How to help your body
Here are some things you can do when living with Hepatitis B to help your body that will improve your overall wellbeing. Also see the websites suggested on the right for more information on making such lifestyle changes. If you have been diagnosed as having acute Hepatitis B, then some of these suggestions will also help you feel better – along with getting plenty of rest.
It is well known that alcohol is harmful to your liver. With Hepatitis B also affecting the liver it is a good idea to substantially reduce your alcohol consumption, or if you can, stop drinking alcohol completely. This keeps liver damage to an absolute minimum.
Many recreational drugs are either harmful to your liver or can cause your liver to have to work harder, therefore putting it under more stress and making it less capable of dealing with the virus.
It is much easier for the liver to process plenty of fruit and vegetables, good carbohydrates and proteins, than fried, salty and sugary foods. You can also help the liver to flush toxins away by drinking lots of water and cutting down on caffeine. In terms of vitamins and minerals, people with Hepatitis B are encouraged to achieve the UK recommended intake. There is no evidence to support taking vitamins and minerals in excess of these amounts. There is currently much debate and research happening worldwide about possible benefits of Vitamin D supplementation for those affected by viral hepatitis and/or liver disease.
There are many benefits to taking regular exercise including energy gain, weight loss and the feel good factor. All of these can make a big difference to helping with Hepatitis B. Exercise shouldn’t be exhausting though. People with Hepatitis B are encouraged to take mild to moderate exercise. Even going for a walk every day may help boost your immune system and help you sleep at night. Don’t think of it as a chore, rather as an opportunity to try a new hobby like Tai Chi or Yoga. Remember if you are receiving treatment for Hepatitis B, your capacity for exercise may be less.
Getting a good night's sleep is important for everyone but particularly if you suffer from a long term illness such as viral hepatitis. There is a lot of research which shows that sleeping less than 6 hours a night can significantly increase your chances of various serious health conditions. For help with sleep visit the National Sleep Foundation website.
The benefits of stopping smoking are clear. However, it is much easier said than done. Like some drugs and alcohol, the addictive qualities of tobacco mean that coming off it can be very stressful. If you feel ready to quit, your doctor will be happy to give as much help as possible.