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Jaundice Diet

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Jaundice is a very common liver disorder occurring specially in summer. It is a term given to the yellow discoloration of the skin, mucous membranes, sclera and body tissues because of the accumulation of bile pigments. In blood it occurs due to an increase in the bilirubin content of the blood above the normal range.


The red blood cells are broken down in the liver after duration of 120 days. Bilirubin is a byproduct of the daily natural breakdown and destruction of red blood cells. under normal conditions liver cells absorb bilirubin and secrete it along with other bile constituents. If the liver is infected or diseased or the flow of bile is obstructed or if excess bile is produced then it gets accumulated in the blood and eventually causes jaundice.


Jaundice is not a disease but a symptom of some other underlying disease. Person suffering from Jaundice may feel weakness, fever, excessive fatigue, constipation, loss of appetite, yellow coloration of eyes and skin, headache and nausea. If you are suffering from jaundice follow these simple and useful tips:


An increased intake of carbohydrates is required to prevent endogenous breakdown of protein, to increase the glycogen stores to improve the functioning and protect the liver against infectious agents. Cereals like bread, chapatti, suji, oatmeal, Dalia wheat, rice Re good sources of carbohydrates and can be given to the person suffering from jaundice. 


Increased protein intake is required to prevent negative nitrogen balance, adequate tissue regeneration and to prevent fatty infiltration of liver cells. Tonned milk and its products like paneer and curd, lean meat, egg white, fish and chicken are good sources. 


Inclusion of moderate fats should be there, one can add medium chain triglycerides as they are easy to digest.  Homemade butter, cream and coconut oil can be taken. 


Vitamin B complex and vitamin C supplementation should be there. 


Sodium restriction is required if you have water retention. Potassium supplements can be used as they are diuretic. 


Patient should be given complete bed rest till the acute symptoms subside. 


Stop Alcohol as this supply empty calorie and does not contain any vital nutrient. The energy supplied also is lost to a great extent due to the wasteful pathways which alcohol metabolism takes; it causes inflammation of the stomach, pancreas and intestine and interferes with the normal processes of digestion and absorption. Alcohol gets converted to acetaldehyde, which in turn interferes with the activation of vitamins by the liver cells. 


Avoid fried foods, organ meat, red meat, egg yolk, whole pulses and fiber rich cereals, extra salt and baking soda, preserved foods and foods containing salts like papads, chutneys and pickles. 


Take fresh foods and vegetables because these are a very good sources of vitamins and minerals as absorption of these nutrients gets hindered due to malfunctioning of liver so one should take care of their proper intake. 


Take small and frequent meals. 


Take good amount of fluid intake like water, juices, clear soups and coconut water but avoid citrus fruits as they can irritate the stomach. 


Take care of hygiene as this is the main reason for jaundice which causes Hepatitis A. It is caused by the contaminated water and food.

References

•Jaundice By C. A. Goresky, Murray M. Fisher, Canadian Hepatic Foundation

Pooja Sharma

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