Fatigued, feverish and that yellow hue? Jaundice has struck. It is important to take a proper diet to recover from jaundice fully
Not many of us know that jaundice is not a disease, but more of a symptom that indicates trouble with the liver or pancreas, gall bladder or red blood cells. Although jaundice is not that common in adults, there are some reasons it occurs
- Hepatitis: Due to a viral infection, the liver cannot metabolise bilirubin. It thus appears as a yellow colouration on the skin, mucous membranes and in the whites of the eyes.
- Liver Damage: Alcohol, drugs or other toxins can damage the liver and impact its metabolic capacity.
- Blocked Bile Ducts: Liver produces a fluid called bile, which is stored in the gall bladder. This bile helps in the breakdown and digestion of fats in the small intestine. The small tubes that take the bile from the liver to the gall bladder and then to the intestines are called bile ducts. Blockage of these ducts, for example, because of stones, leads to jaundice.
- Pancreatic or liver cancer: The worst case scenario, is when jaundice is caused by cancer of the pancreas or the liver.
In any case, jaundice cannot be taken lightly. See a doctor immediately if you think you have jaundice. While the treatment goes on, a jaundice patients’ diet is critical.
Diet to recover from Jaundice
Eating a healthy, low fat, low protein, high fluid, rich carbohydrate diet will help your liver recover quickly. Meats, pulses, butter or ghee, put a strain on an anyway affected organ. So these foods must be avoided. Doctors and nutritionists recommend increasing the intake of following substances to hasten recovery of the liver.
A weak liver is not flushing out toxins. Water is known to be a great toxic remover. While the intake of water should be increased, a jaundice patient might feel nauseous or even bloated if plain water is force fed. Lemon water with honey and some salt should help flush out toxins and boost immunity. Complement that with green tea, which may lower the overall fat content of the body. The antioxidants of the green tea will help flush out toxins as well. Coconut water is pure elixir and helps cure constipation as well. Sugarcane juice helps flush out toxins and boost liver functions. Juice of radish & papaya leaves is also considered beneficial.
Foods high in soluble fibre must be included in the diet. The fibre helps move bile out of the liver and reduce toxicity in the body. Oats, vegetables, brown rice, millets are high on fibre.
Several fruits have natural digestive enzymes which can help reduce bilirubin content in the blood. Grapes, pineapple, papaya, avocado are suitable for the liver. Blueberries and cranberries help minimise liver damage.
Foods to Avoid in Jaundice
Reduced liver function during jaundice, impacts the bile production. Hence fats are difficult to digest and best avoided. So no butter, ghee, junk food, chips or sodas. Alcohol is a big no. Meats will be difficult to digest as well and may lead to toxicity, so stick to a vegetarian diet. Reduce salt and sugar intake. Food high in starch like breads, rotis should be avoided. Avoid beans and legumes, which increase the nitrogen level of the body and put stress on the liver. Avoid eggs, caffeine and dairy products.
Diet Chart for Jaundice
Keeping the dos and don’ts of consumption in mind, we have prepared a simple diet chart to follow. An important thing to remember is not to have big meals, instead eat small meals at regular intervals.
Remember to take rest and recuperate fully. If symptoms persist or new complications arise, do not hesitate or delay consulting a doctor.
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