Making changes to the diet is one of the easiest ways to naturally treat hepatitis. Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver and is usually caused by hepatitis, but it can be caused by other factors such as toxins, medications and infections. There are different types of hepatitis, but it tends to share the same types of symptoms. However, you need to know about dietary treatment of the acute hepatitis phase which occurs in hepatitis A, B, C, D and E and what can be done to manage chronic hepatitis conditions. A patient suffering from acute infectious hepatitis will experience severe loss of appetite or anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, taste changes, fever and jaundice. All these symptoms complicate food intake and make it difficult to ensure that the patient is well nourished at a time when it is essential to provide the patient with a highly nutritious diet to prevent liver damage. There are essentials which your diet should include if you have acute hepatitis infection:
Appetite stimulation to overcome anorexia – this is probably one of the most difficult challenges facing anyone who is trying to assist a hepatitis patient who may feel so ill and debilitated that they totally refuse to eat.Offer the patient his favourite fat-free or low-fat foods, for example, fruit juices and energy drinks (Lucozade). Make from fresh or canned fruit, fat-free milk or yoghurt and add flavouring, honey and fat-free milk powder to boost the protein as well as energy content.
Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. Focus on eating five to six smaller meals throughout the day, rather than eating three larger meals throughout the day.
Foods to avoid
- Reduce foods that are harsh on the liver, like fried foods, refined sugar and trans-fatty acids.
- Avoid saturated fats and hydrogenated oils. Both can stress both the immune system as well as the liver. Be especially cautious with fried foods, and solid fats like margarine.
- Avoid giving the patient the following foods: Full-cream milk, yoghurt, cream, cream cheese and fatty cheeses; biscuits, cakes, pies, etc with high-fat content and chocolate.
- The patient should not take more than three eggs a week; avoid fatty salad dressings, mayonnaise, sour cream and avocado.
- The patient should avoid fatty, fried meats, fatty fish, poultry skin, all processed meats and sausages. You should also avoid nuts, peanut butter, nut spreads, potato chips, vegetables smothered in butter or cheese sauces and fatty snacks or very spicy snacks.
- Avoid all food preparation that increases the amount of fat contained in meals, such as frying in butter, margarine or oil. Rather boil, poach, grill and cook in a nonstick pan.
- Cut out junk food, alcohol and sugar. These foods can actually weaken the immune system.
This story was published in Newswatch Times on March 21, 2015.