What Is Hepatitis And How Can Nutrition Help Patients With Hepatitis
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can be of short duration or prolonged in time . In both cases, it involves damage to the organ that prevents it from functioning normally.
There are several types of hepatitis with different causes and routes of transmission:
- The most common is transmitted by an A, B, C, D, or E virus.
- Alcoholic hepatitis is caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
- Some toxins and certain medications, supplements, or chemicals can cause toxic hepatitis.
- Autoimmune hepatitis occurs when the immune system attacks the liver and causes cell damage. The cause is unknown, but genetics and environment are two possible triggers.
Although adequate nutrition in patients with hepatitis doesnt lead to a cure, its important in determining a good state of health during the disease. A balanced diet helps maintain fluid balance and prevents liver overload.
Find out which foods are the most suitable, which should be avoided and how to organize your diet. If youre interested in learning more, we invite you to read on.
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Transmission Symptoms And Treatment
How is HBV transmitted?
HBV is transmitted through activities that involve percutaneous or mucosal contact with infectious blood or body fluids , including
- sex with a partner who has HBV infection
- injection drug use that involves sharing needles, syringes, or drug-preparation equipment
- birth to a person who has HBV infection
- contact with blood from or open sores on a person who has HBV infection
- exposures to needle sticks or sharp instruments and
- sharing certain items with a person who has HBV infection that can break the skin or mucous membranes , potentially resulting in exposure to blood.
How long does HBV survive outside the body?
HBV can survive outside the body and remains infectious for at least 7 days .
What should be used to clean environmental surfaces potentially contaminated with HBV?
Any blood spills should be disinfected using a 1:10 dilution of one part household bleach to 9 parts water. Gloves should be worn when cleaning up any blood spills.
Who is at risk for HBV infection?
The following populations are at increased risk for becoming infected with HBV:
- Infants born to people with HBV infection
- Sex partners of people with HBV infection
- Men who have sex with men
- People who inject drugs
- Household contacts or sexual partners of known people with chronic HBV infection
- Health care and public safety workers at risk for occupational exposure to blood or blood-contaminated body fluids
- Patients on hemodialysis
Who should be screened for HBV?
Injections: Interferon And Pegylated Interferon
Pegylated interferon is given as an injection once per week. It can be used alone or with an oral hepatitis B medication. Patients with both chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis D infection may need pegylated interferon alone or combined with an oral hepatitis B pill.
- Pegylated interferon therapy is usually given for 48 weeks.
- Pegylated interferon may cause many side effects, such as flu-like symptoms, rashes, irritability, and depression.
- Side effects to interferon require close monitoring with routine blood tests.
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What If I Have Extra Weight
Healthy eating and being active is important for everyone, regardless of body size or health. Reaching and maintaining your best weight can support liver health. For people with fatty liver disease, modest weight loss may help slow liver damage.
If you are concerned about your weight or a change in your weight, call 8-1-1 and ask to speak with a registered dietitian.
Recommended Diet And Nutrition For Hepatitis Patients
Written and verified bythe nutritionist.
27 May, 2022
Proper nutrition is important for patients with hepatitis, although theres no standard diet for the disease. People with hepatitis should eat a healthy, balanced diet and avoid all foods and beverages that can contribute to liver damage.
Of course, diet complements the treatment determined by specialists and under no circumstances replaces it. There arent any foods that can cure hepatitis, but there are foods that contribute to the patients well-being.
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Health Benefits Of Egusi
1 | Prevents diabetes: Diabetes occurs when your body is unable to respond to insulin and/or when it is unable to produce sufficient insulin.
In Iranian diabetic patients, egusi fruit capsules lowered HbA1C and fasting blood glucose levels after two months. Egusi seed oil also reduced blood sugar levels in mice with diabetes.
2 | Lowers lipid levels: High blood levels of lipids in your blood can increase your risk of heart disease. Ground egusi seeds lowers triglyceride and cholesterol levels in patients with high blood lipid levels.
3 | Prevents bacterial infections: Extracts from egusi plants, fruits, and seeds prevent bacterial infections. Egusi fruits contain active chemicals that kill common bacteria like Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella typhimurium.
Egusi fruit extracts are as effective as the antibiotic drug, novobiocin in treating patients with staphylococcal infections.
4 | Source of antioxidants: Antioxidants are an essential component of your diet because they neutralize harmful free-radicals that cause diseases like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. They are typically present in fruits, and egusi is no exception.
Egusi fruit extracts are a rich source of antioxidants and studies have proven their ability to neutralise several free-radicals.
5 | Stimulates hair growth: Egusi extracts are used in Ayurvedic medicine for hair growth. These extracts are effective in increasing the number of hair follicles in animal studies.
How Is Chronic Hepatitis B Diagnosed
There are several blood tests available that can identify whether you are currently infected or have developed immunity to hepatitis B. Your sexual partners and people living in your household should also get tested. If you are diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B infection, you will require life-long blood and liver tests at least every 6 months to assess the condition of your liver. Learning that you have chronic hepatitis B infection can be very upsetting. Because most people do not have symptoms and can be diagnosed decades after their initial exposure to the hepatitis B virus, it can be a shock and a surprise to be diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B. The good news is that most people with this condition can expect to live a long and healthy life because there are medicines that can control and even stop the hepatitis B virus from further damaging your liver. If you have been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B, contact The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand freephone 0800 332 010. They provide a free hepatitis B follow-up programme with information, support and regular blood tests.
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Natural Treatments To Manage Hepatitis B Symptoms
1. Eat a Healthy and Well Balanced Diet
One of the most important ways for a person with hepatitis B to live a longer, healthier life is to focus on maintaining an adequate nutritional balance with a whole foods and anti-inflammatory diet. Eating foods that contain chlorophyllcan also be beneficial for reducing oxidative stress and liver damage. Some of the most beneficial, detoxifying, liver-cleansing and cancer-fighting foods include :
- Leafy green vegetables, like spinach, kale, arugula, collard greens and romaine lettuce
- Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts
- Root vegetables, like carrots, sweet potatoes, beets and butternut squash
- Fresh fruit, especially blueberries, strawberries, goji berries and citrus fruits
- Fresh herbs, like basil, parsley, oregano and ginger
- Organic meat and wild-caught fish
- Grass-fed cattle or chicken liver
- Probiotic dairy, like kefir, cottage cheese and yogurt
- Nuts and seeds, especially walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds
- Unrefined oils, such as healthy coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil
2. Avoid Inflammatory Foods and Drinks
3. Stay Hydrated
4. Reduce Stress
5. Try Milk Thistle
6. Boost your Glutathione Levels
Do I Need To Take Vitamin And Mineral Supplements
Maybe. People with hepatitis may not absorb or use nutrients properly. If you are not eating well, you might need a multivitamin/mineral supplement.
Do not take high doses of any vitamin or mineral, especially iron and vitamin A, unless your health care provider tells you to.
High doses of some vitamins and minerals can be toxic. Talk to your health care provider before you take any supplements or herbal products.
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How Common Is Hepatitis B
The exact number of people infected is not known. In the UK around 1 person in 350 is thought to have persistent hepatitis B infection. Worldwide, it is much more common and hepatitis B is the most common cause of hepatitis. For example, in parts of Asia and Africa more than 1 person in 10 has chronic hepatitis B infection.
What Is Hepatitis B
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. There are many causes of hepatitis. For example, drinking too much alcohol, various drugs and chemicals and also several different germs can cause hepatitis. One virus that causes hepatitis is called the hepatitis B virus. This leaflet is only about hepatitis B. See the separate leaflets called Hepatitis A and Hepatitis C, which are caused by different viruses.
Hepatitis B is a virus which is carried in the bloodstream to the liver. It can then affect and damage your liver.
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You Have Hepatitis B Will Liver
Manufacturers and health gurus around the world market liver detox diets and supplements that promise to remove toxins, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system and help you lose weight. But do they help people with chronic hepatitis B?
A team of Australian researchers examined these claims and concluded, At present, there is no compelling evidence to support the use of detox diets for weight management or toxin elimination.
Considering the nancial costs to consumers, unsubstantiated claims and potential health risks of detox products, they should be discouraged by health professionals and subject to independent regulatory review and monitoring, the authors wrote in their report published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.
Lets look at some of the diets and products the researchers evaluated.
According to researchers, none of these plans have been evaluated scientifically, which includes using a control group that receives a placebo instead of the treatment. The L. Ron Hubbard plan, promoted by the Church of Scientology, received some scientific evaluation after the purification protocol was applied to 14 rescue workers who were exposed to high levels of chemicals after the 9/11 collapse of the World Trade Center.
The program used niacin supplements, sweating in a sauna and physical exercise to get rid of toxins stored in body fat which is where nearly all toxins end up not in liver cells.
So why are these diets and supplements so popular?
Hepatitis B Signs And Symptoms
Most people with acute hepatitis B experience no symptoms. But some, especially adults and children over the age of 5, develop symptoms that can last for several weeks. Approximately one-third of adults with acute HBV will experience symptoms. They usually develop two to five months after exposure to the virus. The most common symptoms of acute hepatitis B include:
- Light-colored stools
Symptoms of hepatitis B usually last a few weeks. But people can experience symptoms for as long as six months. People with chronic hepatitis B are unable to clear the virus. They may experience ongoing symptoms or live symptom-free for many years. The likelihood of the infection becoming a chronic condition depends on the age at which a person is infected. Children infected with the virus before the age of six are more likely to develop chronic hepatitis B. Research shows that 80 percent to 90 percent of infants infected with hepatitis B during their first year of life will go on to develop chronic infections. And 30 percent to 50 percent of children infected before the age of 6 will develop chronic hepatitis B. This is compared to less than 5 percent of otherwise healthy adults who develop a chronic infection.
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Ingredients For Liver Detox Smoothie:
Apples: Contain a good source of pectin, which is necessary for the body to cleanse and release toxins from the digestive tract. In this sense, apples help the liver handle the toxic load.
Carrots: high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene which can help stimulate and support overall liver function
Bananas: Potassium is essential to keeping your liver healthy and its also imperative for cardiovascular health, lowering bad cholesterol, and lowering systolic blood pressure. Psst! Sweet potatoes are an even better source of potassium than bananas!
Walnuts: Walnuts help the liver in detoxify ammonia, and are also high in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep the liver clean.Walnuts are best consumed when liquified to make them easier for your body to digest, so adding them to a smoothie is quite brilliant!
Parsley: Contains a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, chlorophyll and volatile oils, all of which support healthy liver function. Parsley, along with other fresh herbs, is known for its awesome liver and kidney support.
Lemon: High in vitamin C, which helps the body break down toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water.
Turmeric: Turmeric assists enzymes that actively flush out dietary toxins, making it a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Surgery And Other Procedures
People with the following conditions may need a liver transplant:
- Life-threatening cirrhosis and life expectancy is more than 12 years
- Liver cancer that remains confined to the liver
- Fulminant acute hepatitis
Five year survival rate after liver transplantation is 60 to 80%. In about 50% of people with chronic hepatitis who receive a liver transplant, the infection recurs.
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Nutrition And Dietary Supplements
Although no special diets have been shown to help treat acute hepatitis, eating small snacks during the day, with larger ones in the morning, may be recommended to prevent weight loss and reduce nausea. Generally, eating a healthy diet, lots of fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants, can help most people who are battling a chronic disease.
DO NOT drink alcohol, especially if you have chronic hepatitis.
Tell your health care provider about any supplements you are thinking about taking.
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.
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Living With Hepatitis: How To Stay Healthy
If you dont have access to treatment right now, if youve gone through the treatment and werent able to clear the virus or if youre infected with another virus such as HIV that can be harmful to the liver, there are several things you can do to help keep your liver healthier.
Youve got one viral infection your liver has to deal with. Prevent other viral infections that are known to harm the liver and are vaccine preventable.
Eliminate Harmful Chemicals From Your Body:A. ALL alcohol, in any amount, is harmful to your liver. Eliminate all alcohols from your diet.B. ALL illicit drugs are harmful to your liver. Studies have shown that the use of marijuana can cause the liver to progress to scarring sooner. It doesnt make any difference on how the drug is used , they are all harmful to your liver. Eliminate all illegal drug use. Talk with your provider or a counselor to identify ways to help you stop the use of any illegal drugs.C. Decrease polluted air that you breathe, such as: 1) Second-hand cigarette smoke 4) Smog
Get a Prescription Review:Have your doctor or pharmacist review all your prescribed medications to ensure that none of your medications are toxic for your liver. Ask your provider about alternatives to any medications that may harm your liver.
Use Over The Counter Medications Properly:Always follow the directions on the package, unless told otherwise by your medical provider.
What If I Am Too Tired To Prepare Meals
It can be hard to eat if you are too tired to make meals or are not feeling well. Aim to keep healthy snacks and easy-to-make foods available, such as:
- Whole grain bread, naan, bagels or crackers with nut or seed butter
- Whole grain crackers and cheese
- Vegetables with hummus or a yogurt-based dip such as tzatziki
- Vegetables and a hardboiled egg
- Fresh, frozen or canned fruit with yogurt or soft tofu
- Apple or pear slices with nut butter
- Fresh or frozen berries with cottage cheese
- Canned fish with whole grain crackers or toast
- Hot cereal with nuts and seeds or trail mix
- Reduced sodium canned bean or lentil soup with whole grain crackers
When you have the energy to cook, make more than you need. Put the leftovers in the freezer to have at another meal.
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Apart From The Diet: Other Positive Habits
When suffering from liver problems, having a healthy lifestyle can minimize liver damage. One of them is diet, but there are other aspects that also play an important role.
Exercise is an interesting and essential practice. On the one hand, it strengthens the body and prevents the loss of strength and muscle tone. On the other hand, its a way of coping with the ups and downs that some people experience.
However, this physical activity must be adapted to the patients condition and the fatigue that hepatitis produces. Its advisable to increase the duration and intensity little by little, and always advised by the doctor or specialist.
As mentioned above, its essential to avoid alcohol intake, which damages the liver and has other negative effects on the body. Its also necessary to give up other habits that can be harmful, such as tobacco or drugs. In addition, it isnt advisable to self-medicate because some drugs can damage the liver.
Finally, its interesting to note that, while suffering from the disease, its important to increase hygiene measures. Any virus, bacteria or toxin present in food can increase the possibility of liver damage. To do this it is necessary to wash all food and surfaces as well as having a careful hand hygiene before and after handling them.