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Diet Question
Jan 11, 2009

I'm at wk 17 in HCV peg/interfer.-ribavirin therapy and cleared at wk 12 (from 6.75 million load + HIV coin./undetect.) Of course I abstain from all alcohol but my alt/ast are slightly elevated 59/50. Dr. said it could be my wt (m 196) or a fatty liver. I ate ALOT during HCV therapy because everybody said to, as most people lost wt, even when I didn't want to eat because I was scared. I started at 200 lbs. When I asked about what food to avoid, DR. had no suggestions. So now I decided to just eat regular meals. But there has to be some nutritional correlation ... there have to be some foods to avoid and some that help detoxify or at least aren't hard on the liver. I already know about avoiding shellfish ... but that's just to prevent contracting HepA.... what foods do you recommend? Thank you!

Response from Dr. McGovern

It sounds like you are having a great response to your HCV treatment so far. Great news and keep up your adherence with every single dose of medication.

Many of the trials found that patients had elevation of ALT/AST during treatment. This may resolve after treatment.

However, I share your doctors concern that if your BMI is elevated (calculated from height/weight), then you should watch your calorie intake. It is not a matter of which foods to avoid for your liver - it is a matter of simple calories since excess calories will enter your liver as fat.

A lot of people worry about potential weight loss during interferon therapy. However, I also worry about excess weight for the following reasons: 1. Fatty liver can make the chance of HCV treatment success go down 2. Fatty liver is not good for HCV either since liver scarring can be faster. Several studies in HCV infection and HIV/HCV coinfection have shown that - including a study that we did in coinfection. 3. Excess weight can increase your risk of diabetes, particularly if there is a member of your family with a history of diabetes.

Hope this is helpful to you and others on this site. Keep trim and exercise and eat healthy foods - avoid snacks high in fat.



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