Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Primary Biliary Cholangitis (Primary Biliary Cirrhosis)

What should I eat if I have primary biliary cholangitis?

You should eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Good nutrition is important in all stages of primary biliary cholangitis to help your liver work properly and manage complications. When primary biliary cholangitis leads to cirrhosis, you may develop malnutrition because cirrhosis can cause

  • loss of appetite, which will cause you to eat less
  • changes in your metabolism
  • reduced absorption of nutrients

Your doctor can recommend a healthy eating plan that is well balanced and provides enough calories and nutrients. If you have vitamin deficiencies, your doctor may recommend foods that are high in vitamins A, D, E, and K. Your doctor may recommend that you eat foods high in calcium and vitamin D to help prevent osteoporosis.

Fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese, egg, and fish.
If you have vitamin deficiencies, your doctor may recommend foods that are high in vitamins A, D, E, and K.

What foods should I avoid eating if I have primary biliary cholangitis?

You should avoid eating raw shellfish such as oysters, which can have bacteria that may cause severe infections in people with liver disease. Your doctor may recommend that you make healthy food choices and avoid high-salt foods and foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates, especially those with added sugars.

If you have primary biliary cholangitis, your doctor will recommend that you quit smoking and stop drinking alcohol or, at least, limit your intake to no more than one or two drinks per week. If you have primary biliary cholangitis and cirrhosis, your doctor will recommend complete avoidance of alcohol.

March 2017
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This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

The NIDDK would like to thank:
John Moore Vierling,, M.D., Baylor College of Medicine