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Alternative Treatments
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Alternative Treatments


Alternative treatments?

I know this is a loaded question. Please remember I have just been diagnosed with hepc and am only doing my research. I am sure I am thinking the same things many of us have thought before. My thinking might not be objective. Maybe I am reaching. I am not in denial. I accept the facts. I understand that only 15% of us are able to clear the infection without treatment. I know we all think or thought we did not have the time to be
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Avatar_f_tn
Everything you stated is right on the dot. We have all been through the same emotions and the same sites and were exposed to all the claims for alternatives for hcv.
NOTHING is killing and erradicating the virus but the inmune system of that 15 to 20% and the combo of antivirals currently prescribed for the infection. Those are the facts.
You need to wait for the biopsy result to decide whether you can wait or not on the treatment option. If you have 0 damage, there is no urgency to treat if you are still young. The older we get, the less effective the meds are.
herbs and vitamins can improve your liver and health, but not kill a virus that has become chronic, I have not read of any studies that prove otherwise.
Wait for all your results to be in, genotype, liver damage, viral load, to make any decissions.
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Avatar_n_tn
Do you have a biopsy scheduled? I agree with Cuteus.  If your biopsy shows minimal damage or inflammation and you feel well right now, you might want to wait to see what is coming up for various MEDICAL treatment options.  However, I think I recall that you indicated that you were 46 years old and although you have lost weight (GOOD FOR YOU!), it sounds like you might have a few extra pounds.  Studies indicate that treatment works best on those that are younger and in a healthy weight range.  Please do not take my message to infer that you are not in a healthy weight range.  I don't know how tall you are, so you actually may be in a good weight range for your height.  In any event, younger and healthy weight, makes success a little better.  So . . . point is, if your biopsy is relatively benign, you can probably wait a little on treatment.  But, like Rev says, there isn't much new in the pipeline.  On the other hand, you may want to go ahead and get started with the meds since you are only 46 and it sounds like you are working on your weight or have already accomplished your weight loss goals.  Finally, I know of NO other alternative treatment that I would be comfortable with. Truly, if your sides aren't too bad, this is a very "do-able" treatment protocol.  Certainly, you may have some sides, but then again, they may be minimal and you can carry on and get the whole thing over with.  It's a decision only you can make.
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Avatar_n_tn
In addition to what Scott and Cuteous have said.....Some of the herbs (ie. milk thistle, etc) could possibly make you feel a little better (or is it all in the mind?) but WILL NOT cure the Hep C or change the progression of the disease.

Get all the info you can and then make your decision on whether to tx or not.

Good luck in your journey.
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Avatar_n_tn
Something else to consider is the unknown, long term effect of tx on our bodies?
However, as stated in previous posts, only antibodies and tx have proven to be effective in eradicating this virus.
I chose tx because I prefer to deal with facts and tend to live more in the here and now.  I decided I was as young as I was ever going to be (48), healthy and of sound mind (?:) and, since I believed my infection to be in it's infancy at the time of dx, I believed I had a good chance of attaining SVR.
I am on now week #25/48.  When I consider the battles being fought by MikeSimon and others on this Forum, I know I made the right choice for me.
Best of luck with your tx choices.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,This is a touchier subject than politics..
First off, there are meds curing HCV, % are low, but they ARE happening. Do a saerch, and see what comes back. There is a treatment with Mistle Toe extract, and a substance found in green tomatoes. I believe it is the Swiss, ot the Germans that are studying it, and it is showning rates in the 20% range. Also it is two years, and has no sx's. Then there is Sho-Saiko-to, which there are studying at a cancer hospital in new york, for its effectiveness against cancer, and hep c. Also shows signs of improvement in chirrosis (cirrhosis). This also claims 15% to 20% rate. If you take the 15% chance you have naturally, and factor in one of the others, you are just about where FDA states the success for geno 1's.
You got to do a biopsy, and take it from there. If damage is present, and your up in progression, like stage 2 or 3, treat. If not, I personally would wait, make lifestyle changes, use supplements, and monitor it closely. I have had this thing 27 years now, gen 1a, and VL of only 5460. Can't wait for next heptimax, as I have been taking lots of supplements to try and suppress it. Milk thistle, alpha lipocic acid, NAC, vitamin e, vitamin c, B complex, echenecea and goldenseal. Lots of these are good, and the reasons people are getting so many illnesses, is because the soil our food is grown in lacks most of the nutrients they are supposed to supply.
Biopsy, see where you stand, research options, then make a decision YOU are comfortable with.. Best of luck.

By the way, many countries have treatments for hep c, Mexico, Venzuela, China, etc. Most are with herbs, and supplementation, or different combinations of drugs.
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Avatar_n_tn

Ok. That
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Avatar_f_tn
It would be most wise to wait for your genotype and biopsy report. When the herbs/supplements "studies" mentioned above were posted here, there was NO breakdown by genotype in the results.
genotype 1 is the most common in the US and the hardest to treat. Most stats of current meds show SVR rates for ALL genotypes and only a few break it down by genotype. Those that do, put the svr rate at 50 to 60%, depending on many personal factors, it can be higher if other factors are present(low vl, youth, EVR, etc.).
I am not sure how snook comes up with the 50% svr rate for those herbs for genotype one, when there was no breakdown. Maybe I missed that part when I read it? Are you willing to give up two yrs of your life for a 10% chance to a cure?
There are no proven, more effective method for geno 1 than the current prescribed therapy, don't get too side tracked.
best to you

ps; we all have tons of questions when first diagnosed and want answers before all the facts are in, it is only natural.
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Avatar_n_tn
Didn't state the stats were for geno 1's. They are in general. Studies did not state genotypes tested, but either did I.. Sorry, but had to put my 2 cents in, as there are other options, for those that cannot tolerate tx, or simply make the decision not to tx.. The decision is personal. By the way, some of the studies DO show higher svr% of 40 for those same trials. Of course what you want to believe is optional..
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Avatar_n_tn
I never tried any alternative or herb tx., but have heard here many times that there are Chinese herbs that can alleviate some of the symptoms of Hep C. They do not cure or even slow the disease, but until someone starts tx. they can help releive the fatigue and joint and muscle aches and edema that go w/ liver damage. However, if you have no symptoms yet, they would just be a waste of money. Also take nothing, absolutely nothing, not approved by your hep doctor.   Joni
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm not here to promote a "watchful waiting" approach, but I will share my experience with you, for what it's worth.  I was diagnosed last October.  I'm a 44-year-old female, genotype 1a, no fibrosis on biopsy.  My VL in November 2003 was 24,800 IU/mL (very, very low).  I just had another test done last month and it had dropped by nearly 94% (1,580 IU/mL), without treatment.

I can't explain why I've had this significant drop in VL.  Nor do I know if it's something I should get my hopes up too high about.  But it sure ain't bad news!  I've been taking a number of vitamins and supplements, including Milk Thistle, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Selenium, Sam-E, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C.  I've also continued my usual healthy eating habits and completely cut out alcohol (didn't drink much anyway).

Again, I'm not advocating postponing treatment.  Every situation is different.  But in my case, I feel comfortable, at least so far, in giving it more time and seeing what happens.  

Best wishes to you.

Susan
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Avatar_n_tn
as all have stated tx or not it will be your decision.Before you decide , be aware and arm yourself with as much info as you can get .Remember forewarned is forearmed.keep asking questions and to repeat a point mentioned before, the only stupid question is the one you don't ask best of luck...... Daryl
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Avatar_n_tn
Best thing you can do is to learn from others, and do lots of research..  Milk thistle, and vitamins and mimerals, eating right, excercise..stay healthy, no alcohol..all that is good.. All the feelings come to all of us.. it is alot to comprehend..and it is like an unwanted leach of a guest that won't leave !  from my experience, I would advise to 'get IT' before it gets you !. It rarely goes away on it's own..
  I was Dx in summer of 2000. liver enzymes were elevated, but not drastically.. viral load was 1 million, type 1a... I  had to drop insurance because of finances..and couldn't start TX that Oct as planned..Doc said, no worries..no big rush.. plenty of time..Easy for HIM to say!.. I was counting on the economy to turn around and this business would pick up and I'd do Tx when money was better.. well.. it didn't and I didn't.. so, I kept hoping it would just hold where it was and I'd be OK..  after no medical care since Oct 2000.. I went to a dr in Jan 2004.and got a shockerf... VL was 1,780,000..enzymes in the 120-150 rabge, liver damage, enlgd spleen, gallstones, low platelets, clotting out of whack.. probably 3rd stage cirrhosis..They said if I didn't do Tx very soon, this thing would kill me.
  I feel like hell! and HAVE to do Tx now..si I will feel mcuh worse... SO, what is my point???  Point is:  do your research so you KNOW what's up.. and do TX while you are feeling relatively good and VL is low.. better chance of getting rid of the 'unwanted guest".  Wish you the best.. and keep that great sense of humor.. It will help you and others alot!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry snookman. I posted before I read your post. I was not connecting Elvis
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Avatar_n_tn
What a load of Cr#p. That "alternative junk is just that.....JUNK. It does not work. I would challenge anyone to find someone....anyone who has been cured by that stuff. Not some number put out by some quack.....Find me a REAL person with papers to show it. I spent a lot of time looking for that one person before I did my tx. Even back then there were "claims" of the "all natural" cures. I looked very hard for even ONE real person that had succeeded this way. The end result was.....there wasn't one. There were those who tested clear....but had no PCR to show they had it before....only some initial cheap screening test...no biopsy....nothing. Then there were some who did the herbs during the acute stages...but they may have been part of the 20% who will clear on their own. Not a single chronic Hcv patient was ever found to support the claims.  
That was 7 years ago. I have yet to see that guy...ANY GUY.... who cleared or ever hear him speak.
But the stories of REAL people who have tried that herbal or holistic approach and who have failed abound here and elsewhere. They have said that they ended up much poorer and worse off medically by waiting.
Believe what you want to. But I will say this....."I AM CURED BABY". And not by some "Holistic" miracle or aberration of nature. I killed my Dragon with the only proven cure availiable to us right now. The treatment sucked.....but it worked. Anyone who wants to bet their life on the belief that sucking on a green tomato will cure this is really nuts.
Believe what you will. I am CURED...and I am VERY real.
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Avatar_n_tn
Ooooh Boy! You have succesfully performed one rant-ectomy. Now I will have to just limit myself to: homeopathy, naturopathy, healing touch, chiropracty, accupuncture (pressure, etc.) is all quack medicine. Dr. Weil has sold out. Dr. Phil...
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Avatar_n_tn
Indiana, you must learn to express yourself. Stop holding back. Say what you mean and feel. By keeping your true feelings locked up you eventually develop some prostrate problems. WWWWHOA!
All right dude! I hear ya! I
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Avatar_n_tn
Milk Thistle, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Selenium, NAC, Olive leaf and Thymus are all things I have added to my daily intake.  I have noted that I am also on Topamax for bipolar disorder, which, I honestly believe is helping me with any pain.  I have NO pain what so ever from my tx.  My only side effects so far, are a fuzzy feeling in the afternoons, and shortness of breath and tightness in my chest.  I am unable to exersise.  I have noticed since starting the NAC that those side effects are even better.  I know that the milk thistle, Alpha lipoic acid, and selenium are major ones to take, cant hurt anyway.  And anyone who is experianing major pain, I would ask thier docotor about topamax 100mg for pain control.  It is amazing, I havent had a migrane (migraine) in over 2 1/2 months and I was getting them every 10-12 days, before.  Good luck, and blessings in whatever you deciede.  geri
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Avatar_m_tn
I was diagnosed with Hep C in 1992. I failed mono interferon treatment in 1993. Since 1995 I've been taking Milk Thistle (Silymarin), Alpha Lipoic Acid and N-acetyal Cysteine (NAC) specifically for the health of my liver - not knowing if it's actually doing any good, but they are considered safe to take. I take other supplements, too - EPA Fish Oil, Selenium, Lycopene, Gamma Vitamin E Complex, Multi-vitamin, Multi-mineral, Multi-B Complex. I honestly don't know if the first three have played any positive role at all, but my biopsy from 2003 was the same as my biopsy in 1992 (stage 1/grade1). One thing none of these will do though, is kill any viruses.

I made the decision to continue taking all of these during the course of my treatment. I am on Pegasys and 1,200 of ribavirin - and cleared the virus from my blood by week #11.5 (I will be doing shot #25 tomorrow evening). My thought process on doing so is: if these do help the health of the liver (again, unknown) - I would like to have them there helping the liver recover/improve as the virus is being eliminated from it - possibly working synergistically with my immune system and/or the interferon and ribavirin.


TnHepGuy

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Avatar_n_tn
Just found out this past Monday I have HepC,Don`t know how long I`ve had it. Hoping that the "holistic approach" will help. Plan to take the herbs/vit. some of you all have previously named. I noticed nobody mentioned collodial silver, which is good for ALOT of things. Will keep you posted as to how the holistic approach works for me, along with prayers & faith in God & his will, best wishes to all
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the good wishes, sorry if I offended anyone by mentioning religion. I understand herbs are not a cure, just might help {symptoms}along the way, will check into "real meds" if I can afford them or get assistance, have been absorbed by this diagnosis. I have had anxiety & depression since 91, got off xanax & anti-depressants 4 years ago, now this, go figure. Plan to hang out on this site for it helps me tremendously, great people here
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much for your thoughts & wishes. Yes I`m aware of how bad alcohol is for this & don`t drink . Have been self-educating myself on the do`s & don`ts of HC since Mon. Have been feeling badly ie: nausea -diarriea, don`t know if it`s just nerves or the virus. I  know the extreme fatique I feel is a symptom, hate being so tired, I`m usually very active. I lost my Husband in 94, {hemolytic anemia of unknown cause} he was only 26. Have to stick around, canT leave our only Son {13}I`ll get him tested asap, hope with everything I have he doesn`t have it too. I wish you & everyone else the best
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Avatar_f_tn
Are you talking about girlwithhepc? she and her daughter ARE waiting on tx. They are on vacation for the summer, will be back in Sept. Gwithhepc is in Hawaii!!!
IT is HOT in LI!!! can't complain too much, where my mom is, the temp was almost 100!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
i am living in mexico and my husband has recently returned to canada.he was diagnosed today with hep.c and i am researching desperatley to see if there is anything in mexico that may help.i know next to nothing since it was brought into my life today.my husband has lost a significant amount of weight in the last 2 yrs.when i look up symptons there are some that apply to my husband.i am also wondering how he contracted it and how long he has had it.he is not an intravenous user nor has he ever been.what is the normal amount of time before it is detected?i am also wondering if he has it do i as well?and what about my children and granchildren.if he contracted this from his one and only tattoo does that mean anyone that had a tattoo at the same business will have it?so many questions and really so new at this that i am freaking out.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi peanut, welcome to the forum.  You have good questions but you need to post these in your own thread so it will be seen.  Go to the top of the page and click post a question.  People on this thread will be focused on helping unico.  You will get better responses with your own thread.
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