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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

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hepatitis b hepatitis a viral hepatitis natural therapy hepatitis herbs hepatitis vitamins

Chronic hepatitis B and C are similar kinds of liver infection that are caused by viruses. These infections are named after the viruses that cause them. A virus called hepatitis B causes chronic hepatitis B infection. A virus called hepatitis C causes chronic hepatitis C infection. Chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C are long-term infections of the liver that develop after a bout of acute hepatitis. The hepatitis C virus was first identified in 1989. It causes chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver cancer.


Causes of Hepatitis
Contaminated blood products or body fluids, dirty needles and instruments, and injection drug use are the main routes of transmission. Cultural practices, such as acupuncture, tattoo, body piercing and scarring, also play a role.  A person can get hepatitis B and hepatitis C by having sex with an infected person. Recent research indicates that hepatitis C may be transmitted by common household items such as toothbrushes.

Chronic Hepatitis
After a person has recovered from acute hepatitis, chronic hepatitis can set in. Chronic hepatitis occurs when the liver has been damaged from the acute illness and doesn't recover from the damage. Chronic hepatitis develops in 10 to 20 percent of people who have hepatitis B and in 30 to 50 percent of people who have hepatitis C. People with chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis C may not have any symptoms at all. But in some people, chronic hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis occurs when the liver cells die and are replaced by scar tissue and fat. The liver stops working and can't cleanse the body of wastes. People in the early stages of cirrhosis may not have symptoms. When cirrhosis gets worse, symptoms begin. They may include weight loss, fatigue, jaundice, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite . Cirrhosis can lead to liver failure (the liver stops working) and liver cancer.


Medical treatment for hepatitis
Interferon alfa-2b is a new drug for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis C. This drug, given as a shot, helps the immune system fight the hepatitis virus. Treatment with interferon alfa-2b is successful in some patients with chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis C. The shots may be given every day or every other day. Treatment may last for a number of months. Zinc supplementation enhances the response to interferon therapy in patients with intractable chronic hepatitis C.
        Total abstinence from alcohol should be recommended to patients infected with hepatitis C virus as even at moderate levels, alcohol use appears to increase fibrosis progression in these patients.

Natural therapies for hepatitis

There's very little research available on the natural or herbal therapy of viral hepatitis
. I will list a few possibilities but much more research needs to be done before making any firm recommendations.
        Carnitine decreases the severity and type of fatigue induced by interferon-alpha in the treatment of patients with hepatitis C.
        Silymarin is a derivative from the Milk thistle plant with few side effects that has been used for centuries to treat liver ailments. Research results of some small studies suggest silymarin has hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative properties producing a beneficial effect for some types of hepatitis. It is unclear, however, whether silymarin might interfere with the effect of interferon, and there is little research regarding the role of silymarin in the therapy of chronic viral hepatitis.
        Cordyceps may be helpful in Hepatitis B
        Licorice may be helpful in Hepatitis C.
        The Chinese herbal compound Baicao Rougan Capsule has been tested in the treatment of hepatits B with some improvement of liver fibrosis and early cirrhosis.
        Phyllanthus amarus may have positive effect on antiviral activity and liver biochemistry in chronic HBV infection.
        Wogonin isolated from Scutellaria baicalensis can suppress HBV surface antigen production in vitro.
        St. John's wort has
not been found to be helpful in hepatitis C.

Hepatitis Research Update
Immunization with the synthetic hepatitis B vaccine may be associated with an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

Complementary and alternative therapies in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C: a systematic review.
Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Exeter UK.
J Hepatol. 2004 Mar;40(3):491-500.
Hepatitis C is an escalating global health problem. The recommended treatment regimen is associated with considerable expense, adverse effects and poor efficacy in some patients. Complementary therapies are widely promoted for and used by patients with hepatitis C. The aim is to systematically assess the efficacy of complementary therapies in treating chronic hepatitis C. METHODS: Systematic searches were conducted in six databases, reference lists of all papers were checked for further relevant publications and information was requested from experts. No language restrictions were imposed. RESULTS: Twenty-seven eligible randomised clinical trials were located involving herbal products and supplements. No randomised clinical trials were identified for any other complementary therapy. In 14 of the hepatitis C trials, patients received interferon-alpha in combination with the complementary therapy. Less than half the trials (11/27) were of good methodological quality. Compared with the control group, significant improvements in virological and/or biochemical response were seen in trials of vitamin E, thymic extract, zinc, traditional Chinese medicine, Glycyrrhiza glabra and oxymatrine. CONCLUSIONS: We identified several promising complementary therapies, although extrapolation of the results is difficult due to methodological limitations. More research is warranted to establish the role of these and other therapies in the treatment of hepatitis C.

Infection with hepatitis C virus nearly doubles the risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer involving the lymph nodes.

People chronically infected with hepatitis C virus have a significantly increased rate of thyroid abnormalities