a woman holds a grocery with healthy produce as over-sized leaves of kale swirl around her and a liver

Supporting Your Immune System

Fighting hep C can be tough on our bodies, both internally and physically. Hep C is a serious disease that needs to be taken seriously. When I first found out about my hep C, I felt like I was a beaten down woman with no energy, I bruised easy and to top it off, I seemed to catch every cold and flu out there. I was at my wits end, trying to figure out what was wrong with me.

My experience with hep C symptoms

So, when the diagnosis of hep C came, I understood that this was serious and yes, my body was fighting something. My muscles hurt, my joints hurt, and my mind felt as though I was losing it. I could not think clearly, I could not perform my normal tasks I had been doing for years at my job. To top it off, I couldn't remember anything without writing it down. I was worn down.

What my doctor recommended

It was not until 5 years after my diagnosis that my liver doctor, who became my saving grace with my cure, sat me down and explained that my body was weak and I needed to do all I can to protect it from outside viruses and colds. He suggested I avoid large group settings where the potential to be exposed to colds, flus, etc. I was told to clean up my diet, where I would now be eating more vitamin-enriched foods, instead of taking over-the-counter vitamins. I began implementing this regime as soon as I left his office. After all, I was now stage 4 in my liver progression and I needed to be onboard with his recommendations to ensure my health be the best I could get it before starting any treatment.

Changing my diet to support my liver health

I began eating more fruits that were high in vitamin C, broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, peppers (all colors), strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, and papayas. Vitamin B was also recommended (in natural food form, not supplement), including dark, leafy greens, whole grains, eggs, cheese, and meats (chicken, fish are best for the liver - red meats are hard for a damaged liver to process). Seeds such as sunflower and almond, as well as kale. Kale was like a miracle food for my liver. It is high in calcium (liver disease robs our bodies of bone density and muscle) and vitamins C and K, and high in fiber and antioxidants. Antioxidants are what filter the bad toxins from our bodies - kale does this naturally.  And with bad livers not able to filter our bodies, we must give and supply it nutrients to help do this naturally.

Lessons learned

With a weakened body now because of hep c and its damage, we must do all we can naturally to help it out. Over the counter agents such as various supplements or the “cure all" regimes advertised only hurt our livers more. Be creative on how you cook these amazing foods. I will say this - I hated kale and it took me a very long time to accept it as my meal plan, but since I have, I do now like it and can tell when I have slacked on eating healthy. My body feels it and my immune system does as well. I hear that TV commercial in my head when I shop for vegetables now, "GREEEN GIANT". I smile and know I am aiding in my liver healing.

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