Hepatitis C virus is one of several viruses that can cause hepatitis, which is inflammation of the liver. It is unrelated to the other common hepatitis viruses A, B, D, and E. Before its discovery in 1998 it was known as non-A, non-B hepatitis. Hepatitis C virus belongs to the family of RNA viruses.
There are considerable differences in genetic structure of hepatitis C virus. It is categorized into six major genetic types (genotypes) and many more subtypes. The most common genotype in the US is type 1, which accounts for most of the more than four million hepatitis cases in the U.S. 85 percent of the individuals initially infected with the virus will become chronically infected, which might take decades. The other 15 percent of infected individuals have an acute infection, which resolves spontaneously in a few weeks or months.
Even though there can be very severe problems many people experience only mild symptoms and are able to live a relatively normal life.
What are the Symptoms of Hepatitis C?
Only about 30 percent show symptoms at the time of infection, which include:
- Loss of appetite
- Dark urine
- Yellowish skin
- Stomach pain
The liver is one of the body’s most essential organs, with more than 400 known functions. Two of the organ’s most important roles are neutralizing toxins and synthesizing new chemicals essential for blood clotting. It also metabolizes carbohydrates, fats and proteins, detoxifys drugs and stores vitamins. Many natural approaches focus on strengthening and cleansing the liver.
Lifestyle changes can help minimize many symptoms and may help the patient to cope with the disease by strengthening the immune system.
What are the Causes of Hepatitis C?
The virus is carried in the blood of infected individuals and is transmitted through practices in which blood is exchanged. The most common cause of Hepatitis C are blood transfusions administered before 1992. Only after that date (a few years after the discovery of Hepatitis C virus) strict screening rules were applied. Hepatitis C can also be spread by an accidental needle prick, injecting drugs, or sharing a razor or toothbrush with an infected person.
The digestive system is compromised in HCV patients and requires extra help.
Protein: Best choices are non-animal sources of protein. Eating too much protein – especially animal protein — can put a great strain on the liver.
Carbohydrates: Best choices are complex carbohydrates like brown rice and organic fruits and vegetables.
Fats: Monounsaturated fats and essential fatty acids are the best recommendation. The digestive system is compromised in HCV patients and needs extra help.
Beverages: Purified water and stomach soothing teas. All stimulants, preservatives and harmful agents have to be avoided. Sugar and alcohol are the worst enemies.
Complementary remedies may not cure HCV patients but they play an important role in improving the patient’s life. HCV patients can avoid problems by monitoring liver function with frequent blood tests.
Use a vegetarian source of protein powder for easier assimilation by the liver.
2. Liver DTX
To unburden and support the liver.
Beneficial results have been reported with 2-3 grams daily of Cordyceps.
Needed to assist with detoxification.
The following herbs should be avoided: chaparral, comfrey, germander, mistletoe, pennyroyal oil, sassafras and valerian
1. Dr. Annemarie Ballin. (Personal Communication) October 2007.
2. Cordyceps: Treating Cancer and Other Illnesses.