Hepatitis B Diet
Maintaining a Healthy Weight as Part of a Hepatitis B DietWeighing either too much or too little can allow hepatitis B to progress more quickly in your body. But what is a healthy weight? Body mass index (BMI) is a measurement that can help you calculate your healthy weight range (see BMI Calculator to determine your BMI).
If your BMI is under 20 or over 30, ask your healthcare provider to refer you to a dietitian, who can create a diet to help you reach a healthier weight.
As explained above, overweight people sometimes develop fatty deposits in the liver (called "fatty liver") and have abnormal liver test results. Being overweight also can put you at a higher risk of:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia)
- Some cancers.
But people who lose weight slowly can reverse these changes. Keeping off extra weight can improve your liver enzymes and fibrosis, even though the hepatitis B virus is still in your body. You should avoid fad diets, however, since losing weight too quickly can put strain on the liver.
Exercise is important, and not just because it helps to keep your weight down. Exercise can help:
- Improve your appetite
- Relieve some of the side effects of hepatitis B medications, if you are taking them
- Boost your immune system
- Improve your sense of well-being.
Try to do 10-minute blocks of exercise throughout the day. Low-impact exercises such as walking or swimming are the best. Participate at a comfortable level, take rest breaks, and increase your activity level slowly (15 to 30 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week). Start with a 10-minute walk.
Remember, if you are overweight, it is important that you begin an exercise routine and start eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.