Chinese medicine will not cure hep c But if you are waiting to treat for a while you can go to a reputable practitioner. Don't believe this **** that it won't help you. People that don't know anything about it will tell you that. It can cive you some time until you decide. Interferon is horrible stuff and is not for everyone.
I went to Zhang's clinic in manhattan and he helped me with side effects and lowering my ALT/AST until I decided to treat 6 months ago.
I have been on Dr. Zhang's herbs for over 4 years - even while on tx last year. No they do not usually get the virus to become undetectable. However, they help the liver by stopping the inflammation - so the progression of the disease stops and the liver is healed a great deal. They also lessen the side effects. I didn't have any rash or itching at all during tx. Two weeks after I started them all exhaustion and fatigue went away. One lady on Dr. Zhang's forum did become undetectable - but that is very unusual and not their purpose (she might have been in the acute phase, I don't know). Dr. Zhang tells you which herbs to take if you send him (fax him) your labs. I took one of his formulas during tx that caused me to only need 12 vials of Procrit and that was the only rescue medicine I needed in 51 weeks. I worked full time for 33 weeks of my tx and I'm 65 years old. Then I retired. Best wishes to all.
I may be stupid but at least I'm curious. All through this experience, my perception has been, there is no "cure" for hvc. Only a possibility of a reduction in viral load to a point that is so low, it is undetectable. After that, what keeps it low and undetectable? Our immune system? Fill me in here please!
As for the Chinese? Traditional herbs/meds have been studied and used for 4000 years. They do not claim to cure, only to treat symptoms. Western meds did not work for me at this point. Maybe it will someday.
I hope more will chime in here on Liz822's inquiry. I'd like to know more too! And as nygirl noted: you have to be careful!
When I first went to Zhang's clinic 6 years ago My shoulder joints hurt and i had severe itching as a side effect of hep c. He prescribed something called AI # 3. It is several herbs combined that help balance the cellular immunity. My shoulder pain and itching went away in less than a month and never returned.
He also gave something to lower the LFT's. It didn't work so I went back to him and he gave me something else that did work. Just like with traditional medicine sometimes it takes more than 1 try.
Chinese medicine is a personal decision and it helps. It should not be denigrated. The herbs that Dr Zhang uses are of the highest quality and have been used to treat symtoms for 4000 years.
You need to make sure IF you go on treatment that the herbs will NOT interfere with the interferon or the ribavirin. Too little has been studied to know if it might. Grandma found great strength in them however one must remember that she relapsed and we cannot know if it was because of them or not. There just is too little known about the effects on the treatment meds.
Of course if you are not on treatment and you feel they might help you feel better please just remember to monitor your liver enzymes. One woman we had in here really believed they would help her and they TRIPLED her enzymes in no time at all!
Oyasin - yes from what I understand what we really are doing is using the interferon to boost our immunity and the ribavirin to stop the virus from replicating. So basically we are trainning our bodies to kill the disease off and to keep on doing so after we go off the meds. That is why the relapse rate is so important - most times it either comes back right away or not because once the meds are gone...does your bodies immune system fight it down or not is the entire question.
And if you have <2 count then the actual vl inside your body is so low it's sort of alright to have it in there NOT replicating because it's bascially dormant and not enough to cause any big liver damage. But - once again - gotta have the body learn to do the fight.
That's how I've always understood it. But.........I'm not the smartest chicken in the henhouse!
There is a wonderful book on the subject you would be interested to read, called, "The Hepatitis C Help Book." A groundbreaking treatment program combining Western and Eastern medicine for maximum wellness and healing. by Mish Cohen, O.M.D., L.Ac., and Robert G. Gish, M.D., with Kalia Doner. I talked to Dr. Gish and he said they have a new edition that is really good. We should always keep an open mind.
NYgirl - 50% of patients with my genotype relapse, it has nothing to do with Dr. Zhang's herbs. Thousands of patients are taking them and getting very good results, some on SOC and some not.
Remember, I also do not have an autoimmune disease. You really should read his book about the herbs so you will be better informed. Everyone in China with hepatitis C takes these herbs. They do not have interferon or ribavirin there. It is a totally different approach. They do not feel compelled to "kill" the virus - just live with it and die from something else in time.
99.9% of patients who relapse are NOT on Dr. Zhang's herbal formulas. He specially designed these herbal formulas for hepatitis C patients, whether they are on treatment or not. But you have to send him your labs before he will tell you which ones to take. You should see the labs and bx of my liver before I started on his herbs. I would have needed a transplant long ago. I never pretend to have ALL the answers for everyone. I am just stating my own personal experience as a patient.
I think and hope In 10 years the treatment protocols will be different according to what is best for each patient.
I do not believe that you should take anything that has not been studied and has not been identified as not a danger of interaction between either the interferon or the ribavirin.
Sensibly to me - if you aren't sure it's not going to affect your chances of SVR or lower your odds then don't take it.
This goes not only for Chinese herbs and things Grandma but also for alcohol and drugs and other things that have been discussed here on the forum before.
It doesn't make sense when we shouldn't even take Iron or extra A or K in our vitamins and are in fact told NOT to take them - to be taking eastern medicine that hasn't been studied in correlation with western chemotherapy treatments.
I am certainly no expert on this subject, but here is my problem with many herbs, as gardner, who likes to grow flowers, veggies and has had some fruit trees.
I know that plants do not reproduce the same quality every time. Some years my tomatoes have been fantastic, my basil, spices of Italian quality. Other years they are not, though I groww them in the same manner, same spot, same fertilzers.
There is no quality control on them, that bothers me.
also, every GI I have been to has clearly said stay away from the herbs, I think for me anyway till there is no hope of obtaining SVR and last ditch effort would I try herbs.
You can sight, that is because of drug companies, maybe so, but til there is strict quality control of it, it is not for me. Though I do think there is much to be learned from Chinese medicine and Hollistic medicine.
Integrating Eastern & Western medicine is I think the ideal...and if this tx doesn't work...that's where I'ma goin'....heading East. Live w/it as best I can if I can't kill it....but I'm still tryin. GrandmaA, i feel like I'm losing it....
When did you relapse??? If this is truly the case...I am very sorry to hear that. Like you said...50/50 chance. I certainly would not blame Chinese meds that have so obviously helped you throughout tx. Today I got new that labs came back...looks like I may have Rheumatoid Arthritis....gotta see the "Specialist" to confirm....but......guess that's the breaks. Primary Care Dr's Nurse Practioner's own Nurse called to go see my Rheumy Doc....I said, "I don't have one." That you have no auto-immune issues is fantastic.
I always read your posts for inspiration and information. I asked you in a recent thread how was your water colors coming along? Probably didn't see it. I know that that is not an particularly easy medium...so you have me curious.
In between tx...I saw an accupuncturist who happened to be Chinese American and who at the time was going for his ND degree. Never have I met a man more interested in healing. The kindness and care I received after being treated like a guinea pig was awesome. Well...I'm all overthe place...so I'll say bye for now.
All the best!
No, I didn't see your post about watercolors. I missed my class last month due to flying down south for my oldest grandson's 10th birthday. But I will go the last Sat. in this month. I missed the class on framing. We are doing bugs and beetles this month.
I will write you personally about the alternative methods I'm doing now for the virus because I don't want to get NYgirl's "tail in a knot". Some people are very stuck in their own mind set. I'm open to WHATEVER works. Dr. Zhang had many clinical trials for his herbs and he's very approachable - I can get an email answer from him in a couple hours much sooner than the medical practitioners are the clinic here.
If Youre in London this may be of some interest
(moderator of the bored,I am certainly not trying to sell anything here-my intention is to help..ok..)
interesting or just a glitch-I posted here yesterday
but its been removed....LOL!!
if youre in London try and check out John Tindall at the Yuan Clinic-also the Gateway Clinic in Lambeth Hospital(a government funded health service facility for treating people with HCV with TCM approachs,if you dont have enough money for this-your doctor can refer you(if u live in the london area and the healthnservce will pay for it)
all the very best from Rob in ireland
here are some resources on chinese medicine in relation to hep c and liver disease
http://www.itmonline.org/disorder.htm (scroll down to hep c)
just for the record I have had the condition known as hep c for nearly 30 years- was dignosed in 99- I did the standard drug combo- -it didnt work- I am still repairing my body fro the damage caused by the riba and intfn....
I ve been taking chinese herbs on and off for nearly 20 years-
the important issue is who is treating you and how qualified they are...also the herbs that are going to be taken have been tested and screened for any contaminants(we all know alot of stuff ends up in unchecked chinese herbs that could be leathal to anyone with liver disease).
I ve been treated on and off by John Tindall in London- a real expert at what he does..
I have a reasonable quality of life and I put that down to lifestyle changes regular herbs and accupuncture and a qigong practice
your mileage may well vary !!
Rob: thanks for your input and contributions above.
A professor at UC Davis said last Sunday regarding Alternative medicine: "Humans are not wired to be particularly objective. Once we have a small amount of information about something or someone, our minds begin to construct pretty strong beliefs.
As a simple example, my wife and I often argue over the quality of a hair cut. She's convinced the more she pays, the better the cut. Personally, I see no demonstrable difference to support this observation."
The rest of the article is very interesting also about his interview with Dr. Andrew Weil. It is published in the Sacramento Bee - Sunday edition March 9 by Dr. Michael Wilkes.
In China you only pay your doctor when you are well because he's doing his job right. If you are sick, you do not pay him. The doctors in China are very competitive with each other each trying to do the best job for their patients. Here they get paid regardless of the outcome.
Personally, I have moved on and no longer have the time, energy or motive to argue with anyone about alternative medicine (that I have studied since 1985). I'm in other forums now. I'm glad to have shared the last 1 1/2 years with you.
Myself and a few friends used to head to Manhattan on Friday nights to go to a session of qigong: A friend got me interested after tx...interesting. Forgot about that. What a dear friend. Gotta give her a call. Thanks for all your input. Hey...Happy St. Paddy's Day!!!
What part are you from? Both my parents are from Clare and loads of family there. With the help of God...I'll be there next year April-May.
It is my hope that you don't leave this forum permanently...but maybe it is good for all of us to take a short leave of absence. Though sometimes it seems that some posters work for the pharm. co.'s....there are many who desire to know what else is hapnin' on the grapevine alternatively speaking. Sorry to say...there are no guarantees...no matter the genotype.
Most of all, I appreciate your dignity and strength throughout treatment....hate to see you depart. I hope I can follow your example.
God Bless you and all you are:)
Yepp me too over the last 10 years have seen it all- from fear based accusations to tactless abuse and shame mongering- I dont belong to many lists anymore for that very reason-I choose stuff like The Course In Miracles as healing modalities ;)
I am sure I came across you on Zhangs forum 4/5 yrs ago??
I was with Joses group Fiteback and hepcdontexist yahoo groups- good bunch of very daring and dedicated folk in those groups;) most dont post anymore-yet most are well and have found what works for them and they are outside the box so to speak ;)
My best wishes fro You
God bless from Rob in ireland
Grandma, the information that you have shared on forum has always been appreciated by many people and I am one of those people. I would hate to see you leave. Ladywhy and Rob said it all and I agree. I do not believe that the herb that Dr. Zhang recommended caused your relapse. He is very experienced in this area and for that reason I wouldn't give it one minute of thought that an herb caused your relapse. As you stated there is a 50/50 chance of achieving SVR with your geno type.
I have been reading and subscribing to Alternative newletters for years and that is why I always enjoyed reading what you have to say and I hope that you will continue to share your knowledge here.
Are you near the ..The Ring. I was in Clare a few years ago and had my wetsuit ready to swim with that dolphin that was hangin out there...what's it's name??? Didn't happen...to darn cold....it wasn't yet summer...Ah well...just curious if you know the dolphins name???
Kerry's beautiful too....ands just across the Shannon. If you take the ferry from Ballybunnion to Kilimer...stop in at the B&B right next to the pub...my cousin owns the place.
All the best!
Dingle...that's the place I was thinking...it was teasing my brain.. I love just thinking about Ireland and really my most treasured memories. A place I feel such comfort and acceptance. Gives me the warm fuzzies. Thanks for reminding me.
"TCM specializes in the use of new drug R&D protocols and methodologies in research on traditional Chinese herbal medicines. Besides pursuing better safety, efficacy and process quality control, the company's use of proprietary fermentation processes to cultivate selected mycelia enables it to maintain consistent raw materials.
Modern laboratory and fermentation facilities at Taiwan-based TCM Biotech International Corp.
Complementing conventional therapies
In terms of new drug R&D, TCM seeks to develop adjuvant therapy that can compensate for the shortcomings of conventional Western medicines. In this regard, the company seeks to complement--not compete--with Western pharmaceutical therapies. For example, one of TCM's recent projects has been to develop agents to remedy some of the problems encountered when chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients are treated with Western antiviral drugs. With approximately 200 million HCV patients worldwide, it is estimated that the cost of treatment will exceed US$3.9 billion in 2007. Furthermore, since existing HCV drugs have a sub-optimal cure rate and induce severe side effects in some patients, few HCV patients actually receive adequate treatment.
To address this issue, the company has taken advantage of the ability of the cultured mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis to modulate the body's immune system to develop the new Chinese herbal medicine formulation for chronic HCV patients, TCM-700C, which contains as its main ingredient Paecilomyces hepiali mycelium (TCM-777). When used together with the existing combination drug treatment employing Interferon and Ribavirin, TCM-700C can increase the original response rate by approximately 10-20%, and shows similar efficacy against even low response rate genotype 1 HCV infection.
The action mechanism of TCM-700C is thought to be due to NK cell stimulation, allowing the human immune system to more effectively clear HCV when used in combination with the conventional HCV drugs, Interferon and Ribavirin.
HCV treatment adjuvant therapy TCM-700C was approved for Phase II clinical trials in Taiwan by both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Taiwan's Department of Health (DOH). TCM enrolled patients for this clinical trial beginning early 2007.
With promising prospects for additional discoveries and developments along similar lines, TCM is looking forward to developing other new drugs--such as drugs against lung cancer--on the basis of an abundant experience with mycelium cultures. The company is also seeking strategic partners who can collaborate on clinical trials of its new Chinese herbal medicine formulation TCM-700C while helping develop global markets. TCM is also offering mass production fermentation--for example, of Hirsutella sinensis culture--and welcomes any inquiry for its contract manufacturing services."
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