Help! I'm a Hepatitis Patient who’s Unable to Lose Weight

Why is it Important for a Hepatitis Patient to Lose Weight?

In general, everything a person drinks or eats passes through the liver, though in micro form. As a body organ, its primary function is to turn nutrients into chemicals and stored energy. The liver makes all nutrients available. In turn, these nutrients become beneficial in building cells, giving energy and maintaining normal body functions.

Your Diet and Liver

Having a bad diet can result in liver problems at some times.

  A diet that comes with too much calories can lead to weight gain and being overweight is connected to fat buildup in the liver, which is referred to as fatty liver. Developing a fatty liver is bad enough. For Hepatitis C patients, this can cause the development of cirrhosis. A fatty liver is also seen as a condition that eliminates the chances of a Hepatitis C patient from being cleared of it even with the use of ribavirin and interferon medications.

A bad diet contains toxins harmful to your liver. The unfortunate thing about this is some of these toxins immediately act. For instance, eating poisonous mushrooms not only causes liver failure for these patients. It’s likely to lead to death within just days. However, there are other toxins that act on and cause damage to the liver over time, like alcohol.

But with a balanced diet, you’ll be able to gain health benefits. It includes improving the health of your liver, which is beneficial for those with hepatitis C.

With a good diet that allows you to throw away obesity, you’ll expect a better functioning liver and a lessened risk of cirrhosis. The immune system becomes stronger and can fight off illnesses.

Patients with this type of hepatitis are known to be highly at risk of diabetes. But this risk can be reduced with the help of a healthy diet.

A healthy diet can control blood sugar and reduce body fat, which helps in lessening the risk to develop diabetes. A good diet may not specifically act as a treatment for hepatitis. But it’s helpful in protecting the liver from getting infected with hepatitis C. Pair this with a normal and healthy BMI and exercise, and liver inflammation can be reduced and deterred from progressing to a more severe condition. But the exact opposite will happen if you’re overweight.

The Connection between Hepatitis C and Being Overweight

So, what if you’re overweight and are unable to achieve weight loss after some time now? What are the possible things you can do? What can overweight lead to if you’re unable to reach the normal BMI (body mass index)?

For patients of certain types of hepatitis, it’s important to keep their weight within an ideal range. The thing is: some of them may have difficulty reaching that healthy weight level. But it’ll help to work on achieving at least a 10 percent loss of the current weight.

Losing that percentage of weight can especially prevent the condition from developing into other health problems related to too much fat.

Hepatitis C and overweight mustn’t be combined since that would only lead to long term problems. Treatments for the condition may become less effective as well if you’re overweight. Being overweight can lead to being at risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancer and high blood pressure. Fortunately, all these can be prevented from developing by remembering the following:

Eating Habits

A diet is recommended if you’re to lose weight and prevent all problems related to having too much fat in the body. However, FAD diets aren’t included in this since those can only strain your liver if you lose weight too quickly.

A special diet isn’t necessarily recommended for hepatitis C patients. Patients with this condition only need to ensure eating balanced meals regularly and maintaining a healthy intake of calories. It helps to eat whole-grain breads and cereals and grains as well. Fruits and vegetables shouldn’t be forgotten and patients need to consume a lot of it. Protein is necessary also, but it only has to be consumed adequately. If you’re a patient with hepatitis C, it’s essential that you control your consumption of salty, sugary and fatty foods. Above all, don’t forget to drink enough water and other healthy fluids.

The Role of Exercise for Hepatitis Patients

Exercising is helpful in keeping weight down, but that’s not the only role it has for hepatitis patients. Following dietary schedules helps in improving appetite, along with relieving certain side effects of medications for hepatitis C. It helps in boosting the immune system and improving your overall well-being. To achieve weight loss and to maintain a healthy weight through exercising, try low-impact exercising. Your workout routine may include walking for 10 minutes every day while increasing the activity level you’re practicing gradually.

It’s essential for overweight hepatitis patients to have an exercise routine and a healthy and well-balanced diet. However, to ensure your safety, it’s best to talk to your physician first before anything else. It would also help to avoid alcohol since that can only start damaging your liver.


Iwasa M, Iwata K, Kaito M, et. al. Efficacy of long-term dietary restriction of total calories, fat, iron, and protein in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus. Nutrition. 2004 Apr;20(4):368-71.

Núñez M, Miralles C, Berdún MA, Role of weight-based ribavirin dosing and extended duration of therapy in chronic hepatitis C in HIV-infected patients: the PRESCO trial. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2007 Aug;23(8):972-82.

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