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Post Info TOPIC: Diet and Hcv
Tig


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Hi Manty,

This is an old thread, started in 2007. Much of the information is still accurate, but there is some dated material. If you would like to review some of the other conversations we have had, enter "Diet" into the search function above. That will open a list of threads you can review.



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Tig

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Very Helpful information.



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I love the practical solutions at the end of this post. I would add one more thing that's been helpful to me.
Don't over-eat!

I don't know if anyone will be able to relate to this but I've always had a weird relationship to mealtimes. Unless I force myself to eat at certain times, I don't eat until I'm starving and then I usually eat anything that's ready to eat and a lot of it. Until I got married I thought this was normal! But back to my point - the liver much prefers to digest smaller meals so for me it's worked out better to eat 4 meals a day than to eat two giant ones. The single best thing I've learned in dealing with my HVC is to eat breakfast even if I'm not hungry. I function so much better and feel more balanced.

(Colin, I think you brought this up in another thread but I thought I'd add in here because it fit in so well with the pratical advice).

Another thing I think has been helpful to me is to drink hot beverages after meals. I read somewhere that heat liquifies oil and makes it easier to digest. Also your digestive system does not have to expend energy heating that it could otherwise be used to digest. I've found drinking hot water with lemon juice has a calming effect on my system so I try to do that when I can.

Oh, and one more thing.  I try to eat before 8 pm so that my liver has atleast 3 hours to digest before I sleep.  I find I sleep more comfortably and soundly (maybe because I believe I'm helping my liver!
biggrin)

I hope this helps someone.

Anna.




-- Edited by Anna at 01:53, 2007-10-30

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Information from the American Liver FoundationDiet and Hepatitis CWHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DIET AND HEPATITIS C? Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that infects the liver. Up to 85% of people exposed to this virus develop chronic liver disease. In general, chronic HCV appears to be a slowly progressive disease that may gradually advance over 10-40 years. While not as yet totally defined, many factors influence the rate of disease progression. Diet may play an important role in this process, as all foods and beverages that we ingest must pass through the liver to be metabolized.General guidelines for individuals infected with HCV include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating a well-balanced, low-fat diet, and avoiding alcohol. A diet high in complex carbohydrates may be helpful in provNoted Liver Specialist Tells How to Love Your Liver and Live Longer Through Diet and LifestyleSYDNEY, Australia, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Virtually all cases of liver dysfunction can be overcome with nutritional and environmental medicine according to Dr. Sandra Cabot, noted physician and health educator. She believes many people may be able to avoid liver problems simply by educating themselves on proper diet and lifestyle.In treatment of the liver, Dr. Cabot advocates a special dietary approach, which includes an eight-week eating plan and 12 vital principles to improve your liver function. This program is detailed in her best selling book, The Liver Cleansing Diet. ($19.95, Ten Speed Press, in stores or call 1-888-755-4837) See: http://www.liverdoctor.com."If you are battling with poor health and getting nowhere, I urge you to start thinking about your liver. This is so vital iding calories and maintaining weight. Since HCV infection may lead to loss of appetite, those individuals whose appetite is diminished may find frequent, small meals more easily tolerated. Adequate rest and moderate exercise can also contribute to a feeling of well-being.ALCOHOL AND HEPATITIS CAlcohol is a potent toxin to the liver. Excessive intake can lead to cirrhosis and its complications, including liver cancer. Heavy drinkers are not the only individuals at risk for liver diseases, as damage can occur in even some moderate "social drinkers." The hepatitis C virus has frequently been isolated from patients with alcoholic liver disease. In fact, these patients have been found to have a higher incidence of severe liver damage, cirrhosis, and a decreased lifespan, when compared to individuals without the virus. It is suggested that the combination of alcohol and HCV accelerates the progression of liver disease. The consensus statement concerning management of HCV released in March, 1997 from the National Institutes of Health further warned about the dangers of excessive alcohol use, and advised limitation of alcohol to no more than one drink per day. Therefore, patients with HCV would be unwise to drink alcohol in excess, and total avoidance of all alcohol intake is recommended.IRON AND HEPATITIS CThe liver plays an important role in the metabolism of iron since it is the primary organ in the body that stores this metal. The average American diet contains about 10-20 mg of iron per day. About 10% of this iron is absorbed, in keeping with the bodys need for 1 to 2 mg. of iron per day. Patients with chronic HCV sometimes have an increase in the iron concentration in the liver. Excess iron can be very damaging to the liver. Studies suggest that high iron levels reduce the response rate of patients with HCV to interferon. Thus, patients with chronic HCV whose serum iron level is elevated, or who have cirrhosis, should avoid taking iron supplements. In addition, these patients should restrict their intake of iron-rich foods, such as red meats, liver, and iron-fortified cereals, and should avoid cooking with iron-coated cookware and utensils.FAT AND HEPATITIS COverweight individuals are often found to have abnormalities related to the liver, ranging from fatty deposits in the liver (steatosis) to fatty deposits accompanied by inflammation (steatohepatitis). In overweight patients with a fatty liver who subsequently lose weight, liver related abnormalities improve. Therefore, patients with chronic HCV are advised to maintain normal weight. For those who are overweight, it is crucial to start a prudent exercise routine and a low fat, well-balanced, weight reducing diet. Diabetic patients should follow a sugar restricted diet. A low cholesterol diet should be followed in those with hypertriglyceridemia. It is essential that patients consult with their physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.PROTEIN AND HEPATITIS CAdequate protein intake is important to build and maintain muscle mass and to assist in healing and repair. Protein intake must be adjusted to ones body weight and medical condition. Approximately 1.0 to 1.5 gm. of protein per kilogram of body weight is recommended in the diet each day for regeneration of liver cells in non-cirrhotic patients.In a small but significant number of individuals with cirrhosis, a complication known as encephalopathy, or impaired mental status, may occur. Affected individuals may show signs of disorientation and confusion. The exact cause(s) of encephalopathy is not fully understood. While some experts do not believe there is a link between dietary protein and encephalopathy, others believe in substantially reducing or even eliminating animal protein and adhering to a vegetarian diet, in order to help improve mental status. Patients who are at risk for encephalopathy may be advised to eat no more than .6 - .8 gm. of animal source protein per kilogram of body weight per day. (Animal source proteins are meat, fish, eggs, poultry, and dairy products. Each provides 7 gm. of actual protein per ounce of food.) There is no limit on vegetable protein consumption. Maintaining adequate protein intake and body weight should be considered a priority if vegetarian protein substitutes are not utilized .The table below gives recommended grams of animal source protein intake per pound of body weight. (Note: The chart is intended to provide guidelines for patients with hepatitis C. For specific recommendations, consult your physician.)Weight Recommended average protein intake for regeneration of liver cells innon-cirrhotic patients Maximum recommended protein intake for patients atrisk for encephalopathy100 lbs. 45-68 gm. (6 -9 oz. meat or equivalent) 27 gm.130 lbs. 59-87 gm. (8 - 12 oz. meat or equiv.) 35 gm.150 lbs. 68-103 gm. (9.7-14 oz. meat or equiv.) 40 gm.170 lbs. 77-116 gm. (11 -16 oz. meat or equiv.) 46 gm.200 lbs. 91-136 gm. (13 -19 oz. meat or equiv.) 54 gm.SODIUM AND HEPATITIS CAdvanced scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) may lead to an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, referred to as ascites. Patients with HCV who have ascites must be on sodium (salt) restricted diets. Every gram of sodium consumed results in the accumulation of 200 ml. of fluid. The lower the salt content of the diet, the better this excessive fluid accumulation is controlled. Sodium intake should be restricted to 1,000 mg. a day or less. This requires careful shopping and reading all food labels. It is often surprising to discover which foods are high in sodium. For example, one ounce of corn flakes contains 350 mg. of sodium; one ounce of grated Parmesan cheese, 528 mg. of sodium; one cup of chicken noodle soup, 1,108 mg. of sodium; and one teaspoon of table salt, 2,325 mg. of sodium. Avoid fast food restaurants, because most fast foods are high in sodium. Meats, especially red meats, are high in sodium, so meat consumption may need to be reduced and vegetarian alternatives considered. Patients with chronic HCV without ascites are advised not to overindulge in salt intake, although their restrictions need not be as severe.MEDICATIONS ARE NOT FOOD, BUT...Like foods and beverages, medications also pass through the liver to be metabolized. Individuals with chronic liver disease should be careful about taking medications, even those sold over-the-counter. Read package labeling carefully before taking medications, and discuss any questions you may have with your physician and/or pharmacist.Author: Melissa Palmer, MDALF Nutrition Education Subcommittee:Bruce R. Bacon, MD, Kris V. Kowdley, MD, Francoise Maillet, RD, Melissa Palmer, MD, Anna Sasaki, MD.
Cirrhosis and nutritionIf you have cirrhosis (a condition in which damaged liver cells have been replaced by fibrous scar tissue that disrupts the liver's important functions), you may experience loss of appetite, nausea, malnutrition, and weight loss. Because it's so important to maintain the proper balance of nutrients, your doctor may recommend that you get nutritional guidance from a registered dietitian. In general, it's important to take in a balanced amount of proteins, carbohydrates, other nutrients, and calories to maintain a healthy weight. If you aren't eating enough protein-rich foods, your body may take protein from your body's muscle tissue, leaving you feeling weaker. However, too much protein (especially protein from meats) can cause a buildup of toxins, which can interfere with brain function. Because vegetable and dairy protein may be tolerated better than meat protein, try to include vegetable and dairy protein sources in your diet. Avoid excess "empty" calories in the form of carbohydrates (especially soft drinks, candy, baked goods and other sweets, white breads, sugary cereals--as well as added sugar, honey, syrup, or jams/jellies) that can add to the load placed on your liver and can cause fat deposits in your liver.

Maintaining proper nutrition - even when you don't feel like eating

Here's a list of practical solutions to common eating problems, such as loss of appetite and nausea, that people with HCV (and especially cirrhosis) are likely to experience: ·         If you feel nauseated, try eating small, frequent meals,·         Moderate exercise, such as a walk before mealtime, may help increase your appetite--and will also help preserve your muscle tissue,·         Making mealtimes pleasant and relaxing may help you feel more like eating. Try playing relaxing music, setting an attractive table, eating with pleasant companions, or turning a meal into a picnic and eating outdoors,·         If the smells of cooking or cooked foods bother you, try using the exhaust fan in the kitchen to minimize cooking odors in the house, or experiment with barbecuing outdoors. Also try eating foods chilled instead of hot,·         Take advantage of the times of the day when your appetite is best. If you only feel like eating in the morning, then enjoy a nice breakfast and ask your doctor or nutritionist about the use of liquid nutritional supplements later in the day,·        Drink plenty of water, but do so between meals so it doesn't fill you up at mealtimes.Power snacks for poor appetites

If you dont feel like eating, try these hints for packing extra dairy or vegetable protein and calories into small meals and snacks:
  • Add powdered milk to regular milk or milkshakes, as well as to homemade soups,
  • Spread unsalted peanut butter (or almond or cashew butter) on breads, apple slices, celery stalks, or carrot sticks,
  • Melt cheese on open-face sandwiches, hamburgers, vegetables, rice, or noodles.
 Hope this is helpfulashamed

-- Edited by CeeGee2 at 10:15, 2007-10-20

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