Hepatitis C is a tricky disease to control or live with. It affects the liver and spreads through contaminated blood and body fluids. About 3.9 million people are living with this disease in the U. S. alone. People who have this disease have to be very careful with their food habits as the condition of the liver must be taken into consideration before every meal. Hepatitis C leads to the inflammation of the liver. The liver plays a huge role in giving our bodies the nutrition it requires. So, maintaining proper food habits is crucial in combating the effects of hepatitis C on the liver and in maintaining overall health of the liver.
Pathology Of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a disease that can spread through various different sources of contamination. It can spread through sex, blood transfusion, using an infected needle and it can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her progeny. Some of the symptoms of this disease are jaundice, stomach pain, nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite. Chronic hepatitis C can lead to liver cirrhosis in the long run in many cases. In other cases, it can lead to scarring of the liver.
Risks For Hepatitis C
It is important for everyone to maintain good food habits in order to be healthy and fit. Good food habits can help us in weight management and it is very important for people with hepatitis C to have healthy weight. People with hepatitis C who are over-weight have a higher chance of developing hepatic steatosis. Hepatic steatosis is a condition in which there is an excess amount of fat build up in the liver. This can only make things harder for people living with hepatitis C.
Also, people with hepatitis C have an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes. So, it is crucial for people with this condition to keep a tab on their sugar consumption on a daily basis.
The Customized Diet For Hepatitis C
1. Fresh Produce
The diet must include plenty of fiber, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. People with hepatitis C must go for five servings a day with a variety of fruits and vegetables in their diet. Also, they should try to stay away from canned and processed foods with too much salt and sugar.
Protein is another important part of the diet that should not be neglected. Protein plays a crucial role in repairing and replacing liver cells which have been damaged by hepatitis C. Fish, seafood, nuts, soy products, eggs and skinless chicken are a great source of good protein for people with hepatitis C. The amount of protein an individual requires depends on his or her age, sex and weight. Generally, 5 to 6 ounces of protein is sufficient. Sometimes, doctors can recommend a higher dose to people who have liver cirrhosis.
Dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt are a good source of calcium and protein.
4. Whole Grains
Whole grains are an incredibly important part of this diet. Whole grains contain dietary fiber that helps in healthy metabolism and maintains regular bowel movement. It can also reduce the risk of heart diseases. Quinoa, brown rice, oats are some of the foods that can be included in the diet.
Things To Cut Back On
Exclusion of harmful foods is just as important as inclusion of healthy foods in a healthy diet. People with hepatitis C should stay away from processed, fatty, frozen and canned foods. Cut back on your salt intake. Excessive sodium intake can increase blood pressure that can be fatal for people who have cirrhosis. Sugar is another thing that needs to be avoided. Raw food should never be eaten as they can increase the chances of infection. Additionally, drink a lot of water and avoid drinking alcohol completely.
You can live a fulfilling life with this condition if you can take care of your food habits and health.