12 Healthy Diet Tips for Hepatitis C and Liver Disease

Dealing with liver disease or any chronic illness can be challenging enough and can bring an out of control feeling. Your diet is something you can control. It gives you a sense of being behind the wheel with your health.

The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ is true.  What we eat affects our entire body, especially our liver.  The liver is the powerhouse of the body.  It is the second largest organ and helps with many vital functions.  When our liver is unhealthy, it affects our entire body, even your immune system, which helps you fight disease.

Think of your liver in terms of a highly efficient engine and filter.  What you eat, drink and expose to your body is chemically broken down by your liver and affects your immune system and many other functions of your body.

 

It’s important to eat and drink the right fuel in order to operate effectively. With having Hep C, I learned 12 healthy diet tips for Hepatitis C or any liver disease that help the liver do its jobs and help repair some liver damage.

The American Liver Foundation states that eating an unhealthy diet can even lead to liver disease.  For example, a person who eats a lot of fatty foods is at higher risk of being overweight and having (NAFLD) non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

An unhealthy diet and exposure to dangerous chemicals can do damage to your liver and cause it not to function properly.  Like ‘sludge’ in your gas tank an unhealthy diet can slow down or worse, lead to compromised liver function.

When I was first diagnosed with Hep C over twenty years ago, along with seeing my liver specialist, I saw a registered dietitian for nutritional counseling.  I wanted to know from having Hepatitis C what kind of diet was best.

12 Healthy Diet Tips for Hepatitis C and any liver disease is:

  1.  Eating foods from all food groups in healthy portions such as whole grains, lean proteins, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.
  2. Eating foods with high fiber such as fresh fruits, vegetables, lentils, beans and whole grains are liver healthy foods.  Fiber it up, it’s nature’s broom to help eliminate toxins from the body.
  3.  Eat a well balanced diet, but eat lean proteins from poultry, fish, and plant based proteins.
  4. Limit red meat due to this is harder and takes longer for your system to break it down, plus it can contribute to bloating.
  5. Avoid uncooked shellfish such as oysters and clams or other uncooked meats.
  6. Limit foods and drinks that are high in sugar and salt.
  7. Limit eating high fatty foods.
  8. Limit eating fried or processed foods.
  9. Stay within a healthy weight range because the liver can function better than if we’re over or under weight.
  10. Eating smaller meals throughout the day is also better than large meals.  Your liver has to work harder to break down high fat and larger meals.  This will also help stabilize blood sugar, cravings, and the bloated, sleepy feeling that can come from eating larger meals.
  11. It is best to limit foods that have a lot of sugar and high sodium (salt). High sodium foods and eating too much protein will make you retain fluid and can lead to excess toxins in your blood stream.   Be careful not to limit your protein too much because it can result in a lack of certain amino acids that is essential for your body to function properly.
  12. Drink plenty of pure water, filtered if possible.  Drink at least 64 ounces a day.  Avoid Alcohol.  Alcohol is like throwing gas on a fire with liver disease and increases damage.

 

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Always consult your physician before beginning any treatment program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate treatment plan.

Article Source:  https://www.lifebeyondhepatitisc.com/2015/06/ten-healthy-diet-tips-hepatitis-c-liver-disease-2/

Health Notes: Cervical Cancer Awareness

Article Source: http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/health-notes-cervical-cancer-awareness/article_16981bdf-def0-52d5-97fe-2dc26e88e0cb.html

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With Cervical Health Awareness Month upon us come January, the topic is important, especially in light of the sobering statistics.

“Incidence of cervical cancer has not changed in the last 10 years, with 12,820 new cases estimated in 2017, accounting for 4,210 deaths,” says Dr. Lindsay Kuroki, a Washington University gynecologic oncologist, quoting figures from the American Cancer Society.

Ladue News spoke with Kuroki about cervical health, preventive steps and treatments.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer every three years in women ages 21 to 29 years, and either Pap test screening every three years alone or every five years with human papillomavirus (HPV) testing in women ages 30 to 65 years. Yet many women still have a Pap test every year as part of an annual well-woman exam. What are your thoughts and recommendations regarding Pap test frequency?

The fundamental goal of cervical cancer screening is to prevent morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer. Most Pap abnormalities are related to HPV infections that go away when recognized by women’s immune systems. There’s no benefit to identifying these. Only persistent infections cause cancer. The HPV test is better at detecting these changes so it doesn’t need to be done as often.

Many women and providers want to be safe, so they screen too often. Over-screening leads to harms, such as anxiety, cervical injury and disrupted relationships after diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection. The USPSTF recommendations are a good balance between benefits and harms.

There continues to be controversy surrounding the HPV vaccine, and some parents who are concerned about side effects decline this vaccine for their adolescent children. What would you advise these parents regarding the benefits versus risks of the vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have reviewed the safety information for the prophylactic HPV vaccines and have determined that they are safe and nearly 99 percent effective if administered before first sex, since almost everyone contracts HPV. Serious side effects are rare and similar to other vaccines. Commonly reported symptoms include injection-site reactions such as brief soreness, redness or swelling, dizziness, fainting, nausea, and headache.

Like all vaccines, the HPV vaccine is monitored on an ongoing basis to make sure it remains safe and effective. As a gynecologic oncologist, I advise parents that the HPV vaccine is a rare opportunity to protect their child against HPV-related cancers. HPV causes 30,700 cancers in men and women, and the HPV vaccination can prevent most of the cancers – about 28,000 – from occurring.

For women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer, new treatments have been introduced. What are the most effective new treatments, and how much have they affected cervical cancer survival?

New treatments are exciting, but prevention through vaccination and screening remains the best strategy. The first targeted biologic agent, bevacizumab, plus chemotherapy, helps women with advanced cervical cancer live four months longer. However, considerations of adverse effects, cost and duration of therapy are important to discuss. More recently, immunotherapy research holds promise as a new cervical cancer therapy option.

Are there signs of cervical cancer that women should recognize and see a physician about?

Unfortunately, women with early cervical cancers and pre-cancers typically have no symptoms, which is why adherence to cervical cancer screening is so important. However, those who present with more advanced disease may experience abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, odor, pelvic pain, painful intercourse, lower back pain, unintentional weight loss, or difficulty urinating or having bowel movements.

What’s the most important thing you think our readers should know about cervical cancer?

There are things you can do to minimize your risk of cervical cancer.

Obtain the HPV vaccination at the appropriate age, ideally before exposure to HPV. In 2016, Missouri ranked near the bottom for adolescent HPV vaccination. Only 51.6 percent of adolescents age 13 to 17 years in Missouri received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine, and 35.8 percent were up-to-date with the recommended vaccination series of three shots.

Also, avoid cigarette smoking, which is a risk factor for cervical cancer, keep up to date with your Pap tests and don’t ignore abnormal Pap results.

 

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month.

About 79 million Americans currently have HPV. Many people with HPV are unaware that they are infected. And each year, more than 11,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer.

Most deaths from cervical cancer could be prevented by regular screenings and follow-up care. Cervical cancer screenings can help detect abnormal (changed) cells early, before they turn into cancer.

Take the time to learn more about HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. 

Here are several helpful links to learn more about HPV and cervical cancer prevention.

Cervical Cancer: What to Know.

HPV Vaccination & Cancer Prevention

 

Keep up with Plasma MedResearch through our facebook page. 

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10 Crohn’s Friendly Recipes

Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week

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While what you eat isn’t a surefire way to cause, or cure, Crohn’s disease, certain foods may trigger a flare or make your symptoms worse. Eating a healthy diet can help you manage your nutrition intake, which is especially important during a flare-up. However, knowing which foods to eat or avoid isn’t always easy. Crohn’s disease affects everyone differently, and you’ll need to figure out what works — or doesn’t work — for you. Some common food triggers include spicy, fatty, and gas-producing foods, and many people with Crohn’s need to limit dairy products and high-fiber foods such as whole grains and beans. But that doesn’t mean your diet needs to be bland. Try the following recipes to spice up your meals. If any of the ingredients are known problem foods for you, you can get creative with substitutions.

Click the link below to be transfered to the Everyday Health recipes!

https://www.everydayhealth.com/crohns-disease/diet/crohns-friendly-recipes/#01

SLMA September – Cholesterol Awareness

Article Source: https://www.houmatimes.com/health_and_wellness/slma-september—cholesterol-awareness/article_93f7e882-9242-11e7-9f9b-b337abd6dd90.html

 

Back to school is just around the corner, but September is about more than just new books and school clothes, it’s also Cholesterol Awareness Month. Celebrate the start of fall by learning more about cholesterol and how you can help keep your body healthy.

What is Cholesterol?

We often hear and talk about cholesterol but may not know exactly what it means. Cholesterol actually isn’t a bad thing; it’s a waxy, soft, fat-like substance that our bodies need to produce cell membranes and other important substances. The liver produces the cholesterol needed by the body to function properly. But cholesterol also comes from the food we eat, specifically food from animals, like meat and full-fat dairy. These foods also contain saturated and trans fats which signal your liver to produce more cholesterol. This can result in levels that are too high. Nearly one-third of adults in the United States have high cholesterol levels.

Types of Cholesterol

There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is known as bad cholesterol because it carries particles of cholesterol around your body in the bloodstream and leaves them on the walls of your arteries. This results in build up along the artery walls so they become hard and narrow. On the other hand, HDL is known as good cholesterol because it works to remove cholesterol from your bloodstream, taking it to the liver so it can be broken down. Having high levels of HDL and low levels of LDL is ideal.

Causes of High Cholesterol

A number of factors can influence your cholesterol levels, including the following:

● Obesity – Extra weight increases LDL levels

● Inactivity – Regular physical activity helps lower LDL and increase HDL

● Poor diet – Diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol increase the level of LDL in the bloodstream

● Family genetics – Your genes can impact how much cholesterol your body produces

● Age – Cholesterol levels rise with age

● Gender – Men often have higher cholesterol levels than women before menopause; after menopause, the levels tend to even out

Managing Cholesterol

Whether you have high cholesterol and want to lower your levels or you just want to prevent high cholesterol from developing, it’s important to focus on lifestyle changes. What you eat is an important part of fighting cholesterol, so work toward consuming a heart-healthy diet. Well-balanced diets focused on fiber-rich foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains are key. You should also minimize the amount saturated and trans fats you consume, which are found in foods like meat, full-fat dairy, fried food and store-bought baked goods. Here are some examples of heart-healthy foods to include in your diet:

● Barley

● Oatmeal

● Leafy greens

● Avocado

● Nuts

● Salmon

● Beans

● Eggplant

● Soybeans

● Black tea

● Garlic

Regular physical activity is also important. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days week. Other lifestyle changes can also help lower cholesterol, including reducing stress, losing weight and quitting smoking.

Cholesterol Medication

Managing cholesterol should focus on making lifestyle changes. However, if you are working on changing your lifestyle and are struggling to bring down your cholesterol levels, then talk to your doctor. They may prescribe certain medications, including fibrates, statins and niacin, to help lower cholesterol. These medications may be taken individually or in combination; your doctor will determine what is appropriate for you.

Test Your Cholesterol

Having your cholesterol tested is the only way to know what your levels are like. A simple blood test determines your current levels. The most common cholesterol screening is a lipid profile; it measures the level of fats in your blood, including cholesterol. It’s recommended that people over age 20 get a cholesterol screening at least once every five years, but certain factors make it better for some people to get tested more often. Optimal cholesterol levels are as follows:

● Total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL

● HDL at 60 mg/dL or above

● LDL below 100 mg/dL

Dangers of High Cholesterol

Although it’s usually impossible to determine if you have high cholesterol without a blood test, that doesn’t mean it isn’t impacting your body and health. If left unchecked, high cholesterol can contribute to a number of health problems. The biggest problem is a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries that combines with other substances and leads to the formation of plaque. This buildup of plaque in your arteries is known as atherosclerosis. As the plaque deposits continue to grow, they narrow the space inside your arteries. This restricts the flow of blood. A clot that develops in your bloodstream can easily become stuck in an area where the arteries are narrowed, completely blocking the flow of blood. If your blood can’t carry oxygen to your heart or brain, then a heart attack or stroke will occur.

When to See Your Doctor

It’s important to talk to your doctor about testing your cholesterol levels. Many times you won’t notice high cholesterol until it’s too late. Regular screenings can determine your cholesterol levels so you can take appropriate action if necessary. In addition, if you notice chest pain it’s important to see your doctor right away. This can be a sign that the blood flow to your heart is restricted.

Managing your cholesterol levels is an important part of overall health, particularly heart health. Celebrate Cholesterol Awareness Month by talking to your doctor about getting a cholesterol screening. Then choose a lifestyle change to work on for better heart health.

Everything You Need to Know About the Yellow Fever Vaccine

Article source: http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/yoga-wellness/yellow-fever-vaccine

The Yellow Fever Virus

Yellow fever, a viral hemorrhagic disease caused by the yellow fever virus, affects roughly 200,000 people a year. Though the disease got its start in Africa, outbreaks have occurred as far away as the Yucatan Peninsula and even Philadelphia, where 5,000 people were wiped out during a single epidemic in the 18th century.

Related: What You Need to Know About Vaccines

Typically, yellow fever causes, chills, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and — of course — a fever. It’s certainly not a pleasant way to spend any part of your trip. While most people recover after 3 or 4 days, some experience a second wave of afflictions, which can bring jaundice (hence the name), abdominal pain and vomiting, and bleeding from the mouth, nose, and eyes. In cases where yellow fever has developed past this point, the risk of death is about 50 percent.

Back in the day, yellow fever was no joke. A single outbreak had the power to annihilate huge groups of people in small areas, though the cause of the illness eluded doctors. It wasn’t until the 1900s that they determined yellow fever was transmitted by mosquitoes.

The Yellow Fever Vaccine

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no cure for yellow fever. Instead, patients are treated based on their symptoms (described above), and on their recent travel history.

While a vaccine is recommended for any travel to Africa or South America, other important prevention methods include mosquito nets, wearing clothes that cover the entire body, and using a strong insect repellent with DEET.

The yellow fever vaccine was developed by Max Theiler in the United States, and he won the Nobel Prize for this life-saving contribution. Unlike other vaccines, the yellow fever vaccine is a one-time deal: a single dose provides lifetime immunity. (Travelers who frequently visit at-risk areas should get a booster shot ever 10 years.)

The vaccine can be given to infants as young as 9 months, and is recommended for anyone traveling to certain areas in Africa and South America.

As with most vaccines, an amount of time is needed for the vaccine to work its way through your body, and it’s recommended that you schedule the vaccine appointment 10 days prior to traveling.

The yellow fever vaccine is only offered at designated vaccination centers, and can cost between $150 and $350, depending on availability. Certain countries, including Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, even require a proof of vaccination from all travelers when they arrive — and that certificate is obtained from your doctor after being given the shot.

What, Me Donate Plasma for Research?

The reasons are fairly obvious and straightforward. Research undertaken in the past by committed and forward-thinking people has given us a standard of living and life expectancies that would have been unimaginable not that long ago. It’s easy to take all of this for granted. Treatments for diseases that were deadly and intractable didn’t come out of a vacuum. Every one of us is healthier, happier, and some of us are actually still alive, solely because some nameless people made a commitment to research.

Participation in research studies comes in a few broad categories. Some studies seek only patient records in order to establish trends and extract data on the relative successes and failures of various treatment modalities. Other studies administer investigational drugs to patients in double-blind trials as part of the final phases of their approval. At Plasma MedResearch, LLC, we recruit patients for a third type of study. Our participants donate biospecimens in the form of plasma or blood samples along with various other body tissues and fluids as research requirements dictate. These patients are then compensated for their donation, time and travel, depending on the study and the specimen given.

Why are people reluctant to get involved? There are many reasons ranging from logistics, family/work responsibilities, impaired health, lack of mobility, and privacy concerns. These are all very valid reasons to take a pass on participating. In this day and age people are simply not comfortable having their personal information “out there”. This is understandable. Anyone who works with Plasma MedResearch, LLC, can rest assured that their personal information is protected. We meet and exceed all existing HIPAA and regulatory requirements for the safeguarding of personal information. Our commitment to our donors’ privacy cannot overstated.

We serve biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies, and Universities around the world. Our capabilities include a wide range of disease-state biospecimens, from Arthritis to Zika. People who consider donating often ask to know what research institution will be using their specimen and the exact nature of the study. Although this is a great question, it is not possible to answer. Regulations require a strict de-linking between donor and researcher. The most important part of this that researchers cannot know any identifying information about the person who provided the specimen. This is a critical protection for the donor. But, as a consequence, the donor cannot be privy to information about the people and company(ies) doing the actual research.

The selfless act of donating a specimen to a particular research study will have a positive ripple effect down through the generations, improving the quality of life on planet Earth.