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Tips for a balanced diet for hepatitis C:


Hepatitis C caused by hepatitis C virus (one of the six identified hepatitis virus, others include A, B, D, E and G) is responsible for causing inflammation of the liver, like in case of other hepatitis. This inflammation interferes with its normal ability of the liver to perform its functions effectively. A hepatitis C infection can not get better by itself and thus is considered the most serious virus as it can even lead to cirrhosis or cancer of the liver. Hepatitis C virus is often called a silent killer as most of the people may not complain for any signs and symptoms and in most of the cases the liver damage is diagnosed after decades during routine medical tests. As yet there is no effective vaccine for hepatitis C developed to prevent the disease.

So it becomes very important to take care medically and nutritionally as soon as a person identifies this disease to prevent further progression.

A healthy diet that emphasizes on whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits should be maintained along with the prescribed medications by your specialist. Liver performs many important functions in the body like changing food into stored energy and chemicals required for living. Overweight individuals with hepatitis C have an increased chance of developing fatty liver, thus it is essential to maintain a healthy body weight when you have this disease. There are no restrictions or special diets required for patients with hepatitis C, however along with hepatitis C if the person also has cirrhosis of liver (which is common when the disease is diagnosed after decades) then he or she is treated with interferon along with certain diet modifications.

Balanced diet tips for hepatitis C

  1. Limiting salt intake in patients with hepatitis C along with cirrhosis of liver may prove beneficial as this can prevent fluid retention in some body parts like legs and abdomen. These patients may be thin or malnourished (as they feel tired/fatigue and have low appetite) with low immune system. A person who is treated on interferon may also complain some side effects like nausea, vomiting, metallic taste, sore throat and mouth and lack of appetite.
  2. To increase food intake try to include small meals at regular intervals (at least 4-5 meals a day) instead of 2 major meals. Eat frequent meals will help to boost the immune system by supplying enough nutrients and also help prevent nausea and vomiting.
  3. Emphasis should be laid on plenty of whole cereals, grains and its products, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods will provide antioxidants and the necessary nutrients to fight liver cell damage.
  4. Adequate protein can be gained from sprouts, beans, fish, soy, fat-free or low-fat dairy products and egg white.
  5. Go easy on sugary, salty and fatty foods.
  6. To prevent dehydration that may be caused by diarrhea and vomiting drink plenty of water.
  7. Quit alcohol.
Submitted on January 16, 2014