New Delhi: Every year on 28 July, World Hepatitis Day is commemorated to raise awareness of viral hepatitis and its impact on global health. The primary goal of this day is to promote hepatitis prevention, testing, and treatment while also showing support for people impacted by the disease. Viral hepatitis is still a silent killer, claiming many lives each year. The goal of World Hepatitis Day is to raise public awareness of the disease and the steps that must be taken to improve efforts in the prevention, screening, and control of viral hepatitis.
In this article, health experts have provided their views on how yoga and meditation can give one relief from hepatitis and also the benefits of physical exercise and the proper diet required that will help a person get cured soon.
Table of Contents
Yoga and Meditation for Hepatitis Patients: Enhancing Well-Being and Mindfulness
Yoga can be a helpful adjuvant treatment for hepatitis if taken under expert guidance. Yoga techniques may promote the body’s natural healing processes, aid in reducing stress, and enhance general well-being when used in conjunction with appropriate medical care. The following are some ways that yoga can be used to control hepatitis shared by Dr. Manoj Kutteri, CEO & Medical Director, Atmantan Wellness Centre:
1. Patients with hepatitis may feel more stressed and anxious as a result of their condition. With its emphasis on breath work, meditation, and relaxation methods, yoga can help people feel less stressed and more in control of their emotions.
2. Practising easy yoga poses can help increase strength, flexibility, and balance without putting too much stress on the liver. Gentle twists and forward bends help stimulate the abdominal organs, potentially improving the condition of the liver. Yoga practices frequently include specific breathing techniques and physical postures that can improve blood flow. Improved circulation makes it easier for nutrients and oxygen to reach organs, including the liver.
3. Some yoga positions and breathing exercises (Pranayama) are supposed to enhance the body’s main means of liver detoxification since the liver is already in charge of this process. Because every person’s situation is different, it is important to pay attention to your body and avoid going beyond what it can handle. Modify or skip a position or exercise if it makes you uncomfortable.
4. Spend some time each day engaging in mindful breathing exercises. Close your eyes, take a comfortable seat or lie down, and concentrate on your breathing. Pay attention to how you breathe in and out without attempting to influence it. If your thoughts stray, softly refocus on your breathing. The nervous system can be calmed and stress can be reduced by this technique. Choose gentle yoga forms like Hatha yoga, Yin yoga, or Restorative yoga.
5. Avoid activities that are excessively demanding on the body or that could strain the liver. Practice mindfulness by remaining in the moment when doing yoga or meditation. Without comparing yourself to others, accept where you are in your practice.
6. Body Scan Meditation also helps you gradually direct your focus to various body areas while observing any sensations or stress without passing judgment. With each body component in mind, begin from the top of your head and gently descend to your toes. This routine can encourage relaxation and make you more aware of any uncomfortable regions.
Benefits of Physical Activity And Exercise for Liver Health:
Dr. Hrishikesh Ashok, BAMS, MS (Ayurveda), Chief Ayurveda Consultant at Naad Wellness listed out the benefits of physical activity and exercise for liver health. They are as follows:
- Improve blood flow to the liver.
- Decrease liver inflammation.
- Reduce hepatic fat content through
- Improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness, peripheral insulin sensitivity or resistance, liver fatty acid metabolism, liver mitochondrial function and activation of inflammatory cascades.
In addition to that, he also shared some ways to manage stress for patients suffering from hepatitis:
A patient can undergo Naturopathy and Ayurveda treatments like Shirodhara, Thalam, Ayurvedic Internal Medications, Enema etc.
Also, a healthy and balanced diet is extremely important for such patients.
"This includes leafy green vegetables, fresh fruits, probiotics, Nuts and seeds. Avoid inflammatory foods and drinks such as refined sugars, refined oils, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, smoking, processed foods, less coffee, tea, salt and caffeinated beverages. Stay hydrated and eat small meals. Don’t skip meals when recovering from hepatitis," he added.
Healthy Eating Habits For People Suffering From Hepatitis:
Since the liver is one of the most important organs involved in maintaining nutritional homeostasis, the impairment of liver function frequently causes various types of malnutrition. In other words, the Liver is the seat of metabolism in the body. Whatever food we consume, after digestion passes through the liver and it processes the food into various components.
As we all know, a healthy liver makes glycogen from the carbs we eat. This glycogen is then broken down when the body needs energy. A damaged liver cannot do this. Without glycogen, more carbs are needed to make sure the body has sufficient energy. Therefore, Dietary or Nutritional support can rejuvenate inadequate liver function and improve the prognosis in patients with liver damage.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that is caused by a variety of infectious viruses and non-infectious agents leading to a range of health problems, some of which can be fatal. There are many types of hepatitis virus - some without any serious problems, while others can be chronic. While they all cause liver disease, they differ in important ways like the severity of the illness, and prevention methods.
Nutritionist Harleen Gill says, "The objective of the hepatitis diet is not to put more pressure on your liver, which is already inflamed. You may need to revise your diet based on your diagnosis and also give the nutrition to your body that it requires."
Here are certain things that she suggested:
Include protein and carbohydrates: A diet rich in protein is essential for tissue repair, and to cure malnutrition and muscle wasting. Too much protein will increase the amount of ammonia in the blood and too little can reduce the healing process. The amount of protein depends on the liver’s ability to metabolise. In some cases, like cirrhosis, where the Ascites stage occurs, a high protein diet with low sodium would be suitable. Lentils, beans, nuts, tofu, bitter gourds, bottle gourds, radish, carrots and potatoes are good sources of protein and energy.
Fat intake: Intake of fat should be restricted as its mobilisation in the liver is affected and can lead to problems like fatty deposits in the liver, fatty inflammation and so on. Medium-Chain Triglycerides [MCT] are advised in such cases- coconut oil is a good source.
Fruits and vegetables: They provide your body with vitamins and minerals imp for your body. Consuming fibre-rich foods also helps in decreasing your intake of less healthy foods as they are filling.
Foods to strengthen the liver: Egg yolks, red peppers, garlic, onions, broccoli, sesame seeds, whole grains and beans - they are known to protect the liver.
Soybeans, fish, peanuts, cauliflower, lettuce, lentils, chickpeas, brown rice, sunflower seeds, almonds, and nutritional yeast are required to metabolite fats in the body.
Foods that contain vitamin C and Vitamin E such as strawberries, papaya, spinach, mangoes, peppers, broccoli, kale, walnuts, tomatoes, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables are important as an antioxidant to protect and treat a damaged liver.
In addition to these, Harleen further went on to share some simple tips for maintaining a healthy liver:
- Prefer small meals rather than large three meals.
- Avoid junk food, processed food, alcohol, smoking, and carbonated drinks.
- Do not include excess salt and sugar in your diet.
- Avoid sour fruits- lemons, oranges.
- Use low-fat cooking methods.
- Include healthy plant-based fats- olive, sunflower and avocado oils in moderation that are associated with health benefits.
- Learn to add homemade healthy juices and smoothies.
- Drink a lot of water to flush out the toxins from the body but not in the case of ascites.
Healthy eating recommendations are important for everyone, but choosing nutritious foods is especially important if you are managing Chronic Hepatitis.