#1 Proactive Healthy Lifestyle
Mindfulness on living a healthy lifestyle helps your liver work better.
Make a Healthy Plan then Work the Plan.
Nutrition is one area of disease where a person has a degree of control and can actively help in the recovery of liver damage and minimizing further damage.
What you put in your body matters!

An unhealthy diet can lead to liver disease and compromise the function of your liver. The American Liver Foundation states,“eating high fatty foods will put you at risk of being overweight and having non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and at risk for other disease.” It adds stress to your liver and compromises your immune system. Think in terms of a highly efficient engine and filter. You’re Liver and Immune system is your body’s engine and filter. You need to eat the right fuel in order to operate effectively. Help your body, help your Liver.

General Nutrition for Healthy Living & Liver Disease

*Eat a diet low in saturated and no trans fat.
*Avoid fried foods.
*Eat lean (low fat) protein choices such as fish, white meat chicken and white meat turkey without the skin. Limit red meat due to these are generally higher in fat and harder for the body to break down.
*Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits (choose organic if possible).
*Eat complex carbohydrates made with whole grains and high fiber.
*Drink 8 to 12 eight ounces of water daily (filter water if possible).
*Stay away from processed foods as much as possible. Fresh or frozen is best!
*Reduce sugar.
*Choose low fat or non-fat dairy products
Medical professionals recommend following a generalized healthy diet as stated above. The closer you are to your healthy weight the less stress this puts on your liver. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian for dietary guidelines and amounts that are right for you.

#2 Avoid Alcohol
American Liver Foundation states that alcohol can damage or destroy liver cells. Liver damage can lead to the build up of fat in your liver (fatty liver), inflammation or swelling of your liver (alcoholic hepatitis), and/or scarring of your liver (cirrhosis). For people with liver disease, even a small amount of alcohol can make the disease worse. A good analogy a doctor told me was to think of hepatitis as a smoldering fire. Alcohol is like gasoline. Don’t throw gasoline on the fire. It’s not worth it.

#3 Exercise
Exercise plays important role in liver health and boost’s the immune system. Regular exercise will increase energy levels, decrease stress on the liver, and in many cases, even delay the onset of certain complications associated with liver disease according to Dr. Melissa Palmer MD.
Your energy levels can be boosted by even 10 minute walks or other exercise. Start with small blocks of time and continue to add extra minutes when you can.
Small changes make big differences!

#4 Manage your Medications
Every medicine, vitamin, supplement that you take passes through the liver. Your liver is responsible for processing all of these substances. It is important to understand exactly how you should be taking your medications in order to avoid putting undue stress on your liver, according to the American Liver Foundation.
Be discerning when taking vitamins, minerals and supplements. A good rule of thumb to remember, everything you take has an effect on your liver and immune system.

Vitamins, minerals and supplements if taken correctly can play a part in good health, but when taken incorrectly can harm your liver. Be especially careful with herbal treatments and alternative liver medicines. Certain herbs can be dangerous and toxic to your liver. Just because something says it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s safe. Talk to your doctor before taking anything.

#5 Avoid Environmental Pollutants/Toxins
Toxins can injure your liver cells. Avoid direct contact with chemicals from cleaning products, insecticides, fumes from paint thinners and aerosol sprays.
Do not smoke.

*American Liver Foundation-Liver Health and Wellness
*Dr. Melissa Palmer MD-Dr. Melissa Palmer’s Guide to Hepatitis & Liver Disease/Revised Edition
*Mayo Clinic

Where are you in your journey with Hepatitis C and Liver Disease? What type of foods do you eat? We’d love to hear from you.

This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C, and is reprinted with permission.