1

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Diet for mononucleosis/inflamed liver?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 14, 2011 at 5:54 PM

So I've got a pretty nasty case of mononucleosis and it's inflamed my liver pretty good. My Doctor told me the following diet to help the liver:

  • Limit fat as much as possible
  • Eat boiled or grilled foods, not fried our sauteed
  • As much fruits and vegetables as I want
  • Even some sugar is ok (gave honey as an example)
  • No dairy
  • No alcohol

From a paleo perspective I don't know what to think.

Any reccomendations to soothe my liver and get 'er running smoothly again?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on July 29, 2012
at 05:22 PM

show this question to your parents and let them decide.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on July 29, 2012
at 05:21 PM

I'd limit fruits high in fructose as it goes over the same pathways as alcohol.

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on July 25, 2012
at 07:40 AM

When I'm healthy 1 tsp gives me loose bowels, but when I was in the throes of Mononucleosis I did up to 100 g/day and probably could/should have taken more without any effects on the bowels..

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on July 25, 2012
at 07:38 AM

I was doing super high dose vitamin C and it helped me a lot. I was doing 1/2 tsp of ascorbic acid powder with a little baking soda in water every 30 min. and it helped a lot...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 13, 2012
at 04:12 AM

I have since read that high carbohydrates may raise ALT....hmmm...

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8 Answers

2
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on December 14, 2011
at 07:34 PM

No input on the diet per se, but I know that milk thistle/silymarin is good for detoxing the liver. So I did a quick google on silymarin and mono:

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=silymarin+mononucleosis&oq=silymarin+mononucleosis&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=178364l181276l0l184445l2l2l0l0l0l0l243l368l0.1.1l2l0

It's not a pricey supplement so I would give it a try.

2
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 14, 2011
at 07:25 PM

I'm not a doctor, just a guy on the internet. Your doc's advice seems pretty solid. I would add, go easy on the fructose as it is metabolized much the same as alcohol. Avoid NSAIDS, coffee and any optional prescription meds as they add to the liver's load. Hope you feel better soon!

1
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 11, 2012
at 08:07 AM

I am no expert either, but a couple of thoughts:

Coconut oil is mostly MCTs (like lauric acid), that dont require bile, so that may be okay. MCT oil would be much better, as you need some fats, and some liver diet websites recommend it.

Agree on the fructose, that is hard on the liver, so you may want to limit fruit, and if you want sweet use glucose as a sweetner (no liver processing, unlike fructose containing sugar and honey)? Up to you...

Vege oils are also hard on the liver, at least according to some websites, but not sure whether thats accurate or not?

Dan shen, and other hepaprotective agents might be worth looking into. Herbs like this actually prevent liver damage, and dan shen (chinese herb), is the most potent one I know of. Id say this herb is FAR better than liverwort/milk thistle, which I read can actually put extra load on the liver. Give it a google if your curious.

All foods are processed in the liver.

My quick googling made me question your doctors advice a little. He may still be right, but:

Vitamin K for example, is a vitamin vital to liver function (found in cranberry juice in resonable levels, along with choline, another liver health promoter), is a fat soluble vitamin. Clearly, youll still need some fat, even if you are limiting it, otherwise youll stop getting fat soluble vitamins.

This website recommends a moderate fat, high carb, low protein diet, low salt diet for liver disease: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002441.htm

This website also recommends, medium fat, high carb, low protein:

http://www.nlfindia.com/patients/diet_nutrition.asp

This website also recommends medium fat:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/374335-liver-failure-diet/

Its appears, that if your liver is not having specifically bile problems, you want to limit protein more than fat (I am not a doctor, its just what I am reading. If you have bile or bile duct problems, yes you want to limit fat), and go moderate fat (needed for fat soluble vitamins, including ones needed for the liver, and also "Moderate intake of fat, as prescribed by the health care provider. The increased carbohydrates and fat help preserve the protein in the body and prevent protein breakdown" - from first article above)

If I was you, id research it a bit more and make up my own mind.

I am not sure about your specific condition, or the state of your liver, but what little googling, in a very cursory manner mind, makes it sound like your want high carb, low protein, medium fat, particularly if you can get some MCTs in there for the fat portion.

Whatever you decide macro wise, remember paleo aint about macros, its about real food, foods we are evolved to digest. If it calls for less fat, there are less fatty foods. If it calls for more carbs, their are more carby foods.

Just because someone says "you need to limit fat" or your need to "eat more carbs", doesnt mean you need to start eating processed foods.

Limiting physical excercise is good advice for sure though... (I had hepatatis once and this is a definate. Dont push yourself physically. Also, if your bilrubin is up, sunlight helps get rid of it, which can make u less irritable...which if your bilrubin is up you may appreciate cause the irritability is annoying)

Again, not an expert, make up your own mind, hope you get better!

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 13, 2012
at 04:12 AM

I have since read that high carbohydrates may raise ALT....hmmm...

1
60ef7aa9d9c0b9b76a17ecbf1e4516c2

(10)

on July 10, 2012
at 10:24 PM

I've been stuck with mono 4 a couple weeks now. It STINKS!!! :( I also have an inflamed liver so I am curious to see how this works! (I feel like a guinea pig trying this out!!! ;)

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on July 25, 2012
at 07:38 AM

I was doing super high dose vitamin C and it helped me a lot. I was doing 1/2 tsp of ascorbic acid powder with a little baking soda in water every 30 min. and it helped a lot...

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on July 25, 2012
at 07:40 AM

When I'm healthy 1 tsp gives me loose bowels, but when I was in the throes of Mononucleosis I did up to 100 g/day and probably could/should have taken more without any effects on the bowels..

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on July 29, 2012
at 05:21 PM

I'd limit fruits high in fructose as it goes over the same pathways as alcohol.

1
A1a0baccef58499acf9ceb3c874997f2

on December 14, 2011
at 06:56 PM

An traditional "liver soother" is fresh lemon squeezed into warm water several times a day. You could try taking a liver tonic blend of herbs... "Liver Tonic" tincture by Herbs, Etc. is a good one. Traditional medicine also tells us that seed oils and rancid oils will inflame the liver; avoid these even more than usual!

As far as mono goes, the doctors tell us there's nothing we can do to speed up our healing process, but I'm pretty sure mine went away faster with the help of grapefruit seed, lots of coconut oil, oregano oil and Pau D'Arco.

Hope you feel better. Mono is awful.

0
5bb92f9dfee88e7cfc3b50cc06b4b97c

on July 29, 2012
at 02:29 AM

I have no answer... right now I have mono and an inflamed liver and I having sharp pains, and it really hurts. School starts in less than a month what should I do... I'm only 12 years old.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on July 29, 2012
at 05:22 PM

show this question to your parents and let them decide.

0
Bece741db5f5fed6bafa12e3548f973f

(715)

on July 10, 2012
at 10:43 PM

Our teen daughter had it and also with inflammed liver. Because of a misdiagnoses of strep by a PA, it ended up worse because of an antibiotic they gave her and she ended up doing a week of prednisone. She was one sick kiddo. Bounced back though and was able to play soccer in the next season. Had an innocent heart murmur on the first physical, so we ended up having to jump through some hoops, but after some time it was gone.

Your docs advice seems sound. Careful with sports, you don't want to do any contact sport while you are recovering and nothing that wears you out either. As Dave said, no NSAIDS. I'd even be wary of supplements. Get lots of rest.

0
956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on December 14, 2011
at 07:38 PM

I had mononucleosis 3 years ago and the only thing my doctor said was to keep sporting (while everyone else around me with mononucleosis were put to rest) which caused my bode to be completely overworked.

Since then, I have had pain in all my joints + lower back and am extremely tired ALL THE TIME. Not to mention the vicious circle of pain-stress-pain it created.

I hope you take this serious enough, cause I assure you, my life for the last 3 years has been (and still is) hell. Best of luck.

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