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Hepatitis C Herbal Remedy
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Hepatitis C Herbal Remedy

I am a interferon non-responder and have begun taking a anti-viral herbal preparation that contains a total of 7 ingredients (3 uncommon herbs and 4 more common ones). My viral load has gone from over 6,000,000 copies to 897,000 in 3 months! This stuff is powerful. It was formulated by Helen Yong, a master herbalist of HerbWise from Ontario, Canada. I have her e-mail address for anyone interested. Is anyone else taking an herbal prepartion containing Sophora japonica(oxymatrine) or Andrographis paniculata as treatment for HCV?
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I second what Susan said.  Keeping you all in my prayers.
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I also have you all in my thoughts and prayers..


                TonyZ
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My liver enzymes are all normal and my ALT is the best it has ever been at 33. My biopsy showed stage 1, genotype 1 with minimal scarring(as of 6/2002). Diagnosed 1995 but still used I.V. until 2002 all the while continued taking milk thistle, alpha lipoic acid, ester c, ginger & licorice root. Amazingly, my liver enzymes remained pretty good through that period. The only time they were high off the chart(2004) was when I was on peg-intron/rebetol; I felt like I was being poisoned. My viral load has increased in increments of approximately 500,000 copies per year(after 6 mths. on interferon it jumped 1,000,000.) not the wild flucuations "everyone" seems to be experiencing. I am not anti-pharmecuetical(I take 130mgs. methadone daily), I am just reporting the facts as they have materialized for me.
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Avatar_m_tn
Sounds like you're in good shape as a stage 1. Just keep in mind there's no direct relationship between viral load/enzyme levels and liver damage. Considering your history, best to monitor liver damage every five years with a biopsy.

If that's not to your liking, biopsy alternatives exist. One is LabCorp's Fibrosure blood test (http://www.labcorp.com/). Not quite as accurate as a biopsy, but less invasive so you can have it taken more often.

Thanks for sharing your experiences and hope you stick around. I agree these drugs have their limitations and dangers, but a lot of us have advanced liver damage, and our options are limited.

-- Jim

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hi, i've just been recently diagnosed. I think I must have the worse PCP in the world. I was also wondering about herbal remedy
I hope this works for you. I have no Idea what everyone is talking about. I need to be educated badly. been trying to look things up. I was tested in May and didnt get my results until I asked about them. Had been to the PCP several times.They forgot to tell me. I did get in to see a gastrologist last week. he is going to do a colonostomy sept 19 and they took some more blood for liver panel and other things. I was diagnosed with hep c 1a and hoping I could use a herbal remedy cause I don't have any insurance except Medicare. I also have osteoarthritis and sever injury to the leg and ankle making it hard for me to do any exercise. Can't walk losing length in leg. Not supposed to pick up anything over a LB. I'm totally lost to what is going on. I just know I'm sick, tired and in alot of pain. They give me narcotic pain meds I also have herniated disc in back. My eyes bother me to is this normal? feels like grit in them. I've lost 35lbs in 6 months everything taste metallic. Been eating alot of yogurt. Not on anything for the osteoporosis. Can't find a new PCP. Can't afford Fosamax. Should I take something now in the herbal department now? hope you do well with the herbal route. God Bless you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Welcome to the discussion group.

Sounds like you've got a lot on your plate right now so I wouldn't focus on herbal remedies.

Seeing a GI is a good next step. You might ask him to do an endoscophy at the same time he does the colonoscophy. It will examine your upper GI tract to make sure your Hep C hasn't done any damage there.

You say you've gotten your blood tests back. The important numbers are your viral load which is usually a PCR test and mesured in IU/ml, liver enzymes (ALT and AST), platelets, Hemoglobin, WBC. Also ferritin and INR if you have it.

The next step usually is a liver biopsy. It's really the only way they can tell how much liver damage you have. It's possible that your liver is in very good shape. In that event, you might delay treatment until you figure out your other health problems. On the other hand, if it's not in good shape, you might want to formulate a treatment plan soon.

As far as treatment is concerned, some of the drug companies have financial assistance programs. Also, many of the larger teaching hospitals run trials where they pay for the cost of your treatment.

But your first step is to find out what is going on with your hep c and the rest of your health problems. Once you know that, you can make a more informed decision how to proceed.

Meanwhile, check out our site and absorb what you can. Also, there's a lot of basic information over at the Janis Hep C site you might want to look into. http://forums.delphiforums.com/friendship7

Good luck. Keep coming back and asking questions. Try and get us those numbers from your lab work. It's also a good idea to keep copies of every test you take.



-- Jim

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Yes, I'm taking a Chinese herbal formula called Nu-Liver (www.nuliver.com) that contains those ingredients, and more.  Here's a complete list of what my supplement has:

BUPLEURUM ROOT (CHAI HU)
WHITE PEONY (BAI SHAO YAO)
PRIVET FRUIT-LIGUSTRUM (NU ZHEN ZI)
ECLIPTA (HAN LIAN CAO)
LYCIUM BERRY-WOLFBERRY FRUIT (GOU QI ZI)
ANDROGRAPHIS (CHUAN XIN LIAN)
SICHUAN LOVAGE ROOT-LIGUSTICUM (CHUAN XIONG)
ASTRAGALUS ROOT (HUANG QI)
PORIA (FU LING)
MELIA FRUIT (CHUAN LIAN ZI)
PEACH KERNEL (TAO REN)
SCHIZANDRA FRUIT (WU WEI ZI)
SOPHORA ROOT (SHAN DOU GEN)
SICHUAN OX KNEE ROOT (CHUAN NIU XI)
LICORICE (GAN CAO)

Within just two months of taking this herbal compound (along with other things I've been taking for the past year or so), my liver enzymes dropped about 20 percent.  My next VL test is scheduled for November/December.  We'll see what, if any impact, it has on that.

Susan
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sorry about your non responder status. The fact is viral load can go to extremes of ups or downs without any type of trigger. someone just posted that she went from 2000 to millions in three months, conversely, another member reported going from thousands to hundreds. The test will be if you become negative by a sensitive PCR and remain so.
gl to you
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Avatar_m_tn
My viral load went from over 30 million to 16,000 in less than three years, without treatment, without herbs. Then it went from 16,000 up to 1.5 million in three months, again no tx, no herbs.

Viral can fluctuate wildly so you really can't draw too much from it. On the other hand, hopefully the herbs will slow your liver damage. Do you know what stage you are? If you're going to take herbs, my suggestion is to monitor your liver enzymes, with a biopsy every 3-5 years, depending on your stage. Only the biopsy will tell you if the herbs are actually working. The enzymes, however, will give you some signs. If your enzymes start shooting up, I'd cut out the herbs.

Good luck and share with us your tx profile if you like.

-- Jim
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Sorry to cut in here, but all the others are used up.  I just wanted to say....to all the heppers in New Orleans and all of the coast of Louisiana, my prayers are with you and your families.

Susan400
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What is the e-mail address for Helen Yong.
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don't know what happened to my post to you, but I was saying that Pegasys also comes in ready to use Pen/syringe
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HI, been reading this thread and I think there is excellent advice all around, although seemingly contradictory, I don't think it really is. Yes, I've been able to feel much better with herbs and vitamins even though I plan on taking conventional TX. I think they help the inflammation so as to help the symptoms. They've been saying that coffee is actually very good for the liver (and liver cancer) in studies (no more than one to two cups daily as the caffeine will cancel out the benefits in drinking too much) and that is probably mainly because of the high high anti-oxidant levels - one would think.

These herbs and vitamins have high anti-oxidant values, along with some other elements that are beneficial to the immune system, and helping your immune system can only help guard against the ravages of the virus. I've seen this in black and white for myself and some other people I know.

Tallblonde, I've been telling people about Nu-Liver for awhile now, much cheaper than other herbal formulations around, like Dr. Zhang's for instance, and it's got many of the same herbs in it. I know many who are benefiting from it. Some people can take them while waiting to go on TX, or if they feel - with their docs - that they can wait because of very low liver damage and good labs. Also the non-responders and two time relapsers. Also, my theory is that people who are likely to be taking herbs and vitamins are probably more likely to be eating good diets and exercising, all this can greatly benefit any disease in my book.

Jim and Cuteus make a good point about the fact that these values like alts and virus loads can fluctuate and do for many people. And Jim makes a really good point about the different lab markers. In my view.

But even my doctor says, you can get "some" kind of reading, considering consistency and sharp drops, at times. If say, your alt is consistently, over years, around 250, 300, (considered very high) and you start a vitamin and herb regimen and it drops into the 50's - within say, two months, and it stays in the 50's or 40's - you can pretty much bet that the regimen is helping out inflammation in your blood. Many times people who have had this phenomenon also report feeling much better in the process.

Unfortunately, like conventional TX, this is probably not going to happen to everyone who takes these regimens, but it does happen to some. And we should all know that these regimens will only help, they do not eradicate the virus, only TX does.

I can't take most Chinese formulations unfortunately, they are just too strong for my system, I am very drug sensitive. I can take Liver Kampo (the least possible dose) for a short while, (it is pretty economical) and I do. It is a very mild formulation. I happen to take some berries, Shizandra and a berry juice formulation, packed with anti oxidants, and I take an herb called Ashwagandha, it's a ginseng.

I had read about it and had seen that program, Primetime, on national TV, a segment on "Protantim". They were going on about an herbal formulation that was being marketed to the public, and supposedly getting very good results in their studies which the program more or less verified. In this Protantim formulation there are a few herbs and a spice extract:
Milk Thistle
Bacoba Extract
Ashwagandha Extract
Green Tea Extract
Tumeric Extract
I figured, I already take green tea and Tumeric, I can't take milk thistle, (too strong for me as well) so I just tried the Ashwagandha on its own and I like it. This Protantin is also pretty economical as well, relatively speaking. I have also heard good things about oxamatrine, which someone mentioned. So I don't  take many herbs, I take a lot of food extracts and some vitamins though, and have for many years. I have good labs and low liver damage. So many variables with all of this.

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Herbal treatments... there may indeed be something somewhere that helps fight the virus, but it hasn't been "discovered," yet.

Medicines that derive from plant sources have gone through a very long and painful process of isolating the active ingredient(s) from inactive and even harmful ingredients. A LOT of animal testing is done followed by human trials, but it doesn't end there, look at aspirin, there are STILL studies done around aspirin. The safety of drugs is something that continues to be monitored even after it has become approved.

Do some trivial searchs on the web for herbal scams and see the FDA and its Canadian counter-part for legal actions taken against some of these twisted bastards.

Remember, <b><i>NATURAL</i></b> does not equal <i><b>HARMLESS</i></b>. Know an ER nurse? Ask him or her to share stories about people coming in, in serious trouble directly due to use of "herbal" supplements.

If you are going to take herbal concoctions, try to bring reason and rationality to the table and be careful what you put in your mouth or elsewhere.
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We've covered a lot of bases so I just want to reinterate my main points.

(1) I'm not disputing some herbal mixtures might lower liver enzymes.

(2) Viral loads fluctuate too wildly to be used as a marker of either progress or regression. So the fact that you took herbs and your viral load went down doesn't mean much unless perhaps you have a multi-year chart both on and off herbs. But regardless, like liver enzymes, a lower viral load also does not indicate less liver damage.

(3) In summary, there's  no direct relationship between lower liver enzyme levels, lower viral loads and the amount of liver damage.

(3) Therefore, if you want to do herbs, great, but if you want to know whether the herbs are reducing damage to you liver -- the really important thing -- get periodic biopsies.

(4) Blood markers like Firbrosure in lieu of needle biopsy may give inaccurate results due to the herbs themselves. Remember these are correlation figures and the population used to correlate biopsy scores with the lab values were probably not on herbs. The point about Fibrosure and herbs is just a theory of mine.

-- Jim
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Also, in my long winded way, wanted to say one more thing. As far as osteo problems and arthritis, even many doctors now are prescibing Glucosamine&Chondroitin and/MSM for these types of problems. I saw an improvement in my own dog's gate in under two weeks.

As to the "danger" of herbs, I agree with some who say that too many people just put anything they read about in their mouths willy-nilly, without thought as to dosage, allergic reactions, etc. And there is a lot of false or exaggerated marketing of these "natural" products, it's kind of an open field without a lot of oversight, though that's changing a bit now. You have to know what you are doing.  I have consulted many experts and MD's about herbs and vitamins, and did a lot of research before I considered taking them. And I continue to keep up with research and studies now. There are more than a few very well respected institutions who are doing studies on some of these products, the ones that are the most popular seems like, though that doesn't always have to do with the most effective.


I also look at those studies, some of these studies are conducted by big pharma in the hopes of putting a kabash on these practices, let's not be naive. There is a lot of big money to be made in the "natural" market and they know it. Many of the people who are making the money started little mom& pop companies. Herbs are available to everyone really, there are really no "patents" that can be bought or sold, although some companies seem to patenting "formulations" like the aforementioned Protantin.

They will do a study with a really low dosage in a haphazard way, I looked them up, and when that really low dosage doesn't "cure" a certain amount of patients, they go right to the press with their "findings" about false hopes and cure rates. And that always gets a lot of press. Many of these products do not "cure" disease, how many legitimate pharmaceuticals actually "cure" disease? What they mostly do, hopefully, is a certain amount of healing, to lessen the effects of the disease by helping the immune system out. If you don't get any benefit, quit taking it, pretty simple.

Then let's look at the stats. If an herb kills a few people, and when I go look up these actual incidents, it's hardly ever more than like 6 people documented, or some figure like that, or less (could be allergic reactions going on there, or too much of the herb on first try, whatever) not to trivialize the importance of these relatively few deaths, but come on, can we even compare that to let's say, Vioxx? what? they estimate like 50,000 or something like that? Just in No. America? Not to mention the thousands that are killed yearly in hospital screw-ups or even pharmacist mistakes?, many pharma drugs can kill many more people than that.

But they also help many diseases, they can be lifesaving - so we take them. There are so  many variations on a theme with these types of incidents, that an er nurse wouldn't even be able to tell you the amount of these types of deaths she's seen. But some OD or major allergic reaction to an herb would stick out in the mind much more, one would think, because comparitively speaking, it's so rare! I'm not anti-pharma, I just try to do the best thing I can do for me, utilizing all I can from wherever. Just wanted to put some perspective on this and it's just my own view.
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to little puggy: hang in there, you have a lot to sort out. Look for a hep c support group in your area or bring up issues in your 12-step group if you are in recovery.
to susan: I have heard of Nu-liver. Good luck with it and keep us posted as to your results.
to jmjm530; as you probably know prometheus labs also has non-invasive test for liver fibrosis called Fibrospect. Unfortunately, I too have recently fallen through the cracks of the working uninsured.
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Hi, this is my first time posting, have been reading your posts for the last month or so. I've been accepted for the study, am 65,portal gr 111; lobular gr 11, stage three fibrosis, ALT 185, AST 142,hemogloben is 145 within range but I notice you all have differents readings, I'm Canadian, i huess they read different? my platelets are 200,000. I'm on SYNTHROID for thyroid and ATACAND for high blood pressure, will that be a detriment for me as with the meds, do you think? Have more or less chosen the redipen as it looks to be more user friendly, but when I read about how much worse the sides are on PEGINTRON I wonder if I'm making the right choice, am waiting to get called in for bloodwork so can change my mind, I am up in the air as what to choose??? I want to thank you all for the input you give, your all just a bundle of info, thanks for your help, much appreciated.............
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Have you been monitoring your progress with Fibrospect? There's all LabCorp's Fibrosure test.

But I'll pose this question and it's just that because I don't have an answer.

Debate/accuracy of blood marker tests versus needle biopsy aside, will the Fibrosure and/or Fibrospect give a an accurate result while your on the herbal formula or will the formula change the blood markers fooling the test into a false reading? I pose this because, for example,  you cannot take the Fibrosure test during treatment. One way to test this I suppose is for someone to take the Firbrosure test before and shortly after herbal tx. If there's a significant difference in biopsy score, you have to assume that either a miracle occured or the test is being skewed. :)

BTW soon there might be a biopsy replacement test in this country called Fibroscan which is an x-ray procedure now used in Europe.  
But in the meanwhile, a biopsy every five years or so isn't a bad idea.

-- Jim
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Welcome to the discussion group.

Yes, different labs -- especially in different countries -- can express results differently.

As far as Peg Intron versus Pegasys, studies show them equally effective but many believe Pegasys has less side effects. However, if you're overweight, Peg Intron may be a better choice because it is weight based while Pegasys is one dose for everyone.

Regarding blood pressure medicine... not familiar with the one you listed, but many people are on high blood pressure medicine while on treatment. On the other hand, sometimes blood pressure drops because of the inteferon, so you might discuss this with your doctor. Don't know how serious your high blood pressure is and  really qualified to say you should take the meds.

Back to the labs and tests, if you wantred to give us a little more informaion that would be helpful.

The important numbers are pre-treatment viral load. This is usually a PCR test and often expressed in IU/ml. Next is your genotype, which will tell you what strain of the virus you have. This helps determine how long you will treat.

Regarding platelets -- do you have the units they're measured in? I'm assuming it's 200 by our standards and that would be in the normal range, actually quite good. Also, do you have a result for something called INR? If you don't have your own copies of all your lab work and reports this would be a good time to get them.

Lastly, the biopsy. You say stage 3, but different systems stage differently. In some systems it would be 3 out of 4 stages, but in others it might be 3 out or 5 or 6 and that would be a significant difference in how much liver damage you have. See if you can find out what system was used. If not, get hold of the actual biopsy report and post what it says here if you like. That will give you a pretty good idea what stage you're at.

-- Jim



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If you are on a limited income & can not afford the fosomax you can get it from the manufacturer. My wife has a small personal care home & 1 of her ladies gets it. You can get the Hepatitus (hepatitis) medicine also from the pegassist program.

Monte
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addi, I was a 1a, mild damage at stage 1 and always had normal enzymes, before I even treated. I treated because I did not want to age with hep c and the older you get the lower your chances for SVR with the present meds. The meds can be your friends in eliminating hcv, but like all medications, they can be toxic. Most people do not have severe side effects and long term effects. You must weigh when things are right for you.
I like the feeling of telling my drs, I HAD hcv.
best to you
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Hi, I guess what I meant to say with those ratios, is that if you have a sustained high alt, for a long time, and you take herbs, etc. and they drop to normal or near normal- and you feel better- for a long time, I think you can safely extrapolate some evidence      of "less damaging effects of the virus due to lower inflammation" - not some accurate analysis of "liver damage" per se. Two different things entirely. Only biopsy can do that, or at any rate it will give the most accurate reading, comparatively speaking.
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I am also on synthroid and high blood pressure med.  I am on treatment and have not noticed any changes or problems.  I use the pegasys type of redi-pen.  It's easy to use.
Smiles, Sue
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thanx for your responses. I have my printouts, liver bio is Ludwig criteria, I don't know the differences, I am green with all this. I dont think I've had the PCR or Viral, WBC 7.5, RBC 4.52, plt are within range @ 200,000, ferritin went from 300 to 1300, INR two years ago was 1.06. I am 20-25lbs overweight have been healthy all my life, never have had the flu, guess I will know what it feels like now by the sounds of it that will teach me to brag about good health huh? I shall think positive, I'm with the same guy I started with in 1957, terrific support, likes to cook (lucky or what) am going to see if I can find the Pegasys-pen on the web, thanks again, and good luck to everybody, I'm just starting to get to know you all, take care of you & yours,
chubbins
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To respond do I keep going to the bottom of this (is it what you call a thread?) DUH told you I was green, i just posted to answer your questions, don't know if it went through, ope so. Forgot to mention I think I should be in good hands with my gasternologist, he runs the "Liver & intestinal Research Center" here in Vancouver BC, I'm told he's one of the best.
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I agree completely, one is a process that is being gauged, the other is a marker after the fact.
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I think what people are missing is that you can't just take one reading of liver enzymes or viral load and relate it to liver damage. It's a process, if your liver enzymes are elevated and/or your body has a high level of hep c virus active in it over a longer period of time, then obviously it's doing more damage. These are also indicators to inflammation which is also causing more damage.
Because viral loads and liver enzymes fluctuate wildly, it's sometimes just the luck of the draw when you catch the readings you catch. Your immune system and other factors, diet, stress, exercise, etc. may play a role in that.
Although some people don't take much stock in viral load, If over a period of time your body had a substancially higher viral load it obviously would be doing more damage than if over the same period of time your viral load was substancially lower; that is in the same body under the same conditions. The same being said for liver enzymes, a high reading on occasion may not be that much of an alarm. But high readings over a period of time would difinitely be worth looking into. Thanks for listening
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to niki12: Helen Yong email address in Ontario, CA is: ***@****   Tell her Joe, co-designer of the "7-Herb HCV A/V formula" sent you.  She will respond quickly, I'm sure.  Good luck. anti
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My Very fine Doctor disaggrees with what most of you say about "Liver Enzeymes" and Liver damage. While he agrees that AST & ALT levels are not indicators, Total Protein and Albumin markers, which are part of most Liver panels done by the good Labs.......eg Quest, Mayo Clinic, are important indicators for damage. As long as they both stay in the HIGH range, scarring will be minimal. Of course the biopsy is the king, but monotoring the two mentioned above can give you some peace of mind between invasive tests.

Total Protein...........ref. range 6.0 - 8.3
Albumin.................ref. range 3.2 - 4.7
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Not sure if you're referring to me but I did say there's no direct relationship between liver damage and liver enzyme levels.

Your doctor seems to say the same thing. The liver enzymes are ALT and AST. The other markers you mention, total protein and albumin are not considered liver enzymes.

And while I'm not read up much on either, I doubt if those two markers alone can give one much of a safety net.

Both of mine are near the high end of normal (albumin 4.6, total protein 7.8 )yet I'm between stage 2 and 3. Even the Fibrosure tests which use many different markers have been challenged in the middle ranges.

I'm not saying blood markers can't be one useful tool out of a bag of manny, just that: (1) I question their use when herbs may skew the results: (2) In many cases, you probably need a needle biopsy at some point as a reality check.

This all goes back to a number of posts where someone says something like "I started taking herbal mix so-and-so and my enzymes and viral load dropped" with the inference that their liver is being healed. And while I do share many of MichaelT's concerns, I'm not necessarily anti-herbs. I just don't want people to take them and draw false conclusions as to the health of their liver. In the end, the liver biopsy is still the best way to show whether or not the liver is healing.

-- Jim
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Like Kabir once said: "Trust in Allah, but tie your horse to the post". I keep an informed and open mind regarding naturopathic medicine as well as chemotherapy. For instance,while trace minerals are very important, the proliferation of colloidal silver products is a dangerous sham.
However,my biggest problem with chemo. is that it kills the good and the bad; it does not discriminate. I agree that there are many grifters out there but the pharmaceutical giants may be some of the worst macro-offenders yet.  VTY, anti .
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when you have mild liver damage you have the time to "play around" with other things, folks in stage 2, 3 or 4 should not be thinking herbs instead of tx. Everything can be a poison to sensitive people, Dust mites, pollen and molds can cause severe reactions and they are "natural". HAve you had a biopsy since 2002? If the damage is still the same, you are one of the fortunate ones that can leisurely wait. I would have another bx to make sure it has not progressed faster as it has to some members here, as mentioned before, normal enzymes is not the marker.
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Herbs? Love 'em! I am not anti-herb. Wouldn't have boiled potatos without parsley. Herbed Chicken would be impossible without... HERBS! Indian food sans herbs would just suck. Herbal teas sans herbs would also suck; kinda' like just drinking hot water...
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or Starbucks without raw sugar, vanilla w/o the bean, Bacardi w/o molasses...
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I understand Cuteus' concern about people who are in the upper grades of biopsy and they might think that herbs are their way out of taking treatment - they could be playing a high stakes game with their livers in that herbs don't clear the virus...only treatment can...with varying results of course. Point well taken.

But what about the people who are 0 biopsies with good labs? And the 2 and 3 time non-responders and relapsers? I often hear of these people and I gotta ask myself, why don't you really get serious about your diet and exercise and try one of these regimens with the help of some experts? Especially if you are symptomatic and your quality of life is being greatly effected. If they don't work in helping you with your symptoms and/or helping with the inflammation, stop taking them. It's not like they are going to "lay waste to you", the vast majority of the time. And I gotta say, it's been my experience that most people who "out of hand" poo poo the regimens, have not tried them for relief of symptoms...keeping in mind they don't work for everybody, neither does tx for that matter.
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Dear friend, almost everyone receiving a theraputic dose of an appropriate interferon <i>will have a reduction of hcv viral load</i>. Those few that don't, paradoxically, experience an increase. I have not read in any journal, website, or from personal anecdotes where a theraputic dose does absolutely nothing.

I've been there, done that, kind'o 'ting, man, in part because I hope something turns up that fights the hcv vigorously without the hell treatment put me through and also in part because, genuinely, the truth needs to be on the table. If a person wants to <i>really, really, believe</i> in naturopathy (Tinkerbell?), facts and reason won't persuade that person of the rank quackery being perpetrated. I make my appeal to those who are, variously, sincere, but uniformed, tend to be gullible, or to the desperate and distraught.

I do my utmost to be honest, realistic, compassionate. Naturopaths, homeopaths, chiropractors, so-called herbalists, new age "healers", reiki practitioners, "Christian" faith healers, reflexologists, etc. are either deluded or are knowingly screwing people who are in real need, feeling real pain, and should be getting real help.

See, it shouldn't matter what an individual "believes" about herbal "medicines" as to whether or not they work. If they work, it will be measureable and repeatable under controlled conditions. Excuses such as an observer's negative energy will be ridiculed. Interferon-alpha and Infergen are directly anti-viral, demonstrably so. Herbals, <i>ain't</i>. Inf + Riba often succeeds in producing a biological response. Again, herbals have not.

Possibilities with herbals? Sure. So far, though, smart money isn't going anywhere near the herbal betting window.
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Hmmmm. Last summer had a hep flare up from hell. Doc told me to stay away from herbals and vit regime and the flare will probably go away. I duly did just that. Symptoms keep kicking my butt. 2 1/2 months go by. I'm still in purgatory. I deduce, gee, when I was taking my regimen, I felt better than this, what's wrong with this picture? Start taking my regimen; feel better within a week or so. Paleness and IBS goes, most all the other more than annoying symptoms, or they get much better, plus some more much needed energy, although I'm by no means 100%, just 70% instead of 35%.

Now I could be an inveterate lier, you don't know, or I could be at the mercy of a some big huge mind game on myself, anything's possible on God's green earth, but am I going to listen to all the naysayers telling me these things don't work at all for symptoms or anything else?, or am I going to the "feel better" window while I'm waiting to go on conventional treatment. You tell me.

And I know plenty of others who are continually taking these regimes, some are friends of mine (perhaps mass hysteria?), don't know that they would be paying out the money if it wasn't working for them at all, some on this very board. Most of the places these things are sold at are relying on mostly repeat business. Like I said, I'm not against allopathic medicine either, I'm just going to do whatever works for me, because I'm pretty invested in my own comfort. That includes going to a chiropractor if I need to, the guy fixed my neck pain back in 98. I totally respect your disagreement though. Peace
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Oh, and that very same chiropractor might take a little exception at you lumping him in with Christian Faith Healers, but he's a quibbler after all, ha!
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Hi Jim I answered you re: my results you asked about, I'm not sure if I am doing this correctly, answered on "hep-c herbal" thread again. thanx Sue its reassuring that I may be like you and not have problems with Thyroid and BP
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Like I said: "been dare' dun dat maaannn." interferon/rebetrol non-responder. gimmme a break!  Who said anything about faith-healers, chiros., reflexologists?  Besides... maybe you would enjoy a nice tastey, SSRI,acetaminophen,minoxidil,bextra..extra thick butylene glycol shake.  MMMMM MMMMM good.  keep your sarcasm to yerself maannn. Okay~Dulcolaxi?
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Come on. It's all a bit of a cr**p shoot isn't it? We mostly all advocate that people take the conventional tx for Hep C, even though it has killed people (not many but it has) and caused cardiac problems, left people with long lasting side effects: effected people's vision, hearing, given them neurological problems, what have you, even though they don’t even get an SVR every time!  You've only to read the possible outcomes on the drug lit itself.

But it's the only game in town and there are many, many people who go through it relatively unscathed, at least for the foreseeable future, let’s hope it’s not even a problem ever...So we take it because that's the best that's offered to us and we don't want to gamble going to ESLD. And there are many who do clear...they clear the virus! and we hang on to that. Yet no one would call us "criminal" or very few...that we advocate the current TX.

There are many drugs that have gone through the FDA that kill. We are talking in the millions over the years. But because they have been sanctioned by the all mighty FDA you would call me criminal because I'm talking about shizandra berries and a few Chinese herbs for immune system boosting? Get real.

I'm not talking about dangerous herbs like ephedra, and I'm also advocating that anyone who experiments with herbs and vitamins should go through experts. I don't know how many times I've said that. Please, before we get on our self righteous high horses here, let's make rational comparisons...

Just a question, you don't go by another name? Andy per chance? Just asking.
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I apologize for my previous post to you.  It was a misdirected verbal scud intended for some of the more closed-minded in the group who hide in fortified bunkers of cynicism and propagandized half-truths disguised as empathetic sincerity.  .....you know who you are.
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Hi Anti! Please, no need to apologize to me, I got the gist. Like Fairygirl, Cuteus, Dollface, Chev and some others so aptly said, this board is mainly about support and person to person info, questions, etc., but if I'm going to say that herbs and vitamins help my immune system and therefore my symptoms in dealing with this disease, "I" think, then I know I'm going to get some countering views and that's okay. I don't take it personally. I really think people who are sensitive and tend to personalize it when people disagree and debate with them (providing of course there are no outright personal attacks) probably should re-think their decision to come here or any public forum, hep c or no hep c, unless of course you are only asking questions and not making any statements. My own view. There are bound to be people out there who will disagree with me from to time to time, plus I'm opinionated, gotta cop to that.

And this was nothing compared to the blistering I got on some other forums, for this particular subject...so I figure I'm way ahead of the game, ha!!!  I've gotten called an imbecile because I've tricked myself into believing they help me, God knows what. I'm a lot of things but I'm no imbecile, at least not yet. Maybe check on me after the "treatment" ha! (Just kiddin’ folks,  some dark treatment humor.)

But I really have to scratch my head on this one thing I keep getting from the naysayers of "non-allopathic" treatments. And there is always a few on every hep c board, sometimes more than a few....when I say that this has been my own experience. That certain symptoms: IBS, liver area pain, paleness, low hunger, etc. have been greatly alleviated or have gone away completely with my regimen...they'll tend to come back with, "Well if you truly "believe" this has happened to you, than there is not much I can say to bring you to reason." Whaaa? What's this "if you truly believe" twaddle? If I have a headache, and I take an aspirin and I still mostly have the headache, so I'll opt for an Aleve or something, and the headache is miraculously gone, I can probably figure, through deductive reasoning, that the Aleve worked much better on my headache than the aspirin did. I suppose if you want to...you can make a case that I just wanted to "believe" that the Aleve was going to work instead of the aspirin, but why would you? I don't care what works as long as it does.

Same thing with vits and herbals, I've gone through a long process of trial and error, some have worked, others not. I've come to a regimen that works for me. Might not work for you, but it works for me and no one is going to talk me out of it because of their own belief constructs...and I go through purgatory again??...than I would be an imbecile!!!!
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puh-leeze! You got the hard evidence? I will hand carry it to the JAMA or NEJM. Oh, ain't effin' got it? Oh, no!

My position is if it isn't repeatable and verifiable under controlled conditions AND suitably reviewed you are in Conjecture and Guess Land. Can you say PLACEBO EFFECT - well, shoot, it works for me!

Dear anti, you are responding to a perceived attack on your belief system. Get over it. Believe any damn thing you want.

Ya'll need to review the posts and look up the word "anecdotal."
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you are doing fine with the posting, just write in the "comment to" section the name or the subject matter on your mind. This site is not as bad as MSN's, at least here you can direct your response to a particular person. You will get it in no time.
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Well gee. What can I say? Testing. FDA tests a whole bunch before releasing drugs to market. Vioxx and more than a few other FDA approved drugs??? Ooooops. Betcha some poor guy who's just sustained cardiac arrest after ingesting the stuff for awhile doesn't give two cents for all their exalted testing procedures. Don't get me wrong - the more tests and studies the better, on any compound, allopathic or not, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking we're dealing with some infallible FDA approval process, as good as it is.

And if I'm responding to all the anti-oxidants, enzymes and compounds that are making me feel better, then so be it. (Lot's of good studies in the press lately about anti-oxidant rich compounds, and the beneficial effects they have on the immune system, but maybe they are all off the mark as well.) I just can't help thinking that there might be some out there so intent on believing their own personal philosophies that they might be losing out because of it, and be in more discomfort than they have to, to prove a point I guess???  

And why is my "placebo effect" so darn picky? Why does it respond to something allopathic, and not the other? To something non-allopathic, and not the other. Because the box was green? I like that color. Gotta sit down with it and make it respond to anything and everything. To go from paleness and dark circles, liver pain and IBS nausea, etc. feeling generally cr**py, to feeling much better, wow, my placebo effect is pretty powerful! I should bottle it! If that's what it is, I'll continue stoking it whatever it takes.

Because if I had my druthers, I'd be able to talk that darn placebo effect into responding to water for the same outcome so as not to have to open my wallet. Have a feeling that's not going to work though...You believe what you want to believe. But if one person, just one person, is able to feel better because of something they heard about in my post, or anybody else's for that matter, allopathic or not, it's worth taking all the slings and arrows. A closed mind never learns much anyhow.

Once more, I am not contending that someone in a higher biopsy range not do treatment, anything but. Thank God treatment can work for so many people. But there are some who don't benefit; it's good there are things out there that might help with the symptoms while waiting for better drugs.
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Responsibly requiring evidence of efficacy = close-minded?

Golly gee, your words are those I hear from folk with wounded beliefs.

If you wish a empathy/compassion contest - your on! I deeply and passionately care about human suffering and have devoted a lot of time and some money with many people in pain and turmoil. It would be criminal for me to recommend taking medicine(s) of unknown purity, content, effects, side-effects, other drug interactions - that is exactly what you are advocating.

Play Russian-roulette with your body, but think twice before advising others they too should play.

You haven't addressed anything of substance and I do not expect you too. Ciao!
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You posted in the right place (thread) but since they're so many different topics going on and some of the posts were buried I missed it. That's not your fault, just the limitations of this particular discussion group where only so many new threads can be opened a day. Also, you posted to "ever". If you had flagged me and posted to "jmjm" I might had seen it. Don't worry at all, I've been in a lot of discussion groups and this particular format is VERY confusing. :)

The Ludwig criteria seems to be a 4 stage system so you're stage 3 out of a possible 4 stages. That means you do not have cirrhosis which is good but it means you're only one stage away so it's good that you're treating now. The other good news is that if you treat successfully, you can reverse some or all of the damage to your liver.

"Genotype" is important so you should ask your doctor. Same thing with viral load. They must havde both these tests done before a correct diagnosis and treatment plan can be formulated. I'm sure they did them.

As far as Redipen, since you're 25 pounds overweight it might be a good choice since it's weight based. Or you could lose 25 pounds and ask for Pegasys. A lot of people use both successfully so there's really no right answer although many say less sides with Pegasys.

As pointed out, should be no problem with your blood pressure and thyroid meds, just let you're treating doctor know what you're on.

Last, but not least, your Ferritin level. None of us here are doctors,but it seems very high and I believe if it's too high that can intefere with your chances of clearing the virus. Sometimes they treat high ferritin prior to treatment with phlebotomy where they draw a little blood out of you each week to bring the levels down. You should speak to your doctor about this.

Regarding posting here...

In addition to posting on top of someone else's thread -- which we all do by necessity -- you can also post your own thread. The problem is they only allow so many new threads a day so it's possible you'll get a message something like "all new threads are closed for day."  Anyway, the way to start your own topid (thread) is to go the top and click under "Ask a Question"

Hope this helps some and again, this is a very confusing discussion group format so don't kick yourself about it.


-- Jim

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This is the very long, old thread I mentioned, in reference to your posting today.
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Hi there, I didnt see you in the forums for a while there, wondered if you were alright or just taking a break? Nice to see you posting again.

In regards to taking the herbal remedies or vitamins and supplements, I agree with you that if you can take something and it helps to relieve the SYMPTOMS, then do it if they work.

As you know I am a relapser and suffering symptoms e.g. fatigue, depression, anxiety, brain fog/memory loss, nausea for many years..  Since taking a product called Hep C Complete with vitamins B, E, C, Zinc and magnesium I can honestly tell you that I feel so much better.  I dont take antidepressants anymore, no anxiety and have a lot less fatigue, but still tired to a degree, just not as severe.
It has changed my life taking supplements.
I was a SCEPTIC on vitamins etc, but since I have tried them for myself I am now a BELIEVER.

As you said, it wont cure me, only treatment can do that.

To anyone that hasnt tried any herbals, vitamins or supplements, then they really dont have an opinion about them.

I have contacted the Nu-Liver to see if I can set up a discount for people with hep c that visit the oz forum, I hope they reply.
The Hep C Complete company are selling their product for $9.95US at the moment because the product isnt selling as well as they thought, so if any of you are interested I would buy it now as there is a limited supply left.  Can be found at All In One Nutrition. (google it).

Cheers

Linda
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OOps, this is an old thread, oh well, it was a good one to bring to the top again.
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I didnt mind seeing 4Cs name pop up again.
And yeh I hope she is OK too.
CS
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