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Help!

My grandmother is 74 years old .  Today she was told that she was positive for Hepatitis C. Apprently my grandfather gave it to her, he died at 47. He was an alcoholic and had serorsis of the liver. She was told she had been a carrier for years. The doctor told us that treatment would not  be helpful at her age, he said it would be best not to treat it because she is not strong enough for treatment.. So what are we supossed to do ? Let her die?  Is there any help available to her?  
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Avatar_f_tn
HCV treatment is antiviral chemotherapy. All of the drugs in use today potentially have very unpleasant side effects and carry some risk of permanent damage to health. Especially if there is an existing health condition such as heart trouble.

The only treatment available that really has a chance of wiping out (or nearly wiping out) the virus is based on Interferon. Interferon is not very effective on it's own. Usually other drugs are combined with it to improve the chances of success. The most common one is Ribavirin. There are some foods and alternative medicines that can help, but none of them has any proven ability to eradicate HCV.

HCV treatment side effects are different for each individual but it is tough for most people, older people more so. Depending on the type of HCV your grandmother has, and the condition of her liver, the treatment might not work at all, or could possibly do more harm than good.

Don't rush, don't panic. Personally I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that your doctor has given good advice. You (and your grandmother) need to go through the steps to become sure of that yourselves so that you know you are doing the right thing. The first thing to do is get the details of her illness - if you haven't already. The purpose of treatment should be to improve her quality of life. It should get rid of the virus, help her liver, and do no significant harm.

Start asking some questions:
-- What is her health/lifestyle like now? Has it been affected by HCV? Maybe it isn't affecting her much and she doesn't need treatment at all.

-- What were the results of her liver function and other blood tests? Both Interferon and Ribavirin can lower white and red blooed cell counts. If she has any problems already her body may not be able to tolerate the treatment.

-- What is the condition of her liver? (Determined by Ultrasound, Fibroscan, or Liver Biopsy)

-- What HCV genotype does she have? Has she had a viral load test? (These can help predict likelihood of treatment success)

When you have more information post it in this forum. People can help you understand the lab test results and figure out the risks and odds. You can always go to another doctor and ask for a second opinion as well.

Get educated first :)
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Avatar_m_tn
that was great advice posted by Odin 999. Havve your grandmother start taking supplements.
Here is a list recommended by a hepatitis researcher that stops by here once in awhile:

a multi vitamin/no iron

1000 mg of Salmon Oil or fish oil (epa=160 mg / dha=240 mg / omega 3 = 400 mg) x1

1000 mg of Flaxseed Oil (ALA/omega 3 450 mg / omega 9 110 mg) x1
Raw flaxseed/ 1 teaspoon daily

Hepatapro PPC (900 mg) x 2
info:  http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/346752  ;


Resveratrol (500 mg) x1  and x2 (alternate every other day)
info:   http://www.lef.org/resveratrol/
source:   http://megaresveratrol.com/


NAC--(n-acetyl-l-cysteine) A sulfur compound that is a precursor of glutathione and protected sulfur-containing amino acid  (600 mg) x2 with Vit C (500 mg) x2
Info:   http://tinyurl.com/9yopf

TMG (750 mg) x 2
http://www.raysahelian.com/trimethylglycine.html

Taurine (500 mg) x 2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurine

Life Extension Super Curcumin W/Bioperine 800Mg 60 Caps (800 mg) x 2  / Powerful Antioxidant Properties to scavenge free radicals
Anti-Inflammatory Actions
Enhances important detoxification enzymes Curcumin increases the secretion of bile by stimulating the bile duct. It also protects the liver by detoxification, stimulating the gall bladder and scavenging free radicals. With the help of the adrenal glands, it inhibits both platelet aggregation and the enzymes which induce inflammatory prostaglandins. Curcumin may also help break down fats and reduce cholesterol. Large doses not recommended in cases of acute bilious colic, obstructive jaundice, painful gallstones, and extremely toxic liver disorders

Sylmarin (425 mg) x 2 / Milk thistle provides hepatocellular protection by stabilizing hepatic cell membranes.

Green Tea Extract (300 mg) x 2 /
info:  http://tinyurl.com/ypdp9q

Coq10 (200 mg) x 1 / http://tinyurl.com/29em8c
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