Herbal Remedies And Supplements
Many people are interested in using herbal remedies or supplements to boost their immune systems and help their livers. The problem though is that there is no regulation of companies manufacturing these produces, which means there is no rigorous testing for safety or purity. So the quality of the herbal remedy or vitamin supplement may be different from bottle to bottle. Also some herbal remedies could interfere with your prescription drugs for hepatitis B or other conditions some can even actually damage your liver.
There are many companies that make false promises on the Internet and through social media about their products. Online claims and patient testimonials on Facebook are fake and are used to trick people into buying expensive herbal remedies and supplements. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then its probably not true.
Below are reliable sources of information about herbs and alternative medicines. This information is based on scientific evidence, not false promises. Check whether the active ingredients in your herbal remedies or supplements are real and if it safe for your liver. The most important thing is to protect your liver from any additional injury or harm.
U.S. National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary Medicine and Integrative Health
Who Can I Talk With During Treatment
Since hepatitis C treatment plans last several weeks, you should regularly attend medical appointments. Your doctor may have a list of local groups where you can find emotional support.
There may also be other resources like community nurses and walk-in clinics. With this information, youll know where to go for help between appointments.
Another option is to explore the online hepatitis C community, where people share their experiences with hepatitis C.
For example, the Inspire hepatitis C group allows people to connect, share stories, discuss treatment, and more.
What Are The Side Effects Of Treatments For Hepatitis C Infection
Side effects of interferon or pegylated interferon
- The most common side effects of interferon or pegylated interferon include fever, flu-like symptoms, and depression. Patients must be monitored closely for depression. Risk of suicide is a reason to avoid interferons.
- Interferons also reduce white blood cell and/or red blood cell counts . This may cause increased susceptibility to infection. Interferons also increase the risk of certain cancers. Death rarely occurs as a result of therapy, but may occur from progression of liver failure in patients with advanced cirrhosis.
Side effects of ribavirin
- Ribavirin most commonly causes anemia due to destruction of red blood cells . This can be severe enough that people with heart disease may suffer a heart attack from insufficient blood flow, so people with heart disease should not receive this drug. Anemia improves with a reduction in the dose of ribavirin. Injected growth factor that stimulates the production of red blood cells often is used to improve the anemia associated with ribavirin. Ribavirin also accumulates in the testicles and ovaries and causes birth defects in animals. Although no birth defects have been reported in humans, both men and women should use contraceptive measures to avoid pregnancy during and for at least six months after ribavirin treatment.
Side effects of DAAs
- The most common and significant side effects of boceprevir , sofosbuvir , and ledipasvir/sofosbuvir include
- fatigue ,
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Hepatitis C Causes & Risk Factors
Hepatitis C is caused by a virus that spreads through infected blood. The blood of an infected person enters the bloodstream of someone who is not infected. Heres an explanation of some of the leading causes and risk factors of hepatitis C:
Casual contact, like hugging, holding hands, sharing utensils or kissing will not spread the virus. If the blood of an infected person enters an area of broken skin, the virus can spread.
So people with hepatitis C should not share razor blades, toothbrushes or nail clippers with others. Hepatitis C is not a hereditary disease it can only spread when an infected person shares the blood of a non-infected person.
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What do Gregg Allman, of the Allman Brothers Band, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, and Pam Anderson of Baywatch fame have in common? Theyre all infected with the hepatitis C virus. And while you might not be one of the other 5 million infected people in the U.S., chances are you know someone who isand that person may not know it because the symptoms of hepatitis C are often non-existent, or so mild as to be mistaken for something else.
The first noticeable symptom is also the most common: fatigue. But it often doesnt come until years after the original infection. Other symptoms of hepatitis C are very similar to flu symptomsjoint aches, muscle pain, loss of appetite, mild fever, and more fatiguewhich lead many people to dismiss their symptoms as something routine. On top of that, hepatitis C symptoms can ebb and flow and even disappear for a while, so it can be years before a proper diagnosis is made.
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Signs & Symptoms Of Hepatitis C
For some people, it can be hard to tell if they have hepatitis C because the symptoms arent very noticeable until damage is already done to the liver. This is why its sometimes called a silent infection. In fact, 4585 percent of people who have hepatitis C dont know it. Its common to have the infection for over 15 years before ever noticing hepatitis C symptoms.
The CDC states that 2030 percent of people newly infected by the disease experience hepatitis C symptoms, usually within 412 weeks of onset. The symptoms of hepatitis C are similar to other common illnesses, like the flu. This is why people typically dont realize that they are infected with a serious viral disease. People who have contracted hepatitis C may notice the following health issues :
- yellowed eyes and skin
- itchy skin
You can do a simple blood test to find out if you have hepatitis C. People at risk of contracting the virus should be tested because hepatitis C symptoms usually dont become noticeable until after liver damage has already begun. When a person tests positive for hepatitis C, he or she can begin treatment immediately and will take precautions to ensure that the virus wont spread to others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that the following groups of people should be tested for hepatitis C :
How Do Doctors Treat The Complications Of Autoimmune Hepatitis
If autoimmune hepatitis leads to cirrhosis, doctors can treat health problems and complications related to cirrhosis with medicines, surgery, and other medical procedures. If you have cirrhosis, you have a greater chance of developing liver cancer. Your doctor may order an ultrasound or other types of imaging tests to check for liver cancer.
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How Is Hepatitis C Diagnosed
There is a blood test that checks for the presence of hepatitis C antibodies. However it can take three months or longer for the antibodies to show up in your bloodstream after youve become infected with the virus. There are also tests available to check how much of the virus is present in your body.
Baby Boomers Are Especially Vulnerable
“The hepatitis C virus didn’t have a name or a screening test until in 1989,” Reau says. “That means people born between 1945 and 1965, the group referred to as ‘baby boomers,’ are at highest risk of infection. They grew up before health care facilities started taking standard precautions, like not sharing vials of medicine among patients and requiring staff to wear gloves.”
The CDC reports that baby boomers are five times more likely to have Hepatitis C than other adults, accounting for 75% of those living with the disease.
These are some other reasons you may be at risk:
- You have engaged in high-risk behaviors like IV drug use or unprotected sex
- Your biological mother has/had hepatitis C
- You received blood transfusions, an organ transplant or dialysis before 1989
- You were or are currently incarcerated
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What Are The Side Effects Of Hepatitis C Medication
Side effects are a common risk factor of taking prescription medication necessary to treat hepatitis C. Some of the most common side effects of antiviral medications recommended for HVC include but are not limited to nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dizziness, confusion, fainting and difficulty breathing.
Data Collection And Analysis
Two authors extracted data independently. The methodological quality of the trials was evaluated using the generation of allocation sequence, allocation concealment, double blinding, and the Jadadscale. The outcomes were presented as relative risk or weighted mean difference, both with 95% confidence interval.
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Natural Remedies That Help To Protect The Liver Of Hepatitis C Patients
Here are some strategies you can easily incorporate into your life that should greatly improve your outcome if you have hepatitis C:
As you can see, there are several dietary and lifestyle measures you can implement to significantly improve your chances of remaining healthy with hepatitis C. There is a great deal more information in my book Hepatitis and AIDS: How To Fight Them Naturally.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.
Murakami Y, Koyabu T, Kawashima A, Kakibuchi N, Kawakami T, Takaguchi K, Kita K, Okita M.Zinc supplementation prevents the increase of transaminase in chronic hepatitis C patientsduring combination therapy with pegylated interferon alpha-2b and ribavirin. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 2007 53:213-8
Abu-Mouch S, Fireman Z, Jarchovsky J, Zeina AR, Assy N. Vitamin D supplementationimproves sustained virologic response in chronic hepatitis C -naïve patients. WorldJ Gastroenterol. 2011 Dec 21 17:5184-90
Aman W, Mousa S, Shiha G, Mousa SA. Current status and future directions in themanagement of chronic hepatitis C. Virol J. 2012 9:57
El-Zayadi AR, Anis M. Hepatitis C virus induced insulin resistance impairs response to antiviraltherapy. World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jan 21 18:212-24.
Surgery And Other Procedures
People with the following conditions may need a liver transplant:
- Life-threatening cirrhosis and life expectancy is more than 12 years
- Liver cancer that remains confined to the liver
- Fulminant acute hepatitis
Five year survival rate after liver transplantation is 60 to 80%. In about 50% of people with chronic hepatitis who receive a liver transplant, the infection recurs.
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Criteria For Considering Studies For This Review
Types of studies
Randomised clinical trials were included irrespective of blinding, publication status, and language. Quasirandomised trials and historically controlled clinical trials were excluded.
Types of participants
Male or female patients, of any age or ethnic origin, who had HCV infection . Acute hepatitis C is diagnosed on the basis of symptoms such as jaundice, fatigue, and nausea, along with marked increases in serum alanine aminotransferase and presence of antiHCV or de novo development of antiHCV. The diagnosis is confirmed by the finding of HCV RNA in serum. Chronic hepatitis C is diagnosed by elevated or recurrent fluctuating serum ALT levels and HCV RNA positivity lasting more than six months with or without symptoms, and with or without liver biopsy confirmation. Trials in populations with coinfection of HCV with human immune deficiency virus were excluded, but patients co infected with hepatitis B were included.
Types of interventions
Medicinal herbs were compared with no intervention, placebo, nonspecific interventions like vitamins, other medicinal herbs, or IFN and/or ribavirin. Trials of medicinal herbs plus IFN and/or ribavirin versus IFN and/or ribavirin alone were also included. Cointerventions were allowed as long as both arms of the randomised allocation received the same cointervention.
Types of outcome measures
How To Beat Hep C Naturally
Hepatitis C, or Hep C, is a viral infection. An estimated 58 million people have a chronic Hep C infection, meaning it has persisted beyond six months and it has become an ongoing problem.
Hep C, which results in the inflammation of the liver, is also dangerous because it is not usually detected until later stages because there are usually no early symptoms.
This can cause concern as many people have died from Hep C, which is a curable and preventable disease.
Since Hep C is a bloodborne virus, most exposure to Hep C comes from drug use through injections, unsafe health care, unsafe sexual practices, and unscreened blood transfusions.
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Individuals with Hep C usually display the following:
- Abdomen Pain
- Swelling of the Belly
- Weight Loss
- Yellow Skin and Eyes
There are antiviral medications that can cure over 95% of those with Hep C. But there are treatments in recent years that are easier on the body, including natural remedies and therapies.
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A Final Bit Of Advice: Dont Stress Out
Stress of any kind suppresses your immune system and can increase your vulnerability to the effects of hepatitis C. Cutting back on your work hours and finding time for gentle exercise and other pleasurable activities such as meditation, relaxation practices, therapy, and other forms of emotional support can help. Its especially important to deal with any feelings of guilt, anger, and resentment related to your illness or any other cause. You may want to consult an experienced herbalist for advice on herbal support for stress. Acupuncture and other forms of energy work may also be helpful.
For more on stress relief, see Natural Stress Relief.
Sometimes The Infection Goes Away On Its Own
Acute hepatitis is C is a short-term illness that occurs within the first six months after being exposed to the virus. Like the human papillomavirus , early acute hepatitis C can clear on its own without treatment this happens about 25% of the time.
However, it’s more likely that the virus will remain in your body longer than six months, at which point it’s considered to be chronic hepatitis C infection.
“Being younger or a woman tends to be a factor in whether the virus clears on its own, and genetics may play a role,” Reau says. “But we can’t determine with certainty which people are certain to clear the infection and which aren’t.”
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Fight Hepatitis C With Holistic Herbs
You may have heard of hepatitis Cbut how much do you really know about it? Did you know that for every one person infected with HIV, there are more than four infected with the hepatitis C virus ? Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are up to 230,000 new infections each yearin the United States alone?
In fact, hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne disease in the United States, according to a 1999 report in New England Journal of Medicine . An estimated 4.5 million Americans have HCVmost of them baby boomerswith 2.7 million chronically infected. Worldwide, its now the most common form of viral hepatitis.
HCV is often called The Silent Killer because its a sneaky and potentially serious disease, one that can lie dormant for many years, only to surface in midlife. Sixty-five percent of the infections occur in people aged thirty to forty-nine, according to the NEJM article. Once diagnosed with hepatitis C, patients may have the option to take antiviral drugs, but these potent medicines dont work in all cases and may have significant side effects. Some patients are told to just watch and wait to see if the disease worsens.
Traditional Chinese Herbal Medications
The primary goal of Chinese traditional medicine is to create wholeness and harmony within a person, allowing the mind/body/spirit to heal itself. There have been several randomized clinical trials of traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of hepatitis C, however, the methodological quality of these studies is generally considered poor. In two trials of herbal formulations in combination with interferon-alfa, there was a trend toward greater clearance of HCV RNA and ALT normalization with the combination treatment compared with patients receiving monotherapy. In the only placebo-controlled trial of solo therapy with traditional Chinese medicine, a significant reduction in ALT levels during treatment occurred, though no virologic effect was identified. Detailed descriptions of adverse events were not provided for most of these trials. The safety of these medicines is unclear due to the individualized nature of many of the herbal compounds involved, the large number of different herbs in each formulation, and the relatively small number of subjects within each clinical trial.
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What Type Of Doctor Treats Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is treated by either a gastroenterologist, a hepatologist , or an infectious disease specialist. The treatment team may include more than one specialist, depending on the extent of liver damage.Surgeons who specialize in surgery of the liver, including liver transplantation, are part of the medical team and should see patients with advanced disease early, before the patient needs a liver transplant. They may be able to identify issues that need to be addressed before surgery can be considered. Other persons who can be helpful in managing patients include dietitians to consult on nutritional issues and pharmacists to assist with management of drugs.
What Medications Cure Hepatitis C Infection
Interferons, for example, Roferon-A and Infergen, and pegylated interferons such as Peg-IntronT, Pegasys, were mainstays of treatment for years. Interferons produced sustained viral response of up to 15%. Later, peglatedll forms produced SVR of 50%-80%. These drugs were injected, had many adverse effects, required frequent monitoring, and were often combined with oral ribavirin, which caused anemia. Treatment durations ranged up to 48 weeks.
Direct-acting anti-viral agents are antiviral drugs that act directly on hepatitis C multiplication.
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