Hepatitis is basically the inflammation of liver. This condition can be self-limiting or it can also progress to liver cancer. Hepatitis is a viral disease. There are numerous factors contributing to the situation which include toxic substances e.g. alcohol and certain drugs. The autoimmune disorders can also cause hepatitis. Viral infection of the liver or hepatitis includes five types of hepatitis which are hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Each type is caused by a different virus.
Hepatitis A is always an acute and short-term disease, while other types like hepatitis B, C, and D are most likely to continue and become chronic. Hepatitis E is typically acute however; it can be predominantly dangerous in pregnant women.
How does diet affect the Liver
Diet almost affects every aspect of our life and so is liver affected by it. A bad diet can lead to many liver problems. A high calorie diet results in weight gain. It promotes building up of fat in the liver. A fatty liver, over the years, causes cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a disease which involves the loss of liver cells. It causes an irreversible scarring of the liver leading to its inflammation. Toxins present in our diet are also proved to be very harmful to the liver.
A well-balanced diet is required to avoid liver damage including hepatitis. A balanced diet can actually improve the health of liver in an individual, even suffering from hepatitis. A good diet can lead to better functioning of the liver. It also lowers the risk of cirrhosis of the liver. It improves the immune system by making it strong and fights off illness.
This article discusses what food items to avoid during hepatitis. These dietary precautions may not completely solve the problem but can relieve the symptoms and complications associated with hepatitis.
Foods to avoid during Hepatitis
Our liver is the main chemical processing plant. One of its jobs is the filtering or breaking down of anything that we take into our body. Hepatitis alters the capabilities of our liver to function. Things may stay in the system for too long, affecting the corporal environment badly. They can actually injure the liver. To avoid such problems hepatitis patient might need to change their eating and drinking habits.
Saturated fats which are found in butter, cream, other high-fat dairy products and fried foods affect the normal functioning of the liver. Fats in our liver can interfere with the efficacy of drugs that target the hepatitis virus.
Other eatables and beverages, a hepatitis patient must avoid, are as follow,
A complete elimination of alcohol is required for anyone diagnosed with hepatitis. This would be the most important change in his or her life. For the recovery of the person suffering from HCV and to prevent liver damage, abstaining from alcohol is the most important dietary step.
There are many toxins present in our tap water. It comprises heavy metals, lead, chlorine, fluoride, mercury along with many inorganic chemicals and compounds. It is difficult for the liver to process such toxins. Even the shower that we take daily has many toxins in it which could be absorbed by the skin and inhaled through the lungs. Hepatitis patients must consume filtered water to avoid such toxins.
White flour is normally bleached. It undergoes chemical processing resulting in loss of many minerals and vitamins. Consumption of such chemically altered product requires extra minerals and vitamins to be taken by the body to fulfill nutritional requirements. Gluten-free, organic, and unbleached flour or whole-grains can be used as an alternative.
Hydrogenated oils are another product which is hard to handle for the liver of the patients suffering from hepatitis. Any sort of oil or fat which hardens when cold are included in it. Virgin olive oil or flax-seed oil can be a better choice to use in this disease.
These are the favorite foods of many people but their name fits the best. Junk is junk meaning useless. You can never assume junk foods to be a good source of nutrition. They contain all the things we need to stay away from. Junk food includes processed fats, sugars, empty calories, chemicals, and additives. We must limit our consumption of processed foods as they contain many chemical additives and great levels of salt. Our poor livers don’t require this auxiliary stress. Hepatitis patients should also avoid under cooked or raw shellfish because it can actually harbor viruses and bacteria.
These beverages contain a high concentration of sugar. Sugar produces adverse effects to the liver by stressing the digestive processes. It also stresses the pancreas and feeds the Hepatitis C virus. thus hepatitis pateints must avoid fruit juices or smoothies.
The pros and cons of drinking coffee have been wildly debated for years. However, for those suffering from liver diseases, the addition of a cup of coffee per day can actually slow down the progression of liver diseases. Moreover, coffee also alleviates the risk of diabetes and heart diseases.
Digestion of dairy products is extremely hard for those having a diseased liver specifically cirrhosis. They are more susceptible to the overgrowth of small intestine bacteria. Symptoms of lactose intolerance are also observed in hepatitis patients. Moreover, a large number of clinical experts are diagnosing that eating dairy products may cause digestive issues in patients with a liver disease.
The first word “artificial” gives us the first clue. These sweeteners are very hard for the liver to process which can burdenize the liver additionally. High fructose corn syrup can also produce harmful effects on the liver and as we know sugar isn’t liver friendly so we should avoid such kind of things.
Processed foods contain unnatural substances including preservatives, fillers and chemically treated substances. These unnatural substances are unhealthy for the liver because they are difficult to process.
Low iron food
A Hepatitis diet plan must be low in iron. Because chronic Hepatitis C patients can have much difficulty in the processing of iron that can overload the liver and blood with surplus iron. This shows that the consumption of red meats, liver or grains should be avoided which have been fortified with iron. Basically, any food with high iron content such as apricots or even fish like tuna should be avoided.
Hepatitis patients should strictly limit their intake of salt. They should refrain from eating high-sodium foods. This means canned soups or sauces should be avoided.
As the liver is battling the virus, hepatitis patient should take special precautions to protect against the factors that increase the chances of liver damage. Meats, fruits and vegetables must be consumed in order to remove any harmful toxin residing in your body. Proper hygiene must be maintained and medicines must be taken in time.