I am undergoing Intron-A treatment for hepatitis C. The nurse in charge of the treatment registry knows of no diet plan.

I am undergoing INTRON-A treatment for Hepatitis C. One of the possible side effects of the treatment is suppression of the bone marrow”s ability to produce blood cells. My white blood cell count has fallen pretty low and my absolute neutrophil count is also getting dangerously low. The nurse in charge of the treatment registry knows of no diet plan, which may enhance the body”s ability to produce blood cells – particularly white blood cells and specifically neutrophils. Is there a dietary recommendation which may “boost” my bone marrow”s manufacturing plant capability?

The best nutritional therapy is planned around maintaining your weight with an aggressive diet. You should eat adequate protein (females 50 grams and males 63 grams) and your blood can be checked for transferrin levels to see if you are eating enough protein. The RDA for protein may not be high enough for your needs, but is a good place to start until you know what your blood proteins are. There are several oral nutritional supplements designed for persons with liver disease and are high in specific amino acids that support the liver. Ask a Dietitian to recommend one for you. Hepatic-Aid II by McGaw and NutriHep Diet by Clintec are two.

Eat enough calories as food to maintain your “normal body weight”. Weight loss has a negative impact on immunity. If you are underweight, your diet plan needs increased calories to gain weight to a normal body weight for your height. Vitamin and mineral content should meet your RDA.

A high-fat diet or alcohol is not recommended in the treatment of hepatitis. Fat is metabolized by the liver into bile and other blood fats. When your liver is inflamed (-itis), it does not metabolize fats effectively and fats tend to pool in the liver.