First and foremost, if you’ve never been tested for hepatitis C you need to be. Testing is a simple blood test from your doctor. If you have been diagnosed with hepatitis C, it’s important to be seen by a physician who specializes in liver diseases like a hepatologist or gastroenterologist.
Seek treatment for hepatitis C. The best way to avoid complications and stop further liver damage from occurring is to eliminate the virus with treatment.
With your liver specialist, more tests can be run to determine the condition of your liver and what hepatitis C treatment is best suited for you. Being treated for hepatitis C is one of the best ways to help your liver.
There are more proactive ways you can help your liver. The American Liver Foundation states a healthy diet helps with a healthy liver. Learning what is healthy to eat and what to avoid is plays an important role in liver health.
What Helps Your Liver
Drinking lots of water prevents dehydration, helps flush toxins out of your body plus helps your liver to function better.
Maintain a healthy weight. This helps reduces fat in your liver, helps with better liver function, and reduces the risk for fatty liver disease.
Eat a Balanced Diet. The American Liver Foundation recommends, Avoiding high-calorie meals, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates (such as white bread, white rice, and regular pasta), and sugars.
Don’t eat raw or undercooked shellfish. For a well-adjusted diet, eat fiber, which you can obtain from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread, rice, and cereals. Fiber is liver-friendly. Eating food with fiber helps your liver work at an optimal level.
Eat meat (but limit the amount of red meat), poultry, and fish are liver-friendly. Eat dairy (low-fat and small amounts of cheese), and fats (the “good” fats that are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fish.)
Eating smaller meals. Eating smaller portions throughout the day or evening helps your liver not have to work harder. Tip, instead of eating 3 large meals a day, break it down into 5 smaller portions or meals. Healthy snacks are important to keep your blood sugar level and energy up.
Exercise regularly. Exercise helps keep your weight down and muscles toned while burning triglycerides for fuel and reducing fat in the liver. Start with walking. Studies show walking for 10 to 15 minutes consistently helps build up endurance and stamina to increase time and distance.
Be Safe with Medications. Talk to your physician and pharmacist about what over the counter and prescription medications are safe for your liver.
Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, but you can help protect your liver by getting these other vaccines.
What Harms Your Liver
Avoid Alcohol and Smoking.
Avoid Toxins and harmful chemicals.
Avoid Illicit Drugs of all types.
Don’t share personal hygiene items. This increases your risk of hepatitis C transmission.
Practice safe sex. Unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners increases your risk for hepatitis B and C as well as other viruses and infections.
What are you doing to help your liver?
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This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C on April 21, 2021 and is reprinted with permission.