Hepatitis C Hero: Coffee
Yes, you read that correctly: Coffee may be beneficial for people with hepatitis C, Dr. Muir says. A study published in the journal Gastroenterology found that people with hepatitis C who drank three or more cups of coffee a day were 2 times more likely to respond to their treatment than those who didn’t drink coffee. Exactly how coffee affects liver disease is not fully understood, Muir says. But if you like coffee, enjoy that cup of joe knowing it may be helping your liver.
What About Physical Activity
Physical activity can improve appetite, decrease stress, lessen depression, and help you maintain a healthy body weight. If you have been inactive for a long time, increase your activity slowly.
Participating in physical activity is safe for most people. If you have other medical conditions or injuries, check with your health care provider or a qualified exercise professional before becoming more active.
Stay Away From Fatty Foods
French fries and burgers are a poor choice to keep your liver healthy. Eat too many foods that are high in saturated fat and it can make it harder for your liver to do its job. Over time it may lead to inflammation, which in turn could cause scarring of the liver thats known as cirrhosis. So next time youre in the drive-thru line, think about ordering a healthier option.
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How Can I Avoid Spreading The Infection To Others
You can reduce the risk of passing hepatitis C on to other people by:
- keeping personal items, such as toothbrushes or razors, for your own use
- cleaning and covering any cuts or grazes with a waterproof dressing
- cleaning any blood from surfaces with household bleach
- not sharing needles or syringes with others
- not donating blood
The risk of spreading hepatitis C through sex is low. However, the risk is increased if there is blood present, such as menstrual blood or during anal sex.
Condoms aren’t usually necessary for long-term monogamous couples, but it’s a good idea to use them when having anal sex or sex with a new partner.
Nutrition Tips For Patients With Hepatitis
Broadly speaking, the diet for this disease is based on vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and lean proteins. This may vary depending on the patients initial condition and subsequent evolution, but general guidelines can be established that are recommended to follow.
- Eat adequate protein to avoid excesses and deficiencies. These are necessary to restore damaged cells and to avoid malnutrition of the patient. If the liver doesnt process them properly, toxic waste can accumulate. The best sources are lean meat and fish, legumes, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.
- In general, its advisable to increase the presence of carbohydrates over protein. If possible, opt for whole grains such as rice, quinoa, oats, or couscous.
- Consume fats in moderate amounts. It isnt good to eliminate them from the diet because they have important functions in the body. However, it is essential to choose healthy sources such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, or oily fish.
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Foods To Avoid With Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C , a viral infection that can result in permanent liver damage, is transmitted through contact with infected body fluids, particularly blood. The most common hep C symptoms are fatigue, unexplained fever, joint pain and swelling, fluid retention and jaundice. While there are new, effective treatments for the disease that can lead to a cure for some patients, often the symptoms of the infection can be controlled through an effective diet.
There are a number of foods Hep C patients should avoid:
1. Raw oysters or shellfishRaw oysters and seafood can be dangerous for Hep C patients. Food-borne bacteria that is not killed through cooking can lead to infections, which can worsen Hep C symptoms. Uncooked seafood has also been found to contain Hepatitis A. Because Hep C can weaken the immune system, patients who consume raw seafood increase their risk of contracting another form of hepatitis. Finally, oysters are high in iron, which should be avoided by Hep C patients. Iron is processed through the liver, so additional iron can worsen the extent of liver damage.
3. Fatty foodsFatty foods, such as red meats, fried foods and some dairy products, can create excessive deposits in the liver, putting Hep C patients at further risk of long-term damage. Hep C sufferers should also avoid fast foods and other highly processed foods.
Foods To Avoid If You Have Hepatitis B Or Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B occurs when the liver of an individual is affected with the hepatitis B virus or HBV in short. People affected with this virus usually have irritation and swelling of the liver. This disease spreads in the body of other individuals with the help of blood, vaginal fluids, semen and other body fluids of an infected person with hepatitis B.
Children get affected with the disease when the pregnant mother is infected with it and passes it on to her children. Since Hepatitis B is incurable, patients must maintain certain dietary restrictions to prevent further liver damage.
Consuming foods otherwise will lead to liver irritation and swelling and cause discomfort to the individual. Therefore, having an in depth knowledge of the foods to avoid will help a person maintain good health and well being.
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Foods You Should Avoid
Alcohol No brainer. The most important change for anyone diagnosed with hepatitis is the complete elimination of alcohol from his or her life.
Wheat and Gluten Gluten can be highly inflammatory thus adopting a gluten-free diet can be beneficial to your liver. The inability to properly digest and process gluten creates a chronic state of inflammation which leads to leaky gut syndrome. This allows toxins and pathogenic organisms to infiltrate your blood, presenting a chronic toxic overload to your liver. The long-term outcome of this is often non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the gateway disorder that can progress to other more serious liver diseases. At this point, liver enzyme levels will be elevated.
Tap Water Your tap water may contain more than you bargained for, including heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, inorganic chemicals and compounds that the liver is not able to process. Even the shower you take every day has toxins in it which are absorbed through the skin and inhaled through the lungs. Filtered water is of course better than tap water. Consider having your water tested to decide what is most appropriate for you and your family. For greater safety, you may want to consider drinking bottled water. Distilled water is another possibility, but there is some controversy over its benefits therefore you may wish to take distilled water in moderation.
Updating and recharging your diet is both a mental and physical commitment and you can do it!
Illegal Drugs And Cigarettes
Recreational drugs in general are no good for your liver. For example, may lead to faster liver scarring. And using a needle to inject substances can raise your odds of getting reinfected with hep C.
If you’re a smoker, you need to quit. It can make you more likely to get liver cancer. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
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High Fructose Corn Syrup
Sugar in most soft drinks and many processed foods is replaced with high fructose corn syrup instead of sucrose also known as natural sugar. This high fructose corn syrup is made from cornstarch. This form of corn syrup is harmful to the liver. It can lead to development of fibrosis in people ailing from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It also poses an added burden on the liver to process it. Always remember that the goal of Hepatitis A patients is to take away the pressure and strain off the liver to the maximum extent possible. This corn syrup can also lead to health problems like cavities and weight gain. Try to opt for water or other unsweetened beverages instead of beverages which contain corn syrup. Reduce your intake of processed and packaged food and avoid munching pastries and cookies.
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What If Im Losing Weight
If you are underweight, losing weight without trying, or have a small appetite, you may not be eating enough calories to meet your needs. To help prevent weight loss, try eating small amounts of food more often and choose foods that are higher in calories.
Here are some examples of high calorie foods to include at meals and snacks:
- Nuts, seeds and their butters
- 2% or 3.25% whole milk, high fat yogurt and cheese
- Yogurt smoothies and meal replacement drinks
- Fish, poultry, tofu, legumes, lean meat and egg
- Olive or canola oil, and non-hydrogenated margarine
Limit candy, chips, donuts, pop, sweetened specialty coffee and tea, energy drinks and sports drinks. These foods give you energy but do not give you important nutrients like protein, vitamins and minerals.
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Avoid Foods Rich In Vitamin A
Foods that are rich in vitamin A are also considered toxic for the liver. Diet which is high in vitamin A should necessarily be avoided while ailing from Hepatitis A. It can also lead to liver dysfunction and further degradation of the liver. Foods such as egg yolks, fish oil, carrots, spinach and apricots are the ones which are high in vitamin A and should not be consumed. You should replace vitamin A rich foods with antioxidant rich foods, to help in detoxification process. Excess of vitamin A could lead to liver damage along with a risk of developing toxicity in the body and its accompanying symptoms. Consuming foods which are easy to digest are recommended to people suffering from this disease.
The Best Foods And Drinks For Hepatitis C
Nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables promote liver health when you have hepatitis C. Others, such as alcohol and salt, can make the condition worse.
Although there’s no specific diet that will benefit every one of the nearly 4 million people in the United States currently living with hepatitis C, certain foods and drinks may boost liver function. Others, however, may be harmful to the liver.
What’s more: People with hepatitis C have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease, so making smart choices and maintaining a normal weight can help keep these threats at bay. A healthy diet should be considered an important part of your overall treatment plan.
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What Causes Hepatitis C
The hepatitis C virus causes hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus spreads through contact with an infected persons blood. Contact can occur by
- sharing drug needles or other drug materials with an infected person
- getting an accidental stick with a needle that was used on an infected person
- being tattooed or pierced with tools or inks that were not kept sterilefree from all viruses and other microorganismsand were used on an infected person before they were used on you
- having contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
- using an infected persons razor, toothbrush, or nail clippers
- being born to a mother with hepatitis C
- having unprotected sex with an infected person
You cant get hepatitis C from
- being coughed or sneezed on by an infected person
- drinking water or eating food
- hugging an infected person
- shaking hands or holding hands with an infected person
- sharing spoons, forks, and other eating utensils
- sitting next to an infected person
A baby cant get hepatitis C from breast milk.18
Do I Have To Tell My Boss
You don’t have to tell your boss that you have hepatitis C, unless you’re a healthcare worker.
However, if hepatitis C is affecting your performance at work and your employer knows about your condition, they may be obliged to make allowances for you, such as giving you leave of absence for going to the clinic. You may also be entitled to statutory sick pay to cover doctor appointments or time off work.
Therefore, you may want to consider telling your boss about your condition.
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Hepatitis C Diet: Foods To Eat And Avoid
Every disease requires a certain kind of diet. Check out the food to eat and avoid in Hepatitis C. Read on.
Hepatitis C is a type of virus which causes inflammation and fibrosis in the liver. It is often also called hep C or HCV, and it is contained the human body fluids or the blood. Liver processes our food intake, both solids and liquids, and converts them into energy for our body and/or sythesises chemicals from it that are essential for normal body function. Special diets are not a necessity in most cases of Hepatitis C. However, in people suffering from Hepatitis C, having a poor diet can cause further liver damage. Obesity can cause a person to have a fatty liver which can result in cirrhosis when combined with hepatitis C. Eating healthy makes the immune system strong to defend the body against illnesses.
Hepatitis C Enemy: Salt
Salt can promote fluid retention, which is a symptom of progressive hepatitis C, Graham says. It’s not just salt from the shaker that you want to avoid processed foods like frozen meals and baked goods are also loaded with sodium. If you have early-stage hepatitis C, a little sodium is okay, but when the disease is advanced, it’s a good idea to stay away from any added salt, she says. Talk with your doctor to find out how much salt you can safely consume.
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What If I Am Overweight
Healthy eating and being active can improve your overall health at any size. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can help keep your liver healthy and prevent chronic diseases like diabetes. If you are concerned about your weight and would like healthy eating or physical activity advice, call 8-1-1 and ask to speak with a registered dietitian or qualified exercise professional.
Hepatitis Diet: Foods To Avoid
It is equally important to avoid certain foods during Hepatitis as they can be harmful to the liver. Excessive consumption of these can aggravate the disease and even lead to permanent liver damage.
- Processed food items are best avoided when recovering from Hepatitis. Processed food items include processed ingredients that are harder on the liver and relatively devoid of nutrients. Processed breads, cheese and almost all fast -food items are also best avoided during Hepatitis, as they can worsen recovery times.
- Hydrogenated oils must be replaced with healthy oils. In fact for a lifelong healthy liver it is a good idea to switch to healthy oil choices. Avoid consuming foods high in saturated fats or trans-fats.
- Sugar intake should be limited for a healthy liver. This includes all artificial sweeteners as well as fruits juices. Juices have high concentrations of sugar in them, which can be difficult for the liver to digest when the body is under attack from the Hepatitis virus.
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Diet Plan For Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is an infectious viral disease that affects the liver. Diet plays an important role in maintaining liver health. In general, some obese patients develop fatty liver which also aggravates their HBV infection. Hepatitis patients may also suffer from fever, diarrhea, and joint pain. Some people with chronic hepatitis may develop cirrhosis or scarring of the liver.
Could Anything I Do Make Hepatitis C Worse
Drinking alcohol can increase the damage to your liver. If you have hepatitis C, you should try to cut out alcohol or limit your intake. If you need advice about this, ask your doctor or contact an alcohol self-help organisation.
If you’re concerned that you’re addicted to alcohol and are unable to stop drinking, contact your GP. Treatments are available to help you quit.
Read more about treating alcohol misuse.
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Can I Have A Baby If My Partner Or I Have Hepatitis C
You can have a baby if you or your partner has hepatitis C, but there’s a small risk of hepatitis C passing from mother to baby.
There’s also a small risk of the infection spreading to the unaffected partner when having unprotected sex, but this is very unlikely to happen.
But it’s important to avoid getting pregnant if you’re taking medicines for hepatitis C, and for several weeks or months after you finish treatment, because the medicines could harm your baby.
Speak to your doctor for advice if you’re planning to have a baby and you or your partner have hepatitis C.
Page last reviewed: 27 October 2021 Next review due: 27 October 2024
Courses & Prognosis Of Hepatitis C
The hepatitis C virus almost exclusively attacks liver cells, in particular hepatocytes, where it multiplies further. When the body recognizes foreign invaders, the immune system tries to remove them with the help of its defense substances. If the body does not succeed in healing itself from the virus, it develops into the chronic HCV infection. In the worst case scenario, during the end stage, the infection can lead to liver cirrhosis or liver cancer after a few decades.
The acute form of hepatitis C is usually cured by the organism itself. If the liver inflammation was caused by drugs or alcohol, the elimination of these harmful substances from the organism may help the liver regenerate unless it is already permanently damaged.
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