Jaundice occurs when levels of a yellow-brown pigment
called bilirubin build up in the blood and skin. Bilirubin, which is produced
by the breakdown of red blood cells, is normally eliminated by the liver in
bile (a fluid that helps the body digest fats). Too much bilirubin can cause
the skin and eyes to look yellow.
Bilirubin can build up because
of rapid destruction of red blood cells, liver diseases (such as
hepatitis), blockage of the bile ducts leading from
gallbladder to the
small intestine, or other problems. Bilirubin can be
measured in the blood. Your bilirubin level provides information about how well
your liver is working.
Contrary to the claims of many books and web sites, there's no such thing as a proven hepatitis C diet or exercise regimen. But while you have to be wary of any programs promising cures, you should eat right and get exercise.
"There's no hard data about exercise or eating right with hepatitis C, but I always tell people to do it," says David Thomas, MD, professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. "Exercise can make them feel better, especially with depression caused by...