Under typical conditions, the liver has a unique capacity to heal itself. Unfortunately, there is a risk of lasting injury. This busy organ will benefit greatly from a good diet and a healthy lifestyle.
If your HIV medications are causing liver damage, you may be able to switch to another medication. This may not be feasible for everyone. It’s critical to strike a balance between the necessity of HIV medications and the risk of liver damage. Consult your physician so that you may make the best choice possible. There are a variety of things you can do to protect your liver from harm, aid in its healing, and improve its function.
Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages or using illegal drugs. Cirrhosis may be caused by excessive drinking (scarring) Many HIV treatments, as well as other medications, should not be used with alcohol. If you have hepatitis, you should avoid alcohol totally. Some illegal substances might harm your liver. Hepatitis testing is available. Hepatitis A (HAV) and B (HBV) are two types of hepatitis (HBV) If you test negative for HAV and HBV, get vaccinated. If you test positive, speak to your doctor about treatment options. Hepatitis C is a virus that infects the liver (HCV)
There is no immunization if you test negative. Prevent contact with contaminated blood or needles to avoid contracting the HCV virus. If you test positive for HIV or HCV, it’s critical that your doctor keeps track of both infections and provides appropriate care and treatment. Even in persons living with HIV, HCV may be effectively treated, and there are numerous new and effective HCV medications available that have fewer adverse effects than prior regimens. Unlike HIV, HCV may be cured with proper therapy. See our fact sheet on Hepatitis C Treatment for additional information about HCV treatment.
Consume nutritious foods and engage in physical activity. Maintain a healthy body weight by eating well and exercising regularly. Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables, particularly dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale, and collard greens) as well as orange and red fruits and vegetables (such as oranges, beets, carrots)
Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water.
High-fat dairy products, hydrogenated vegetable oils, deep-fried meals, and fatty meats should all be avoided. Vitamins and supplements should be used with caution.
If you have liver illness, avoid taking excessive dosages of vitamin A or carotenoids (beta-carotene). Iron supplementation should be avoided. To treat liver issues, herbal remedies such as milk thistle (silymarin) have been frequently employed. Some herbs are toxic to the liver, while others interact with HIV medications. If you’re using any herbs or supplements, it’s crucial to let your doctor know.
When your liver is damaged, it is unable to carry out all of its essential duties. Because there may be no evident indications of liver disease, it is important to have frequent physician visits and lab testing to monitor your liver health. Consult your doctor to determine which HIV medications are best for you and your liver. Furthermore, an adequate diet and a healthy lifestyle will help to sustain this active organ.
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