What Your Diet Should Include
Getting the right nutrients is crucial to your overall well-being. Not only can it support a healthy immune system, but it also has a direct effect on weight management.
Its important to keep your weight in a healthy range, especially if you have hepatitis C. Having obesity or being overweight can lead to hepatic steatosis, a condition caused by excess fat buildup in the liver. This can make hepatitis C harder to control.
People with hepatitis C also have an
The amount of protein you eat daily depends upon your age, sex, and activity level. Usually, 2 to 6 1/2 ounces of protein is sufficient.
Green smoothies that include protein powder can help you hit your protein and fruit and vegetable targets when youre short on time.
If you have cirrhosis, your doctor may recommend a higher protein intake to of muscle wasting and fluid buildup.
What Is Chronic Hepatitis
Chronic hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that lasts for at least 6 months. The most common causes are hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, fatty liver and alcohol-related liver disease.
Over time, people with chronic hepatitis may develop symptoms. The most common symptom is fatigue. Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness that does not go away after resting. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort and fever.
Some people with chronic hepatitis may develop cirrhosis. Cirrhosis damages your liver so it doesnt work well. If you have cirrhosis or other complications, your nutrition needs may be different. Speak to your health care provider or a registered dietitian about your diet.
Warm Water With Lemon
A well-hydrated body is a wonderful aid to liver function. To see more benefits, consider warm water with lemon in the morning. It flushes out the toxins from the digestive tract. Moreover, it creates an alkaline environment in the body to remove the acidity from toxins. Antioxidants in lemon water stimulate the liver. It is easy to make. Just squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a glass of warm water. Mix together and sip slowly.
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Stay Hydrated But Keep It Simple
Rockford Yapp, M.D., is on the board of directors for the American Liver Foundation and a gastroenterologist in the Chicago area. In an e-mail interview, he stressed the importance of staying hydrated when you have hepatitis C.
Dehydrated patients are under more physiologic stress and more susceptible to damage from inflammatory conditions. Any stress on the liver of a hepatitis-C-infected patient has the potential to accelerate liver disease.
When you reach for a drink, think simple. Steer clear of energy drinks and anything with added vitamins or minerals. Water is best for hydration, but many other choices will do, including low-fat milk, tea, coffee, juice, and even broth-based soup, which is mostly liquid
I usually recommend that my liver disease patients just drink water, coffee, and unsweetened tea as their beverages of choice, said Jonathan Fenkel, M.D., director of the Jefferson Hepatitis C Center and associate professor of medicine at Thomas Jefferson Universitys Sidney Kimmel Medical College in Philadelphia. HealthCentral reached him via email.
Hcv Life Cycle And Analytical Tool
Structure of the hepatitis C virus genome and cell system for anti-hepatitis C virus drug discovery. A: HCV genomic RNA and viral proteins. HCV genomic RNA encodes a single polyprotein of 3011 amino acids. After being translated, the polyprotein is processed into 4 structural proteins and 6 non-structural proteins . The polyprotein-coding region is flanked by 5 and 3NTRs. Viral RNA also serves as a template for viral genome replication and both NTRs modulate viral protein synthesis and genome replication B: The HCV replicon cell system. Huh-7 cells were transfected with the luciferase gene connected with HCV subgenomic RNA including the downstream coding regions of NS3. The expression of HCV subgenomic RNA could be quantified by luciferase activity. HCV: Hepatitis C virus NTRs: Non-translated regions.
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Use Caution When Choosing Supplements
The best way to get enough vitamins is through a well-balanced diet, says the ALF. Too much vitamin A or vitamin D can add stress to a liver damaged by hepatitis. Be cautious about the use of any high-dose vitamin supplements, and ask your physician or dietitian if you should add a vitamin supplement, especially if youre considering taking it in the long term.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Drinking alcohol can negatively affect an already damaged liver. Its important to decrease the amount of alcohol you consume on a regular basis. Your doctor may even recommend that you refrain from alcohol altogether.
Your liver is the primary organ responsible for metabolizing nutrients and other substances you ingest. If theres too much alcohol in your system, your liver enzymes may be ill-equipped to process it. In turn, the excess alcohol circulates through the rest of your body.
As a rule of thumb, its important to drink in moderation. This equates to two drinks a day for men, and one a day for women .
Still, moderate alcohol consumption can be dangerous when youre living with hepatitis C. Ask your doctor for specific recommendations.
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Your Liver And The Food You Eat
You need food to power your body, giving it energy and the material it needs to grow and repair itself. When you eat food, it is broken down in your stomach and intestine and three main nutrients are extracted:
These nutrients are then absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to your liver. Here they are either stored, or changed in such a way that your body can use them at once.
At the same time your liver is also working to detoxify substances which may harm your body such as alcohol, other drugs and some of your bodys waste products. If you have a liver problem, then your liver may not be able to do these jobs as efficiently as it should.
Get Creative With Protein Sources
According to the American Liver Foundation , its important to get enough protein in the diet when being treated for hepatitis C. If thats difficult for the person managing hepatitis, consider supplementing with protein drinks, the ALF recommends. Talk to a registered dietitian or doctor for specific recommendations based on the individuals needs.
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Is There A Special Diet For Chronic Hepatitis
No. Try to eat as well as you can to help support your liver and overall health. Aim for a healthy eating pattern that includes vegetables and fruits, whole grains and protein foods daily.
Examples of healthy eating patterns include Canadas food guide and the Mediterranean and DASH diets.
Its important to meet your protein needs. Try to include protein foods at each meal and snack. Protein foods include:
- Beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds
- Lower fat milk, yogurt and cheese
- Fortified soy beverage
- Fish, poultry, lean meat, eggs, tofu
If you drink coffee, continue to enjoy it in moderation. It wont harm your liver. Some studies suggest that caffeinated coffee helps protect the liver. However, the evidence isnt strong enough to recommend drinking coffee if you dont drink or tolerate it.
What The Science Says About Dietary Supplements For Hepatitis C
- Milk thistle is a plant from the aster family. Silymarin is an extract from milk thistle.
- A 2014 evaluation of five studies of silymarin in people with hepatitis C, involving a total of 389 participants, did not show silymarin to be beneficial. The supplement did not improve liver function or decrease levels of the hepatitis C virus.
- One of these studies, cofunded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and NIDDK, showed that higher-than-usual doses of silymarin, given for 24 weeks, were no better than a placebo in improving a measure of liver function in people who had not responded to drug treatment for chronic hepatitis C. The study, completed in 2012, had 154 participants. Those receiving silymarin also showed no significant differences from participants receiving the placebo in hepatitis C virus levels or quality of life.
- Side effects have been uncommon in studies of silymarin in people with hepatitis C. When side effects occurred, they were usually mild digestive problems, like bloating, indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea.
Licorice Root and Glycyrrhizin
Other Dietary Supplements
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What About Alcohol
It can damage your liver. That’s why it’s especially risky for people with a liver infection like hepatitis C. But doctors don’t agree about whether you should stop drinking or just cut down.
Some say that you should cut out all alcohol. Others feel it’s OK to limit it to a glass of wine with dinner or a beer at the ballgame.
No one with hepatitis C should drink regularly, though.
Ask your doctor whether you can drink alcohol and, if so, how much is safe.
Paul Berk, MD, professor of medicine and emeritus chief of the division of liver disease, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City former chairman of the board, American Liver Foundation.
Alan Franciscus, executive director, Hepatitis C Support Project and editor-in-chief of HCV Advocate, San Francisco.
Thelma King Thiel, chair and CEO, Hepatitis Foundation International.
David Thomas, MD, professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore.
Howard J. Worman, MD, associate professor of medicine and anatomy and cell biology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York City.
The American Gastroenterological Association.
What Not To Eat
Along with eating the right foods, it’s also important to stay away from the wrong ones. The biggest threats to your liver include foods that are:
PubMed Health: âHow Does The Liver Work?â
American Liver Foundation: âLiver Disease Diets: How You Should Eat If You Have â¦,â âAlcohol and Your Liver.â
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Blueberries Raspberries And Strawberries
“Berries are rich in antioxidant vitamin C, B vitamins , and other antioxidant phytonutrients,” says Minchen. “Vitamin C actively reduces viral load in Hepatitis C cases, while also reducing oxidative stress on the liver. Folate supports the liver’s natural detoxifying process, while the array of phytonutrients in berries decrease inflammation related to liver disease.”
Keep Your Liver Happy
Your body’s largest internal organ is an important player. It helps turn food into nutrients. It also filters toxins and breaks them down so your body can get rid of them. You can make your liver’s job easier — and yourself healthier — if you eat the right things. A balanced diet with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein is a good start.
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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 two times more likely to respond to treatment than those who didnt drink coffee. Another study, published in January 2017 in the European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, found that, among people with hepatitis C, drinking caffeine decreased the risk of advanced liver fibrosis and liver inflammation. 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.
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 that’s known as cirrhosis. So next time you’re in the drive-thru line, think about ordering a healthier option.
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Hepatitis C And Health
How can health-care personnel avoid exposure to HCV?
Avoiding occupational exposure to blood is the primary way to prevent transmission of bloodborne illnesses among health-care personnel. To promote blood safety in the workplace, health-care personnel should consult infectious-disease control guidance from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and from CDC. Depending on the medical procedure involved, Standard Precautions may include the appropriate use of personal protective equipment .
What is the risk of acquiring hepatitis C after being accidentally exposed to HCV-contaminated blood or body fluids in the workplace?
Although sharps injuries have decreased in recent decades due to improved prevention measures, they continue to occur, placing health-care personnel at risk for several bloodborne pathogens like hepatitis C. A recent analysis of several studies revealed an overall 0.2% risk for infection among those exposed to HCV-antibody-positive blood through needlestick or sharps injuries . Updated guidelines for management and treatment of hepatitis Cexternal icon are available to provide guidance for health-care personnel who become infected via exposure to contaminated blood at the workplace.
Other than needlesticks, do other exposures place health-care personnel at risk for hepatitis C?
Should HCV-infected health-care personnel be restricted in their work?
Increase Your Activity Level
If your doctor recommends weight loss to improve the health of your liver, exercise is one method to do that. But the benefits of exercise extend beyond weight loss and weight management.
Aside from reducing overall body fat, exercise can help decrease fat around your liver. Regular exercise can also boost your mood, as well as your energy levels.
For best results, aim for
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Pregnancy And Hepatitis C
Should pregnant women be tested for HCV antibodies?
Yes. All pregnant women should be screened for anti-HCV during each pregnancy, except in settings where the prevalence of HCV infection is < 0.1% . Pregnant women with known risk factors should be tested during each pregnancy, regardless of setting prevalence. Any pregnant women testing positive for anti-HCV should receive a PCR test for HCV RNA to determine current infection status.
Can a mother with hepatitis C infect her infant during birth?
The overall risk of an infected mother transmitting HCV to her infant is approximately 4%8% per pregnancy . Transmission occurs during pregnancy or childbirth, and no prophylaxis is available to protect the newborn from infection. The risk is significantly higher if the mother has a high HCV viral load, or is coinfected with HIV with which the rate of transmission ranges from 8%15% . Most infants infected with HCV at birth have no symptoms.
Should a woman with hepatitis C be advised against breastfeeding?
When should children born to HCV-infected mothers be tested to see if they were infected at birth?
What About Physical Activity
Physical activity can improve appetite, decrease stress, lessen depression, and help you reach or 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.
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One Last Thing About Preparing Food For Someone With Hepatitis C
If you are caregiving for someone with hepatitis, these suggestions can help you to provide your loved one with a well-balanced diet. Be sure to avoid foods and medication that may be harmful to a recovering liver, and work closely with a registered dietitian nutritionist and the doctor .
It also doesnt hurt to get screened yourself. In recent years, the recommendations for getting tested for a hepatitis C infection have changed and greatly broadened. The CDC now recommends that all adults ages 18 and older, as well as pregnant women during each pregnancy, get screened for hepatitis C at least once in their lives.
Healthy Eating Tips To Prevent Hepatitis
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Nutrition For Hepatitis C: What To Know If Youre A Caregiver
While newer medication is significantly effective for treating hepatitis C, you can take additional steps to ensure your loved ones liver is protected by building them a healthy plate.
Hepatitis C is a virus that spreads through contaminated blood and can lead to liver inflammation and damage. The liver is an essential organ that has many roles, including producing bile to aid in digestion, detoxifying the bloodstream, and producing cholesterol and proteins, as Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore notes. Fortunately, the liver has a remarkable ability to heal itself when injured, but this capacity is not unlimited.
Of those people infected with acute hepatitis C in 2018, that figure was 50,300, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention many will go on to develop a chronic form of the condition. Therefore, learning about the role of healthy nutrition in liver health is crucial, especially if you are helping to care for a person managing hepatitis C.
The liver is in charge of all the nutrition in your body in terms of digestion and absorption, says Annie Guinane, a registered dietitian with the transplant and metabolic liver clinic at the University of Chicago Medicine. Its really important to maintain a healthy diet to maintain a healthy liver, she says.
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