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Old Jan 3, 2008, 08:19 PM
Marisa Marisa is offline
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Biliary Atresia and Nutrition

Biliary Atresia and Nutrition

It is not uncommon for a child with biliary atresia to have digestion and nutritional problems. A child with biliary atresia may be unable to digest fats properly because bile is not able to drain adequately from the liver to the intestines. Since the child’s digestion of fats is impaired vitamin deficiencies can also be a problem. Nutrition is very important when digestion is impaired with a child suffering from Biliary Atresia.

Bile is produced by the liver and is one of the components that aids in digestion. It contains water, electrolytes, bile acids, cholesterol, phospholipids and bilirubin. The bile acids are a critical part of digestion and essential for absorbing fats and therefore fat-soluble vitamins into the small intestine. Many children with biliary atresia have no bile flow or very limited bile flow which makes their body unable to absorb necessary fats and vitamins.

Since children with biliary atresia sometimes have these problems with digestion their doctor may suggest special formulas, vitamins, smaller meals, added calories, and if these measures are inadequate tube feeding may be necessary.

Here are some of the preferred formulas for children with biliary atresia. These formulas are more basic and the fats are already broken down so they are easier for a child with biliary atresia to digest.

Here are some of the vitamins that children suffering from biliary atresia may take.
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Vitamin A
Vitamin K or Mephyton
Poly Vi sol

Some doctors may ask you to add MCT oil and Polycose to the child’s formula, which help add calories to the child’s diet to aid in growth.

The nutritional status may change the longer post kasai, the older the child gets, or even if your child becomes sicker and is need of a liver transplant. It is best to talk with your doctor to find the right formula and vitamins your child with biliary atresia may need.


Last edited by Marisa; Jan 3, 2008 at 10:49 PM.
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