Hi @senhour ,
I have heard and read before about long or extended fasting not being a good idea for people with liver disease. I think it at least in part has something to do with an impaired liver not being able to absorb nutrients well. For the first year after I was diagnosed with cirrhosis and I got real sick, I was mostly drinking Liquid IV for hydration and drinking Ensure for sustenance and nutrition because I lost my appetite and was too sick most of the time to eat.
This past year I have been hearing so much about intermittent fasting and my first thought was that it’s probably one of those crazy fad diets. Then I started reading up on it and watching videos and figured out that it is not very difficult for me because I was already eating this way for the past few years. The main gist is that instead of eating small amounts regularly throughout the day, you just eat 2 or 3 meals within a day with at least a 4 hour separation in between. So you could eat 3 times with 4 hours in between each with NO snacking. You could eat 2 times a day with 6 hours in between. Or you can come up with your own method as long as you keep a minimum of 4 hours between meals with NO snacking in between meals.
The point is that when you eat too often or snack in between meals, each time you eat, you raise your insulin levels. So the more often you eat, the more often your insulin levels spike and don’t have time to level out before they spike again. When insulin levels stay high and don’t have a chance to lower, then you can get insulin resistance. Insulin resistance reduces your body’s ability to use fat for energy and instead uses your fuel for energy (food, carbs, etc.) and once that’s depleted, your body craves more fuel (food) instead of using it’s fat resources stored in your body.
The other aspect of intermittent fasting is to eat more protein than carbs and a lot of fiber to help metabolize and rid the body of excess glucose. I am probably only skimming the surface and mixing up terms. Hopefully @healthexperts can correct anything if I got it wrong.
I was basically already doing this because I only eat 1 or 2 meals a day and I can easily go 12-24 hours without eating meals. After reading up on it however, I have learned the importance of not snacking in between and also the emphasis on proteins over carbs and eating lots of fiber.
For someone with cirrhosis, I feel better for the past couple of months that I have been practicing intermittent fasting and my other (not specific to Hep B) lab numbers are good. This helps people with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high A1C and blood glucose levels. It also helps increase good gut bacteria and aids in digestion.
I am sharing this because I kept thinking it was this crazy tremendous dieting fad type of thing, but it’s not… it all makes sense and it’s not THAT hard. It’s flexible enough for most people too. Eat 2 or 3 healthy meals a day with a minimum of 4 hour intervals and don’t snack in between. Then, to get one step more advanced, eat more protein than carbs and eat plenty of fiber (pretty much anything with an outer layer. Apples have skin, oranges have that white stuff.) The easiest way for me to think about it is that most fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. that have a skin, shell or covering of some kind has fiber. For example that apple has carbs but also has the benefit of fiber because of the skin. If you peel the skin off, then you lose most of the fiber. However, most people remove the outside of an avocado but it still has fiber without eating the outside, so this is just a general rule.
Please keep in mind, I am no expert, I am not even a health guru or anything of the like. I am just passing on information that I have learned and works for me. I hope it will be helpful for you and anyone else also.