Alternative Treatment for Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a highly contagious liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Around 3 million Americans suffer from Hepatitis C and are unaware of it. Studies are still being conducted to discover more about the virus that causes the disease and treatment options that include alternative and conventional methods. Majority of people who suffer from HCV tend to develop chronic hepatitis C, and symptoms do not manifest for 20 to 30 years. The virus gradually damages the patients liver over time.
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a liver disease that occurs when the hepatitis C virus infects the body; the infection is usually passed on from person to person through the blood of a person suffering from hepatitis C. The immune system tends to weaken once attacked by the hepatitis C virus. Chronic hepatitis C could lead to serious liver disease, including cirrhosis, liver cancer, and in some cases death due to a diseased liver.
Treatment for Hepatitis C
Whether treatment is required for hepatitis C is decided based on various factors including the level of damage to your liver, the amount of hepatitis C virus present in your body, other health conditions that you are suffering from, and what kind of hepatitis C infection you have.
Medications used to treat hepatitis C have severe side effects, do not work for everybody, and tend to be very expensive. Short-term hepatitis C, if diagnosed early, is treated with medicines that should help chronic infection from arising. Chronic hepatitis C is also treated with medications after blood tests and a biopsy of the liver are conducted to see whether you require treatment or not. If there is damage to your liver, you will have to take medicines while also going for regular blood tests to see how your liver is functioning. Medicines are usually to be used over a period of 6 months to a year to get rid of the virus. However, conventional drugs like interferon that is used to help get rid of the virus causes various side effects. As a result, people often seek other avenues of treatment and opt for alternative therapies.
Home Remedies for Hepatitis C
There is no scientific proof that alternative medicine therapy or home remedies for hepatitis C help cure or alleviate symptoms of hepatitis C. While some people are turning to the use of herbs, it is best to check with your doctor and an herbalist before starting any form of alternative treatment as there could be side effects associated with them. Herbs that are commonly used are milk thistle, ginger, licorice root, and ginseng.
- Early studies show that milk thistle helps protect your liver from various toxins, thereby minimising the damage caused to them. Milk thistle is usually used to reduce the damage that HCV can cause to your liver. As milk thistle does not dissolve properly in water, it is best to drink it as a tea. There are dietary supplements that are also readily available in the market.
- Licorice roots are used to brew a tea and are used to help reduce the effect that the virus has on your liver. Licorice root contains anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Make sure that you consult your herbalist over the correct dosage as having this herb in excess could lead to side effects.
- Ginseng is another herb that is best consumed as tea and helps strengthen the immune and glandular systems.
Here are a few simple tips that you can follow to avoid complications if you suffering from HCV:
- Diagnose your hepatitis C infection early with advanced blood tests available to doctors.
- Make sure that you give your doctor a thorough medical history and all the medication that you are on.
- Vaccinate yourself with the hepatitis A and B shots.
- Avoid blood donations.
- Do not self-medicate.
- Avoid alcohol altogether.
- Do not share needles when using drugs that need to be injected.