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hepatitis a viral hepatitis natural therapy hepatitis herbs hepatitis
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
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.
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.
treatment for hepatitis
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.
list a few possibilities but much more research needs to be done before
making any firm recommendations.
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
found to be helpful in hepatitis C.
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
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