Jaundice, as we all know is characterized by the yellowing of the skin and the white or sclera of the eyes. However medically considering, jaundice is not considered a disease but is a sort of sign that signifies many other different diseases.
In simple terms, it can be said that jaundice is a result of some infection or the other in our liver, and that is what forces the liver to work abnormally. When the normal function of our liver gets disturbed, there are deposits of bile pigment in excess, which in turn results in the skin of the sufferer turning yellow, and that is not something normal.
The most important fact is, that the treatment of jaundice in time is crucial and this is where a jaundice diet is one of the most critical aspects of the entire treatment process. But if you have jaundice and you have been recommended a jaundice diet, you must know about the diet in advance.
The jaundice diet, is very different from the cure of the problem, and this is all because, the diet is designed to slow the accumulation of all waste products in your blood, which in turn gives your liver more time to heal, while the treatment carries on simultaneously.
What causes jaundice?
The major jaundice causes are the high levels of the chemical bilirubin in our blood. Depending on the concentration or level of this chemical, the yellowing of our skin and the eyes vary, when the chemical levels are very high, the skin and the eyes may appear brown and not yellow.
it is the red blood cells are responsible for bilirubin, and when these cells get older, they naturally get destroyed, but since these cells are also the carrier of hemoglobin (iron content) that carries oxygen in the blood, this chemical is released from the worn our aged and destroyed cells. When the iron is removed, the remaining content is the bilirubin.
Jaundice is a result of too many RBCs (Red Blood Cells) getting destroyed at the same time and the waste is too very much for the liver to be removed. Also, if your liver is weak or damaged and it malfunctions, it is not totally fit to remove the bilirubin in the blood, and thereby, it starts accumulating, resulting in blockages in the bile duct, and further decreasing the flow of the bile and the bilirubin.
Summing it up, the major jaundice causes that may result in jaundice are:
Blockage in the bile ducts:
Jaundice can be a result of irritation in the gallstones and the liver, because of obstructions in the bile ducts.
Bloodsucking virus and diseases:
This happens when the liver is unable to perform properly due to blood-sucking viruses and diseases.
Due to hemolytic anemia:
This can be inborn and also when the red blood corpuscles do not function properly.
The common symptoms of jaundice can be characterized by:
- Fever and headache
- Extreme weakness
- Yellowing of the skin, urine, tongue, and eyes
- Constipation that could be severe
- Severe loss of appetite
- Pain in the liver area
Jaundice treatment food
The jaundice diet is a valuable component of the whole treatment process for jaundice. This is actually because of the fact, that it is our liver that processes everything that we eat and drink. The liver is responsible for the absorption of nutrients from the foods we eat and converting them into energy. It is our liver that removed toxins, damaged cells, and all unwanted material from the body, but when this functionality of the liver is disrupted, it may result in the bilirubin building up, resulting in jaundice. A proper diet that consists of appropriate jaundice treatment food, allows the liver to function effectively and clear the unwanted toxins from the body.
Jaundice food to eat majorly should consist of the following:
1. Fruits and vegetables
Though fruits with digestive enzymes are considered the best during jaundice, eating a variety is important. Grapefruit, Brussel sprouts, Avocado, Mustard greens, and Grapes are the best.
Fruits and vegetables contain soluble fibers and this fiber is best for moving out the bile of the liver. This further helps in reducing the toxicity. Fibers can also be found in a variety of foods like legumes, nuts, and whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.
The best is:
- Carrot and beetroot
- Sweet potato
- Citrus fruits like limes and lemons
- Grapes, cranberries, and blueberries
- Papaya and watermelons
- Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli
- Collard greens and spinach
2. Herbal tea and coffee
Drinking three cups of herbal tea and a moderate amount of coffee may help in improving your liver health by reducing inflammation, levels of harmful liver enzymes, and risks of developing cirrhosis. These drinks improve the levels of antioxidants, thus helping in clearing toxins from your body.
3. Lean protein sources
Lean sources of proteins like tofu, legumes, and fish decrease stress on the liver as compared to foods like red meats. Moreover, Omega-3 and zinc found in fish aid in the metabolism of fatty acids, carbohydrates, proteins, and alcohol.
4. Legumes and nuts
The richness of healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamin E and phenolic acid, and fibers found in legumes and nuts are great for the liver to function properly.
5. Milk thistle
Milk thistle is not only rich in antioxidants but also contains high amounts of silymarin, which helps in the repair of damaged liver cells.
6. Foods with naturally occurring digestive enzymes
Naturally occurring digestive enzymes found in foods like pineapples, orange peels, papaya, mango, and honey help in reducing bilirubin.
Last, but not least, staying hydrated is the key to recovering from jaundice fast and effectively. Water not only helps in the digestion process but is also helpful in flushing out toxins from your liver and kidneys. You should make it a habit to drink at least two to three liters of water a day to stay properly hydrated and keep your liver and kidneys functioning optimally.
Jaundice food to avoid
While there is food that is essentially important to consume and must include in your jaundice diet, there are some foods that you should avoid if you are suffering from jaundice. Jaundice food to avoid:
Iron is critical and you should keep track of your iron consumption with jaundice. Too much iron in your diet may induce scarring in the liver, also known as liver cirrhosis. Check with your dietician on your iron consumption and also opt for lean protein sources like chicken and fish.
Fatty and fried foods should be avoided to ensure fat accumulation in the liver. Saturated fats found in meats and dairy, should also be avoided as these are difficult for the liver to digest. Even if you opt for unsaturated fats like olive oil, you should take them in moderation.
Any diet high in salt may result in damage to the liver and water retention. Cut down on excess sodium intake by cutting down the intake of any canned and processed foods.
All forms of processed and refined sugar lead to the accumulation of liver fat. Highly processed foods are even high in fats, which adds to the harm. If you have a sweet tooth, opt for naturally sweetened fruits and low fat, low sugar yogurt options. Reducing sugar intake is an ideal way to reduce the strain on your liver.
Avoid the consumption of alcohol totally till you have recovered from your jaundice. Alcohol further harms your liver-damaging it more.
Some quick, yet valuable diet for jaundice tips that you should follow:
It is very important to keep a close watch on what you eat and drink when you are suffering from jaundice. Keep a close watch on what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat. And the most important is, that you should make a note of how you feel after you have eaten your diet for jaundice, as certain foods may make you feel good, while some may exacerbate the symptoms.
- Eat frequently in smaller quantities. Rather than eating three large meals a day, split your meals into smaller and frequent ones.
- Drink a good quantity of water throughout the day.
- Drink your tea or coffee without adding sugar.
- Substitute whole fat milk and cream with low-fat milk options.
- Say no to any kind of alcoholic beverage.
Bilirubin building up in your blood is the major cause of jaundice and the time it takes to clear out of your blood depends on certain fundamental reasons and following a healthy and well-balanced jaundice diet chart.
The best jaundice diet will always support your liver health and alleviate jaundice and will also prevent its reoccurrence. Diet therapy and physical rest are strongly recommended for people suffering from jaundice. Eat foods and drinks that will help in improving your digestion and metabolism, will protect your liver from further damage, and detoxify your liver of harmful toxins and elements.