The main function of the liver or liver is to filter out toxins in the blood. Your liver makes nutrients available so your body can use them to build cells, give you energy, and maintain normal body functions.
In addition, there are about 500 other functions of the liver. If a person has hepatitis, which is inflammation of the liver or liver, it can destroy the person’s overall health because toxins remain in the blood and damage or interfere with the work of other organs. Another result is the liver refuses the flowing blood, causing high blood pressure and the rupture of blood vessels.
How diet affects the liver
A poor diet sometimes can lead to liver problems. If your diet provides too many calories, you will gain weight. Being overweight is linked to the buildup of fat in the liver, called “fatty liver.” Over many years, having a fatty liver when you already have hepatitis C will make it more likely to develop cirrhosis. Toxins, such as alcohol, damage the liver over time.
A good diet, by contrast, can actually improve liver health in a person with hepatitis C. A balanced diet can lead to better liver functioning and lowered risk of cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver. It also can help the immune system stay strong and fight off illness.
Finally, people infected with hepatitis C have higher rates of diabetes than those who are not infected, but a good diet can help reduce body fat and control blood sugar. This lowers diabetes risk.
How hepatitis C affects diet
A special diet for hepatitis patients in optimal amounts helps heal wounds in the liver cells and improve liver strength. In addition, it can increase the regeneration of damaged liver cells, improve weight loss due to lack of appetite, nausea and vomiting, prevent protein catabolism, prevent or reduce ascites, and hepatic coma.
The hepatitis diet includes the fulfillment of nutrients the body needs, such as:
- High amount of calories to prevent protein breakdown are given gradually according to the ability of the person with hepatitis. Calories are given in high amounts because of fever and are needed for tissue regeneration and to increase energy supplies. Calorie needs are individual, so special calculations are needed.
- Protein needs to be given in high amounts in order to repair damaged liver tissue and maintain the main functions of the body. In addition, protein is a lipotropic agent that converts fat into lipoproteins so that it can get out of the liver to prevent fatty liver.
The body needs protein to fight infection. According to. John D. Scott, MD, assistant head of the Hepatitis and Liver Clinic at Harborview Medical Center, advises chronic hepatitis C patients, who also have cirrhosis, to consume at least 6 ounces of protein per day for men and 4-5 ounces per day for women. Good sources of protein for the body can be obtained from chicken, fish, lean beef, tofu, nuts, milk, yogurt and eggs.
- Fat is given accordingly to the conditions of hepatitis patients. If there is indigestion of fat / steatorhea and nausea, use fats with medium chain fatty acids (Medium Chain Triglycerides) because this type of fat does not require lipase and bile acid activity in the absorption process. In addition, the provision of fat should be reduced but too strict restrictions are not recommended because it will reduce the delicacy of the food so that it will reduce appetite. Fats are provided which are easily digested or in the form of an emulsion.
- Sodium intake is given in low amounts, depending on the level of edema and ascites
- In addition to food, you need B complex supplements, vitamin K (to prevent bleeding), vitamin C and zinc to speed healing.
- Excessive addition of vitamins A and D is not recommended because it will aggravate the diseased liver function
- Fluids are given more than usual, unless there are contraindications.
- In the form of soft food when there are complaints of nausea and vomiting, or regular food according to the ability of the digestive tract.
Caution about iron.
Some people with hepatitis C have above-average iron levels in their body. If you have too much iron, your doctor may ask you to eat fewer iron-rich foods, such as red meats, liver, and iron-fortified cereals. You also should avoid cooking with iron-coated cookware because the iron from the pots gets absorbed into food.
Some of the food that must be avoided include:
- All foods that contain high fat such as mutton and pork, innards, brains, ice cream, full cream milk, cheese, butter / margarine, oil and coconut milk foods such as curry, curry, or warm.
- Canned foods such as sardines and corned beef.
- Fatty cakes or snacks, such as tarts, fried foods, fast food.
- Food ingredients that cause gas, such as sweet potatoes, kidney beans, cabbage, mustard greens, radishes, cucumbers, durian, jackfruit.
- Stimulating spices, such as chilies, onions, pepper, vinegar, ginger.
- Drinks containing alcohol and soda.
Importance of exercise
Exercise is important, and not just because it helps to keep your weight down. Exercise can improve your appetite, relieve some of the side effects of hepatitis C medications if you are taking them, boost your immune system, and improve your sense of well-being.
Try to have 10-minute blocks of exercise throughout the day. Low-impact exercises such as walking or swimming are the best. For example, start with a 10-minute walk. Participate at a comfortable level, take rest breaks, and increase your activity level slowly (15 to 30 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week).
Remember that patients with cirrhosis can put on “fluid weight.” This is different from “fat weight,” which is what most of us put on. Fluid weight is managed in a different way. Talk to your health care provider if you have cirrhosis or are retaining fluid in your legs or abdomen.
Remember, if you are overweight, it is important that you begin an exercise routine and start eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. Always talk to your doctor before starting a diet and exercise program.