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The Best Diet When You Have Hepatitis A, B or C

Stephen Holt, MD, PhD, FACP December 28, 2018

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What can you eat when you have hepatitis A? Is there a special hepatitis A diet you must follow? Get the full scoop on what foods you should eat and those you should avoid if you have hepatitis A, B or C.
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There are several distinctly different known variations of hepatitis, from hepatitis A to hepatitis G – each with their own set of symptoms, causes, and treatments. Thus, the best diet for each is slightly different.

In general:

  • refined sugars
  • saturated fats
  • and alcohol are bad for ALL types of hepatitis.

This is because they are difficult for your liver to process.

However, figuring out what to eat, and getting past nausea, a common symptom of hepatitis, can be a complicated task.

With so many variations of hepatitis, we will focus on hepatitis A, B, and C in this article, are they are easily the most common types of hepatitis.

What Can I Eat When I Have Hepatitis A?

On the hepatitis A diet front, full avoidance of alcohol is highly recommended along with the usual suspects, including refined sugars, high fat foods, salts, and saturated fats.

However, drastic changes to one’s diet may not necessarily make a difference to someone with hepatitis A. That’s because a vaccine for hepatitis A exists, with most cases only lasting between two weeks to two months and leaving no lasting liver damage.

What Should I Eat if I Have Hepatitis B?

As far as diet goes:

  1. Vegetables
  2. Fruits
  3. Whole grains
  4. Lean meats and proteins
  5. Healthy fats like those from nuts, avocados, and olive oil are best.

Eating clean is a good way to take unnecessary stress off of your liver and give it the best chance to fight the hepatitis B virus.

Different herbs have also been used for showing mild protective and preventive qualities against hepatitis B and liver damage such as dandelion, milk thistle and ginseng. Mistletoe, licorice, germanium and danshen have also been used along with many others.

Clinical LiverSupport offers comprehensive liver care.

Sourcing and actually incorporating each of these beneficial herbal liver aids may prove a cumbersome task, but can be circumvented by adding an herbal supplement to your diet that contains multiple herbs and nutrients for your liver in one place. Natural Wellness’s Clinical LiverSupport is one such supplement.

What Should I Eat if I Have Hepatitis C?

In building your diet to fight hepatitis C infection, putting the least amount of strain on your liver is the goal while still getting all of the nutrients you need to promote normal bodily function. A strong liver also keeps your body strong enough to fight off illness.

Right off the bat, we can eliminate alcohol. Not doing so is, in essence, throwing fuel on the hepatitis fire.

Refined sugars and foods high in salt and fat also put unnecessary strain on your liver, so avoiding them can greatly increase your body’s chance of ridding itself of hepatitis.

The U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs also chimes in adding, “…good diet, by contrast, can actually improve liver health in a person(s) with hepatitis C. A balanced diet can lead to better liver functioning and lowered risk of cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver.”

Another helpful tip is eating smaller meals with slightly more frequency. With hepatitis C, eating a small meal once every few hours, as opposed to two or three large meals every day can lessen the workload of your liver.

For a more comprehensive look at what foods you should eat, which you should avoid, as wells as tips on healthy eating habits, visit A Basic Diet for Hepatitis.

Conclusion

Don't drink alcohol, no matter what type of hepatitis you have.

  1. Whether you have hepatitis A, B, or C, it’s safe to say, don’t drink alcohol.
  2. Take it easy on your liver by eating vegetables, fruits, healthy fats like those found in nuts, avocados and olive oil, and go for lean proteins like fish, chicken and lots of legumes.
  3. Try eating less, and more frequently, to alleviate stress on your liver.
  4. Also making sure you’re getting all the herbs, vitamins, and nutrients that protect and fortify your liver should be a prerogative.

With hepatitis C being the most prevalent and most traumatic of the 3, it warrants the most change if you don’t already have a well-suited diet to fight the infection. Hepatitis B would warrant slightly less dramatic steps than hepatitis A, calling for few, if any, dietary changes.

With nausea as a symptom of all types of hepatitis, eating right can be an even bigger hurdle, especially while avoiding some of the more flavorful cooking ingredients like fats and sugars.

Stocking up on low-fat versions of things can be a good compromise and decent way to fight nausea and stay healthy. Another trick is eating a plain cracker or biscuit before a meal to prime your stomach for food and potentially kick-start your appetite.

Treat you liver well, and remember, before trying anything, consult your physician, especially if you’re already diagnosed with hepatitis A, B, or C.

https://aasldpubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/hep.1840120505, AASLD, “Fatty liver hepatitis (steatohepatitis) and obesity: An autopsy study with analysis of risk factors,” written by Dr. Ian R. Wanless, John S. Lentz, Published November 1990, Retrieved November 3rd 2018

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/cfaq.htm, Centers For Disease Control, “Hepatitis C Questions and Answers for the Public,” Retrieved November, 3rd 2018

https://www.hepatitis.va.gov/patient/daily/diet/single-page.asp, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “Hepatitis C Questions and Answers for the Public,” Retrieved November 3rd, 2018

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hepatitis-a/symptoms-causes/syc-20367007, The Mayo Clinic, Hepatitis A Symptoms and Causes, Retrieved November 3rd, 2018

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