World Hepatitis Day, is an initiative of the World Health Organisation to create awareness about this liver disease and minimize the burden of hepatitis globally. World Hepatitis Day 2017 is being commemorated under the theme ‘Eliminate Hepatitis’ to act towards the health targets in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. According to their latest report, “Viral hepatitis affected 325 million people worldwide in 2015, with 257 million people living with hepatitis B and 71 million people living with hepatitis C – the two main killers of the five types of hepatitis.”
Hepatitis is a viral infection which causes inflammation in the liver. The most common types of this disease are Hepatitis A, B and C that are causes b viruses and alcoholic hepatitis caused due to excessive alcohol consumption. Hepatitis A is mostly transmitted through contaminated food or water. The World Health Organisation is working with various countries to help them improve access to Hepatitis cure and prevention. Here are some basic facts that you should also keep in mind.
Symptoms of Hepatitis
Though the symptoms may vary from person to person and also according to type of Hepatitis one is infected with, here are some common signs that you should be looking out for. Symptoms of acute Hepatitis tend to occur very quickly while those for chronic hepatitis show up over time.
1. Fatigue and tiredness
2. Cold and flu
3. Dark urine and/or pale stool
4. Sharp pain in the abdominal pain
5. Loss of appetite
6. Yellow skin and eyes which may be signs of jaundice
What to Eat or Avoid if You Have Hepatitis
Acute Hepatitis usually doesn’t require any treatment as it a short-term illness. In some cases, you doctor may advise you to take antiviral medicines. The thumb rule is to get enough rest, drink lots of fluids, get all your nutrients, and avoid alcohol. Besides alcohol, there are some other foods that you should steer clear off.
Gluten may act as an inflammatory agent and can worsen the situation. You also need to stay away from junk food that mostly contain fats, sugars, empty calories, chemicals and additives and provide minimal nutrition. Also, these take longer to digest which can put an extra load on the liver. Leave out white flour (maida) as it is chemically treated and bleached and loses most of its nutrition during the process. Your body needs an extra dose of vitamins and minerals to fight off the infection. Similarly, hydrogenated oils may burden your liver as they need to be broken down and eliminated. Dairy products are liver-friendly as they are hard to digest and so, leave them out for a while. Finally, avoid sugar and fruit juices as it stresses your system and feeds the Hepatitis virus. Also, avoid drinking tap water and make sure you boil it and have it as a preventive measure.
So, what should you be eating? Include healthy foods that give you strength and build your immunity like beans, nuts such as walnuts, green vegetables that can be made into a light soup, fresh fruits like apples, drink plenty of lemon water to keep yourself hydrated and flush out the toxins and you can even sip some herbal tea with warm and healing spices and herbs like cinnamon, ginger, cloves and Tulsi.
If you have chronic hepatitis B or C, then you must consult your doctor instead of self-medicating or following our own diet.
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