as ive said, i have cirrhrosis of the liver. my doctor says i dont have hep c. i always thought the two were related? my liver is damaged from drinking. i was diagnosed with cirrhosis in 1999, at 39. a kidney specialist at the hospital told me that if i didnt stop drinking, that i would be dead in about 6-8 months, because only 25% of my liver was functional. i stopped drinking the hard stuff 2001, and since then( i know its wrong) have some beers now and then. he also said my liver would never rejuvinate. i go for a blood test and medical exame, 4-5 times a yr, and every time, they tell me my liver is doing well, the numbers look good. was the specialist wrong? i mean i still have all the medical problems that occured with cirrhrosis, but it seems like my liver may have bounced back some...bob
could you imagine how much more it could have "bounced" back if you had quit drinking all together? it is possible for the liver to regenerate if you stop drinking "ALL" alcohol. sounds like you may need some help to quit drinking, especially if you were told you have cirrhosis and continued to drink. best of luck
There was some controversy surrounding Poynard's findings but this is what he reported.
"...This past year HCV researchers (Poynard, McHutchison, Lindsay et al) reported on the effect of HCV therapy on fibrosis and inflammation. They followed patients who received various regimens including interferon and Pegylated interferon, and they evaluated the outcomes in terms of improved fibrosis and inflammation. They found that inflammation and fibrosis improves in many patients whether or not they achieve an SVR, but of course achieving an SVR results in greater likelihood of improving the liver. They also found that 49% of the 150 patients with cirrhosis in this study were able to "reverse" cirrhosis."
Of course your blood enzymes numbers look better! Daily drinking of the "hard stuff" kills your liver cells which causes your liver enzymes to rise. Having a blood test after lots of drinking will show the enzymes resulting from the alcohol killing your liver cells. The disease progression has occured and your liver damaged. Your nutmeg colored liver cells have been replaced by scar tissue and has shrunken in size.
So blood tests don't tell the whole story by any means. In fact a person with cirrhosis will usually only have slightly raised AST and ALT levels. These enzymes do NOT corralate to how much your liver is damaged. Only a biopsy will tell you what the real status of your liver. Words like "well" and "good" are nice to hear but don't really tell you much.
Your liver disease will keep progressing over time. The more you drink and the older you get, the faster it will progress, and then at some point your cirrhosis will decompensate and your liver will begin to fail. I assume you understand what this means. Why anyone would knowingly speed up the process I'll never understand. But it is your life not mine. You are still young so it is especially sad to see this happening to you.
As you become more ill and show more signs of decompensation you should be in contact, if you are not already, with a transplant center in your area, as sometime in the future you will need a transplant to continue living.
As I understand it, if you remove the offending agent -- HCV or Alcohol -- both the non-cirrhotic and cirrhotic liver can potentially "bounce" back, but early cirrhosis is probably more reversable than more advanced cirrhosis. BMI (body mass index) is also associated with the progression of fibrosis, so in your case prudence suggests no alcohol and watching the waist line. As to your "numbers looking good", that certainly is encouraging, but in lieu of another biopsy which may or may not be indicated, you might want to supplement these numbers with some non-evasive testing such as the Fibroscan device, if and when it gets FDA approval.
I think total abstinence from alcohol would be a good step. Don't rely on the enzyme numbers to indicate how much damage your liver has sustained or what condition it is in. They are not a good indicator.
If I was you, I would definitely stop consuming any alcohol at all. Then it would be advisable to go on a strictly organic, non-toxic diet. Eliminate all the stuff which can harm your liver. Use filtered water. You do not need to do it all at once, as that might be difficult for most people. Then you would eliminate any factors which could harm your liver further.
Next thing, I would find a good TCM doctor (Traditional Chinese Medicine) or better an MD who practises Integrative Modern Chinese Medicine (this is a combination of western and Chinese) There is a very reputable one in NYC called Dr. Zhang. (DR. Zhang Clinic) He has a good liver protocol to halt and even reverse fibrosis. dr-zhang.com
Steps in this direction would help strengthen your liver and help it out to start healing itself.
I really wish you the best. You are still young and your liver should be able to get back into a better state with perseverance and a healthy life style.
If this pathological process can be held, or reversed, the prognosis of chronic liver disease can be greatly changed. Through many years of studies in animal cirrhotic models, it has been proven that reversal fibrosis is possible, even in the early stages of liver cirrhosis. The question is, at what stage does fibrosis become irreversible? In order to study this problem, we are badly in need of a non-invasive method to assess the progression of fibrosis and how anti-fibrosis treatment is working. Although many researchers found that fibrosis is reversible, it was a common brief that cirrhosis is irreversible. Some clinical researches done in China found recently that cirrhosis, especially its early stage can be reversed, which challenges this common brief.
i realize my circumstances, was just curious about the liver rejuvenating. i asked my doctor in NY about 5 yrs ago, "if i were to stop drinking beer, altogether, would my liver come back some?" i remember his exact words, he said, " NO. your liver is too far gone to ever rejuvinate, it is almost all scar tissue. you have no reserve left in your liver. i recomend you stop drinking all together, but it will not heal your liver, but you may save what you have left" and other doctors in NY, and NC have told me the same, so i guess im just figuring, the horses are out, why close the gate now? i have slowed my drinking to a snails pace tho. i beleive i had a bio done on my liver back around 2000, along with a ct....bob
"Eliminate all the stuff which can harm your liver"
"Next thing, I would find a good TCM doctor (Traditional Chinese Medicine) or better an MD who practises Integrative Modern Chinese Medicine (this is a combination of western and Chinese) There is a very reputable one in NYC called Dr. Zhang. (DR. Zhang Clinic)"
I think your first statement is contradictory to your advice about TCM which followed. If you have liver disease, particularly advanced, you do NOT want to take ANY Chinese herbs. It matters not who prescribes them or how 'good' or 'safe' the source is. There is NO way for a practioner to know what the true contents of any herb preparation are. The lab costs to determine content would be cost-prohibitive to them. As for Zhang, he is a bona fide quack in my book. And if he has treatments that can reverse fibrosis I'd sure like to see the proof. No testimonials, please. If he can reverse fibrosis then why in heck do people go through the toxic SOC ? Reversal of fibrosis is better than any cure. There is no chance of relapse, right ?
Chinese herbs are extremely unsafe, and you play Russian roulette when you use them. I think it is irresponsible at best to tell someone with cirrhosis to risk their very life with this eastern version of snake oil. Actually, having said that I was reminded that they also have a fondness in China of grinding up insects and other creatures and adding them to their preparations. They like to 'marinate' their herbs in various liquid concoctions, too. So, in reality, there COULD be some real snake oil in there somewhere. ;) How many people have to die from kidney and liver failure from Chinese herbs begfore the CAM crowd catches on ? There are studies after study that show that a large percentage of imported Chinese herbs contain toxins, most notably arsenic, mercury, and lead. Most of these are added INTENTIONALLY. Those fools think that this stuff has medicinal properties. Many herbs tested contained western pharmeceuticals added, as well. No mention on the labels , of course. Four out of every 100 admissions to hospitals in Taiwan are related to illnesses from using Chinese herbs.
There are 1.1 billion people in China. Most live in the rural areas where western medicine is limited in practice. My question to you or anybody who thinks China's got a grip on anything hepatitis-related--is why does ONE in TEN people in China (that's 110 million people!!!) have either HCV or HBV ? They are a total failure when it comes to treating these diseases.China ranks DEAD last among industrialized nations with their infectivity rates of HCV.
There is no doubt that many new drugs in the future will come from botanicals. About 30% of the drugs currently on the market are from botanically-derived compounds. So using drugs from plant sources is common in western medicine. The difference is in the west we isolate the beneficial compounds, eliminate the rest, purify, and test before going to market with it. Our medicine is evidence-based. In China, no regulations exist for their herbal concoctions. Understandably, they clamor for more western style medicine in China.
If you go to PubMed and do a search you will find a ton of science on the subject.
People with compromised livers should avoid Chinese herbs like the plague.
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