- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Treating Hepatitis E Symptoms using Diet, Herbs and Lifestyle Tips
What is Hepatitis E?
Hepatitis E is a disease-condition wherein the liver gets inflamed; and is caused by the HEV or hepatitis E virus. HEV is transmitted via the feco-oral route. HEV is one of 5 known hepatitis viruses; hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D and hepatitis E.
More often than not, the condition is self-limiting; meaning, it does not require any medical intervention, and in due course, is healed by the body's innate immune mechanism.
HEV enters the liver cells via the blood and then multiplies speedily. Proliferation of HEV in the hepatocytes damages the organ and impairs its normal functioning.
Hepatitis E Causes
The mode of transmission of HEV is feco-oral. Hepatitis E develops when one consumes or drinks something that is contaminated with the feces of a person infected with the virus.
The infection is extremely common in areas where there is poor hygiene and sanitation, and when people do not follow optimal personal cleanliness.
Hepatitis E Symptoms
Common clinical manifestations of hepatitis E are:
- Jaundice, i.e. yellow dislocation of the skin and sclera
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss without any apparent cause
- Low grade fever
- Sore throat and rhinitis
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Pain in joints and muscles
- Pale stools followed by constipation
- Dark yellow urine
- Pain in the abdomen
Natural Treatment for Hepatitis E: Diet and Lifestyle Considerations
Management of hepatitis E is symptomatic, i.e. the symptoms have to be managed appropriately. Treatment is focused on supportive care and tackling the symptoms of the infection well.
- Consume adequate amounts of calories per day to keep the energy level high. Include lots of fresh fruits, salads, and brown rice. Steer clear of fats, trans fats, oil and greasy foods. Also, refined foods are harmful and slow down the process of recovery. Have small, frequent meals through the day; this prevents nausea and vomiting.
- Drink plenty of water per day. Soups, broths, juices and coconut water are beneficial. Stay well hydrated.
- Rest is an important aspect of the management plan.
- A regular lemon detox diet is considered beneficial in the management of liver disease.Consume freshly squeezed lemon juice about 4 to 5 limes daily. Lemon is loaded with Vitamin C, which boosts the working of the immune system and helps fight the virus faster. It also protects the liver cells from damage and perks up their functioning.
- Do away with alcohol, altogether. Alcohol is broken down in the liver and excessive alcohol consumption can result in stress on the hepatocytes.
- Exercise daily. Talk to your physician about the type of exercise that you can do, depending on your endurance and general health status. Exercise improves immune mechanism and peps up strength and stamina.
Herbs to Treat Hepatitis E
There are certain herbs that can be useful in the treatment of hepatitis E and can be used in conjunction with dietary modifications,
- Tincture of St. John's wort with some water thrice a day can help improve liver functions. Alternatively, one can use tablets of the herbal extract.
- Garlic is considered useful against inflammation of the hepatic cells. Crush 2 to 3 garlic flakes and consume.
- Milk thistle is another herb which is very useful in the treatment of the condition. It acts as a liver tonic and helps improve liver functions quickly.
- Turmeric, ginger and gentian are also considered useful in treating hepatitis.