinal Rehabilitation

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Intestinal rehabilitation is the process of slowly restoring the intestine’s ability to digest food and absorb nutrients. This is usually done through medicines, Diet and Surgery other than organ (intestine) transplant.

Who should try intestinal rehabilitation?

Intestinal rehabilitation is required if:

  • They are on total parenteral nutrition (TPN) because of intestinal failure.
  • They were able to stop TPN, but they still have trouble digesting and absorbing nutrients because of intestinal failure.

TPN is a complete form of nutrition given into the blood through a vein (intravenously) by a central line placed in the child’s chest, neck or groin.

A child may be on TPN if they have an intricate digestive condition that does not allow them to get all their nutrition by mouth or feeding tube. This includes children with short bowel syndrome, motility disorders, absorptive disorders or other conditions that can cause intestinal failure.

Some children on TPN get part of their nutrition by mouth or feeding tube; some take TPN only.

Why is intestinal rehabilitation used?

TPN is a lifesaver for patients who cannot absorb enough nutrition through their small intestine. But if TPN is used long-term, it can result in liver failure and life-threatening infections.

Our goals with intestinal rehabilitation are to:

  • End or reduce the need for TPN.
  • Children should start eating by mouth.
  • Prevent the need for intestine transplant if possible.

If intestinal rehabilitation does not work or is not an option for the children, intestine transplant may be the next step.

What does the Intestinal Rehabilitation Program do?

The specialists first look at:

  • Children’s intestinal and liver health.
  • Whether the children may be able to switch from TPN to eating by mouth or feeding tube. This can depend on factors like why the children have intestinal failure and how much of their intestine remains if part was removed by surgery.

If we find that the children will benefit from intestinal rehabilitation, the children will take part in an intensive program over several months. The intestinal rehabilitation team will:

  • Evaluate the children’s intestinal function in detail.
  • Take steps to reduce the risk of central-line infections while the children are on TPN.
  • Create an individualized nutrition plan to find the diet that works best for the children body.
  • Manage overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines.
  • Perform nontransplant surgery, such as intestine lengthening or tapering where needed.
  • Teach the children and family about how to care for the central line, how to manage day-to-day nutrition and what to expect.
  • Depending on the children needs, the children may stay in the hospital for the first phase of intestinal rehabilitation. This will be followed by regular clinic visits.

What happens after intestinal rehabilitation?

Once the child is able to eat by mouth and is off TPN, the specialists will keep seeing them in the Intestinal Rehabilitation Clinic for follow-up visits. Our focus at these clinic visits is to monitor the child’s growth; go over nutrition and feeding plans; and watch for anaemia, bacteria growth or other problems that can sometimes happen. On-going care from intestinal rehabilitation experts is important to keeping the children healthy.