Healthy Liver Tips
People living with chronic hepatitis B infection may or may not need drug treatment. But there are many other things patients can do to protect their liver and improve their health. Below is our list of the top 10 healthy choices that can be started today!
- Schedule regular visits with your liver specialist or health care provider to stay on top of your health and the health of your liver.
- Get the Hepatitis A vaccine to protect yourself from another virus that attacks the liver.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking since both will hurt your liver, which is already being injured by the hepatitis B virus.
- Talk to your provider before starting any herbal remedies or vitamin supplements because some could interfere with your prescribed hepatitis B drugs or even damage your liver. Read more.
- Check with your pharmacist about any over-the-counter drugs (e.g. acetaminophen, paracetamol) or non-hepatitis B prescription drugs before taking them to make sure they are safe for your liver since many of these drugs are processed through your liver.
- Avoid inhaling fumes from paint, paint thinners, glue, household cleaning products, nail polish removers, and other potentially toxic chemicals that could damage your liver.
- Eat a healthy diet of fruit, whole grains, fish and lean meats, and lot of vegetables. “Cruciferous vegetables” in particular -- cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower -- have been shown to help protect the liver against environmental chemicals.
- Limit foods and drinks with added sugars including sodas, fruit juices, desserts, packaged snacks and other foods that contain added sugar.
- Limit foods containing saturated fats including fatty cuts of meat and foods fried in oil.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked shellfish (e.g. clams, mussels, oysters, scallops) because they could be contaminated with a bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus, which is very toxic to the liver and could cause a lot of damage.
- Check for signs of mold on nuts, maize, corn, groundnut, sorghum, and millet before using these foods. Mold is more likely to be a problem if food is stored in damp conditions and not properly sealed. If there is mold, then the food could be contaminated by “aflatoxins,” which are a known risk factor for liver cancer.
- Reduce your stress levels by eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of rest.
Keep in mind everything you eat, drink, breathe, or absorb through the skin is eventually filtered by the liver. So protect your liver and your health.