What You Need to Know About Hepatitis C

What You Need to Know About Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus, or HCV, the liver has a hard time eliminating this virus so it usually becomes chronic. Over the course of time it can cause liver failure.  The most common causes of transmission are through infected needles and contact with infected blood, $exual transmission is rare but possible. Many people are unaware that they have the disease until years later when routine tests reveal it. It is considered the most serious form of hepatitis, hepatitis translated means inflammation of the liver.

Symptoms of Hepatitis C:

Symptoms of Hepatitis C include fatigue, loss of appetite, jaundice, fever, nausea, and muscle aches and pains. A blood test will show elevated liver enzymes and your doctor may order a liver biopsy to check the extent of damage.If cirrhosis does occur it may come with those symptoms plus weakness, breast enlargement in men, a rash on the palms of the hands, weight loss, difficulty with blood clotting, and spider-like blood vessels on the skin.

What You Need to Know About Hepatitis C

People at high-risk include those who have injected illicit drugs, health care workers who have had needle sticks, babies born to mothers with the disease, those with HIV infections, people who received blood or organ transplants before 1992, those born between 1945-65, those with long-term hemodialysis treatments, and those who have had a $e*[email protected] partner who has it.

Your treatment will depend on your doctor and the severity of the damage, you may initially require no treatment. Antivirals are sometimes prescribed to clear the virus from your system if possible, a liver transplant may be needed in severe cases, and being vaccinated against other types of hepatitis may be prudent.

For at home care you should stop drinking alcohol, it speeds up the disease progression, avoid medications that may damage the liver, and protect your family and friends from your razors, and keep any cuts or wounds closed. Make sure any healthcare workers who are changing bandages, taking blood, or giving shots know of your disease status.

Alternative Remedies for Hepatitis C:

There are various alternative remedies that can be tried, some with more success than others, bodies react differently to different substances, what worked for a friend’s cousin may not work for you and vice versa, find a doctor willing to work with you in your search for natural cures and follow their advice and your own common sense.

1- Milk Thistle

– the most studied and well-known liver supplement, can reduce liver inflammation and has antiviral properties to help rid you of the virus. This herb is safe with few side effects and has been shown to help those with Hepatitis C, reviews are mixed when it comes to liver function and it may not be helpful to a seriously damaged liver.

2- Licorice Root

– studies indicate it improves liver function and may reduce complications of Hepatitis C, it should be used with caution and under medical advice as it can interfere with some medications with dangerous effects and has some side effects of its own, including hypertension and salt and water retention.

3- Thymus Extract

– some believe that it may help regulate immune function, this has not been proved and should be avoided by those with autoimmune diseases.

4- Ginseng

– most popular for adding energy and boosting the immune system, this has been touted as a helper for the liver for its immune boosting properties, adequate studies have not been done, it will not hurt you and may possibly help. It can reduce blood sugar and increase bleeding, be aware.

5- Schisandra

– popular in Japanese medicine for antiviral properties, has shown some success in studies

6- St John’s Wort

–  used with conventional treatment to help counter the effects, studies show it to be an effective remedy for those with mild to moderate depression

7- Lactoferrin – a protein found in milk, may improve liver function and lower levels of the Hepatitis C virus

People often utilize acupuncture, massage, and relaxation therapy to cope with the disease. When it comes to chronic illness do what makes you feel better, don’t be afraid to experiment in a safe way. Rest when you are tired, eat clean, cut sugar and unhealthy fats, exercise,  and enjoy life.

http://www.medicinenet.com/hepatitis_c/page2.htm

http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/features/hepatitis-c-alternative-treatments?page=3

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hepatitis-c/DS00097

Some photos courtesy of Medicine Net