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Liver care: A healthy lifestyle for Hepatitis B patients

Liver care. (photo grabbed from fitness.com)

“People with chronic hepatitis B should make lifestyle choices that will help them live healthy,” said Dr. Eternity Labio, Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist during the General Assembly of the Yellow Warriors Society of the Philippines last 18 February 2012.

During her lecture, Dr. Labio emphasized the importance of having a healthy lifestyle among Hepatitis B patients to give their livers a break – a chance to heal, a chance to rebuild and a chance for new liver cells to grow.

Healthy lifestyle means avoiding bad habits that can directly affect the liver. This includes drinking alcohol, smoking and exposure to environmental pollutants such as fumes from paints and other aerosols.

The liver is the second largest organ of the body.  It plays a vital role in regulating life processes. It refines and detoxifies everything a person eats, breathes, and absorbs through the skin. It helps digest food and absorbs important nutrients, neutralizes and destroys poisonous substances and helps the body resist infections.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Whenever the liver is inflamed or damaged, its functions are directly affected. “Thus, Hepatitis B patients must double the effort to stay healthy by avoiding everything that damages the liver. There is no special diet for chronic hepatitis B, but good nutrition in the form of a balanced diet may help liver cells to regenerate. Proper nutrition is an essential part of treatment,” explained Dr. Labio.

Meanwhile, the Hepatitis Foundation International warns Hepatitis B patients to be watchful on protein and calories intake. Too much daily protein may cause hepatic encephalopathy. This will occur when the amount of dietary protein is greater than the liver’s ability to use the protein. Excess calories in the form of carbohydrates, on the other hand, can also add liver dysfunctions and can cause fat deposits in the liver.

“With proper nutrition or balanced diet, regular exercises, enough rest, regular consultation with experts as well as good attitude and prayers – the burden of the disease will be alleviated, giving patients hope that life must go on,” said Dr. Labio.

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