Vertex Pharmaceuticals called development of a new Hepatitis-C drug telaprevir “one of the largest pharmaceutical opportunities this decade.”
Hepatitis-C kills about 12,000 Americans. Liver damage does not show symptoms until pathological changes have occurred years after contracting the disease, that's why 3/4 people don't know they have it.
The new drug is added to alpha interferon and ribavirin treatments.
There are plans for a new 20-minute result screening technique. The risk is increased screening could result in treatment for those who don't need it. Only 5%-20% of those with chronic infection will develop cirrhosis of the liver.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The virus enters the liver cells, uses the cell's inner genetic machinery to make copies of itself, which then infect more cells. In about 15% of cases, hepatitis C infection is acute, meaning it is cleared spontaneously by the body and there are no long-term consequences. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases (85%), the infection becomes chronic and slowly damages the liver over many years. Over time, this liver damage can lead to cirrhosis (or scarring) of the liver, end-stage liver disease, and liver cancer.
In the United States alone, hepatitis C affects about 4 million people, making it much more common than HIV infection. In fact, hepatitis C is the most common bloodborne infection in the United States.
Hepatitis C Symptoms People with hepatitis C infection usually do not have characteristic disease symptoms. Unlike other forms of viral hepatitis, hepatitis C infection usually does not result in jaundice. When symptoms do appear, they may be vague and include tiredness, stomach pain, and rash. Because HCV infection often has no symptoms, many people do not know they have hepatitis C and may be infecting others. The only way to know whether you have hepatitis C is to get a blood test for hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C Causes Hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The wordhepatitis simply means inflammation of the liver.
There are several different kinds of viral hepatitis. In each case, the virus, once inside the body, begins to live in the liver cells, interferes with the normal activity of these cells, and then uses the cells' inner machinery to make more copies of the virus which then infect other healthy cells.
If you have hepatitis C, it's important to eat healthy and avoid alcohol. Alcohol can further damage your liver so it should be avoided whether or not you're being treated. One of the most common symptoms of hepatitis C is chronic fatigue. Fatigue may also be a side effect of hepatitis C treatment. Hepatitis C-related fatigue may be managed by getting enough rest and maintaining a healthy exercise routine.
The hepatitis C virus is very skilled at changing itself quickly. In fact there are at least six major types of HCV (referred to as genotypes) and more than 50 subtypes. This is part of the reason why the body cannot fight the virus effectively and why researchers have not been able to develop a vaccine against HCV. The genotype does not affect the severity of the infection or how quickly it progresses, but people with certain genotypes of HCV may not respond as well as others to treatment.
How Is It Spread? Hepatitis C is usually spread from one person to another by direct exposure to infected blood or blood products, andneedles or other sharp objects. With hepatitis C, there is risk associated with everyday events such as bleeding from cuts or nosebleeds, and blood from menstruation. Household personal items that come in contact with the blood of an infected person can become a means of spreading the virus (for example, toothbrushes, razors, or manicure instruments).
The risk of contracting hepatitis C through sexual contact is higher for people with multiple sexual partners. Hepatitis C is rarely spread from an infected mother to her newborn or to other members of the household. However, if the mother is also HIV-positive, the risk of passing the hepatitis C virus is much higher. Breastfeeding does not appear to transmit the hepatitis C virus.
If you have hepatitis C, you cannot infect others through hugging, shaking hands, sneezing, coughing, sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, kissing on the cheek, casual contact, or other contact that doesn't involve exposure to blood.
A person infected with hepatitis C may become infectious to others as soon as 2 weeks after being infected themselves.
Hepatitis C Symptoms Often, people infected with hepatitis C have no symptoms--even when the infection has been in their bodies for years.
If symptoms are present, they may be vague and include:
Loss of appetite
Yellowing of skin or eyes (called "jaundice") in rare cases
In some cases, hepatitis C may lead to an increase in certain liver enzymes, which can be detected during routine blood tests. However, some people with chronic hepatitis C may have fluctuating or even normal liver enzyme levels.
Diagnostic Blood Tests There are specific tests your doctor can do to identify hepatitis C. Blood banks also screen donated blood for hepatitis C and notify you if you have tested positive. Tests for hepatitis C can show if you are infected with the virus or if you were infected in the past.
If you think you are at risk for hepatitis C and want to get tested, ask your doctor for a hepatitis C blood test.Remember, routine blood tests do not test for hepatitis C. The only way you can get tested is to ask specifically for the test.
There are two main types of blood tests that can be used to diagnose hepatitis C:
Antibody tests - Antibody tests detect the presence of antibodies to the hepatitis C virus (e.g, the ELISA andRIBA) tests
HCV RNA tests - These tests specifically detect the presence of the hepatitis C virus particles. HCV RNA can be detected using several methods. The most common method is reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR.
There is much more on this website plus resource links:
If you are interested in learning more about hepatitis C or you need more information on treatment options or support resources, visit the following Web sites:
Abstain from alcohol. Any alcohol consumption makes the course of HCV much worse and increases replication (the amount of the virus) of the virus.
Stop smoking cigarettes. Smoking has been associated with increased risk of HCV-associated liver cancer.
See your doctor regularly.
Don't start any new medicines or use over-the-counter, herbal, and other medicines without a qualified physician's knowledge.
Consider vaccination for hepatitis A and Hepatitis B if liver damage is present.
Hydrotherapy (constitutional or contrast) to the liver.
Castor oil packs to the liver.
Dietary Recommendations for Hepatitis C
If appetite is low, consume fresh juices, miso broth.
Follow Connecticut Center for Health’s Food Program.
Consume plenty of fresh vegetables for antioxidants and other nutrients essential for liver function.
Consume plenty of high quality protein. Eat 6 ounces of beef, chicken, turkey, pork (preferably organic) or fish daily. Eat fish 2-3 times per week.
Eat 4 ounces of breakfast muesli daily.
Minimize intake of sweetened and sugary foods, including refined sugars and fruit juice. Limit fruit juice to 4-6 ounces per day.
Drink 48-64 ounces of clean water daily. Avoid chlorinated water.
Eat 2-3 fruits per day, a minimum of 2 cups of vegetables per day and eat 1 medium size salad per day (no iceberg lettuce).
Nutritional Supplements to Consider for Hepatitis C
Multinutrients multivitamin. 2 capsules 3 times daily or 3 capsules 2 times daily with food.
Antioxidants: vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid, beta-carotene
Minerals: selenium, zinc
Other nutrients: N-acetyl cysteine, s-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA)
Cod liver oil: 1-2 tsp per day or Fish Oil 1 g capsules, 1 capsule twice daily with food. These treatments have various functions such as inhibiting fibrosis, reducing oxidative damage to cells, increasing effectiveness of interferon treatment, lowering ALT, inhibiting viral replication, and protecting and supporting liver function. SUPPLEMENTS
Botanical (Herbal) Medicine for Hepatitis C
Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle) should be in any Hepatitis C protocol. It can accelerate recovery from chronic hepatitis C, lowers liver enzymes, stabilizes phospholipid membranes of hepatocytes, protects liver cells from oxidative damage, protects against lipid peroxidation, and is antifibrotic.
Other herbs which will be considered depending on the patients symptoms include: Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice), Uncaria gambir (catechins), and Phyllanthus amarus.
Herbs will be selected and used for anti-viral effects, antioxidant effects, lowering ALT, lowering incidence of cirrhosis, improving liver function, protecting liver cells, accelerating disappearance of virus, preventing lipid peroxidation, and deterring hepatocellular carcinoma.
Consider also: Various other antiviral, immune-supportive and liver-supportive herbs.
Treatments to decrease Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF-): Camellia sinensis (tea), Zingiber officinale (ginger), Tanacetum parthenium (feverfew), Ginkgo biloba, and the flavonoid quercetin. Therapeutic use of DHEA and melatonin may also be considered. TNF- is hypothesized to play a central role in the inflammation associated with HCV.
170 million people around the world who are infected with the virus
carriers of the virus show no symptoms during the disease's acute period and even many years into a chronic infection.
may be up to 3 million Americans who are carriers of the virus without even knowing that they are infected.
Up to one-third of persons diagnosed with chronic Hepatitis C will develop cirrhosis of the liver.
Possible signs and symptoms of liver cirrhosis include ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdomen), bruising and bleeding tendency, bone pain, varices (enlarged veins, especially in the stomach and esophagus), fatty stools (steatorrhea), jaundice, and a syndrome of cognitive impairment known as hepatic encephalopathy.
Indian homeopaths have clinically established that homeopathic remedies alone can drastically lower viral load counts when they are chosen on an individual basis befitting the patient's background.
In addition to homeopathics, Cindy uses several types of herbal tinctures and capsules, including: hepatoprotective agents, hepatosupportitive agents, antiviral herbs, herbs specific for to clearing stagnation, and immunomodulators. I also use specific foods and spices as part of the healing process.
There are over 350 Homeopathic remedies listed in various Homeopathic provings, journals, and books that have helped people recover from various hepatitis viral disorders.
Cindy has used over forty of them in her practice along with some supportive therapies with excellent results.
The key to successfully eliminating the virus is not only choosing what would work best for the patient and selecting the remedies and herbs to match the pathology of the case, but most importantly, changing the herbs and adjusting the remedies and dosages before the virus becomes used to a stimulus.
Homeopathic Biochemical Tissue salts should be administered with the individually selected Homeopathic remedy for best results.
Cindy recommends that Hepatitis C patients take two to four ounces a day of a uniquely processed aloe vera juice (Super Aloe Vera 10,000MPS-Archeus brand), which acts as a natural antiviral and immune potentiator.
Dr. Cindee Gardner is a Homeopathic Doctor, Molecular Biologist, Herbalist, and Nutritional Councelor with over 28 years of experience in the healing arts. Appointments are available by phone, email or in the Homeopathic Office in Pittsburgh, Pa. USA. Phone: 412-243-3010. E Mail: email@example.com
DR SHAH'S FORMULA Important note: Every case calls for detailed study of the patient individually. There are no disease specific medicines in homeopathy. The exact treatment is determined only on "in-depth" evaluation of the individual case. The medicines described below are commonly indicated in Hepatitis C, only for the purpose of information. The readers are advised not to indulge in any kind of self-medication.
Chelidonium Majus: This is a drug that is prepared from the flowers of the plant commonly known as Celandine. It is one of the most commonly used drugs in homoeopathy for hepatic affections. This remedy acts very specifically on the hepato-biliary system. It's frequently used in cases of Hepatitis C as well as other kinds of hepatitis. It acts favorably on the liver and restores the deviated functioning back to normalcy. Jaundice with pain and heaviness of the abdomen are common features of this remedy. Much lethargy and weakness in general with no desire to eat at all. Intense nausea and vomiting are also effectively tackled with this drug. In all, this is a very good remedy for hepatic and biliary affections in general.
Bryonia Alba: This is another wonderful drug in homoeopathy which is prepared from the roots of a plant commonly known as wild hops. After undergoing the process of potentization, the inner hidden curative powers oft this drug are brought to surface. Bryonia is a drug which positively influences multiple systems of the body such as the gastro-intestinal system, hepato-biliary system, musculo-skeletal system, respiratory organs, etc.
Its one of the frequently used drugs for Hepatitis C, dyspepsia, migraine, bronchitis, frequent respiratory infections, joint pains, backache, menstrual complaints, etc.
In hepatitis, this patient experiences soreness and burning in the abdomen. The abdomen is very tender to touch and patient also has intense nausea and vomiting. The complaints of the Bryonia patient are worse during the summer months and worse from heat.
Kali Carbonicum: Potassium carbonate undergoes the process of potentization to evolve into a powerful deep acting homoeopathic remedy called Kali Carb. Kali carb is a polycrest drug i.e. having effects on multiple organs and systems in the body. It has a broad sphere of action and is useful for a wide range of diseases.
Kali Carbonicum positively influences liver, lungs, digestive system, heart, kidney, female reproductive system, skin, etc. Kali Carbonicum does wonders in cases of asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis, pneumonia, hydrothorax, etc. It is one of the commonly used medicines for Hepatitis C, vitiligo, warts, eczema, urticaria, hair loss, trigeminal neuralgia, sciatica and low backache, hypothyroidism, heavy menstrual bleeding, etc. It is also useful for complaints of digestive system like acidity, piles, jaundice, gastritis, etc.
On the mental sphere, it tackles anxiety states very efficiently and is used for the treatment of the effects of stress on the body.
Phosphorus: This is a wonderful remedy prepared by the potentization of inorganic phosphorus. After undergoing the process of potentization, the latent healing powers of this drug are brought to surface and it proves to be a wonderful remedy capable of curing a wide range of diseases.
Phosphorus predominantly acts on the gastrointestinal tract, hepato-biliary system, blood, kidneys, bones, lungs, nervous tissue, etc. It is frequently used in the homoeopathic treatment of Hepatitis C, nephrotic syndrome, cirrhosis, hemorrhagic tendencies, respiratory infections, osteomyelitis, paralytic symptoms, etc.
It is a very good remedy for hepatic affections in general such as hepatitis, atrophy of liver, cirrhosis of liver, etc. Pressure and heaviness in the abdomen with jaundice is noted in the patient. Pain in the abdomen is relieved by rubbing. Some of the other common indications of this drug are:
Highly sensitive to external impressions such as light, sound, odors, touch, thunderstorms, etc. Restless, excitable, nervous individuals. Affects the kidneys also causing albuminuria and haematuria; patient has profuse, pale, watery urine with intense weakness. There is increased susceptibility to colds amongst children.
Arsenicum Album: It is one of the commonly used homoeopathic drugs which has got profound action on every organ and tissue of the body. It is prepared from arsenic trioxide which undergoes the process of potentization to bring its latent curative powers to the surface. It is a wonderful remedy and has a very wide sphere of action. It predominantly acts on the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, urinary system, skin, reproductive system, nervous system, etc. It has good scope in the treatment of septic infections and low vitality. Arsenic alb. is frequently prescribed for conditions like Hepatitis C, asthmatic bronchitis, sinusitis, fevers, psoriasis, eczema, gastritis, enteritis, food poisoning, etc.
It's a good drug for hepatitis wherein the patient has enlargement of the liver and soreness in the abdomen due to the same. Intense nausea and vomiting are other important symptoms during this state. Arsenic is also a good drug for breathlessness that comes on after taking cold drinks and cold food. Most of the complaints in such patients are associated with intense weakness and debility, restlessness and lot of anxiety.
China officinalis: This is a homoeopathic remedy that is prepared from the bark of the plant China officinalis. It is frequently used for the treatment of intermittent fevers, hemorrhages, Headache, gastrointestinal affections, gall stones, dyspepsia, dropsical conditions etc.
It is one of the very good remedies for affections of the liver. Few of its specific symptoms in cases of hepatitis-C are:
Profound debility with all complaints. Hemorrhages with much debility, trembling, ringing, and buzzing in the ears. Fullness and flatulence felt in the whole abdomen; the abdomen is enormously distended. Patient is not relieved from eructation or may be only temporary better with this. Everything eaten turns into gas. Complaints are associated with nausea or vomiting of bile and mucus. Dropsical conditions.
Carduus marianus: This homeopathic remedy is prepared from the plant commonly known as St. Mary's Thistle. It is an excellent remedy for affections of the liver, for cirrhosis, gall stone disease, enlarged liver, etc.
This is a good drug for complaints occurring after abuse of alcoholic beverages, especially beer. Patient gets nausea, retching, vomiting of green, acid fluid. Liver is engorged, especially left lobe, swelled laterally in the transverse direction and is painful to pressure. Pain in liver most marked when lying on left side. Right hypochondriac region is very tender, even when liver is not congested or enlarged. The pain is worse from motion and deep inspiration. Patient has an aversion to salt, meat.
Commonly, the patient suffers from constipation and the stools are hard, difficult, knotty. Constipation alternates with diarrhea. Good remedy for Jaundice. WATCH A LIVER BIOPSY
Congratulation Debby Bruck excellent and more informative reaserch and articles about HCV. I will also discuss about HCV because I have cured many patients of hcv infection from only with homeopathic treatment.