Acute Hepatitis

  • Fitterfly - Team Nutrition

  • Posted On August 28, 2019


Acute hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by infection with one of the 5 hepatitis viruses. In most people, the disease begins suddenly and lasts a few weeks.

What are the common symptoms of acute hepatitis?

Symptoms appear suddenly and usually include – loss of appetite, general feeling of illness, nausea, vomiting, fever. Often patient may experience pain in the upper right part of the abdomen.

What is the importance of diet in hepatitis?

Patient suffering from acute hepatitis usually have poor appetite so they eat less. Side effects of treatment can also include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and sore mouth and throat. Additionally, damaged liver cannot process many nutrients adequately.

A healthy balanced diet can also improve the liver health of a person with hepatitis and reduce the chance of developing complications. Eating well helps build immunity to fight off illness.

How is acute hepatitis treated?

Initial treatment includes supportive care with fluids and electrolyte management, monitoring of nutrition status, and avoidance of hepatotoxic substances such as alcohol. Appetite usually returns to normal after initial few days. Severe restrictions of diet or activity are not needed.

People with hepatitis need to follow a healthy lifestyle and diet to minimize damage to the liver.

What is the ideal hepatitis diet?

Ideal hepatitis diet should contain:

  • Plenty of fruits and vegetables. You should aim to consume at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, and cabbage are good since they lessen fatty acid composition in the liver. However, they contain iron, which may be harmful for those with hepatitis C when consumed in excess. A doctor or dietitian can help you determine the right amount.
  • Adequate amounts of protein are important, as it provides energy. Good sources of protein include lean protein such as fish, skinless chicken, eggs, cheese, beans, nuts and seeds.
  • Complex carbohydrates and are packed with B vitamins and minerals, as well as zinc and fiber.Whole grains such as oats, brown rice, barley, and quinoa are good for health.
  • Healthy fats like those in nuts, avocados, and olive oil
  • Low-fat or non-fat dairy products
  • Ideally for a patient with acute hepatitis, one-quarter of the plate should contain high-fiber carbohydrates like whole grains, one-quarter should contain lean protein sources, and the remaining half should contain fruits and vegetables.
  • You also need to make sure you drink plenty of fluids. Water is best.

What Not to Eat or Drink in Acute Hepatitis?

  • Too much high-calorie greasy, fatty, or sugary food will lead to liver damage.
  • A low-fat, low-cholesterol diet may be helpful.Saturated fats found in butter, ghee, and other high-fat dairy foods, and fried foods should be avoided.
  • Limit intake of sugary treats like cookies, cake, soda, and packaged baked goods.
  • Excessively salty food processed and canned foods, pickles, papads, packet soups, ketchup, sauces etc
  • Alcohol is completely forbidden if you are suffering from acute hepatitis.
  • Avoiding high-iron foods and iron supplements. A low-iron diet helps lower the risk for aggravating viral hepatitis c

If you are suffering from acute hepatitis take special precautions to wash all meats, fruits, and vegetables to remove any potentially harmful residues, and wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling food to prevent cross-contamination.

A healthy balanced diet can help manage acute hepatitis and prevent complications. A doctor or dietitian can help develop a personalized diet plan that works for you.

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Disclaimer: All information here, including text, images, tables, videos and any other content is for your knowledge only and we do not guarantee any specific result by following these recommendations as it may vary from person to person. The information is not a substitute for qualified medical advice from a doctor or other medical health expert.