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treatment

i have just been told i have hep c type 2, dont know for how long. doc wants to start treatment for 6 mo. he did ultrasound and everything looked fine, i have no symptoms and my enzymes are only slightly high. not sure about this tx it dont sound good.has anybody heard of this herbal? cure on hepatitesccure.net?  or know of new drugs coming out that are better?
22 Comments Post a Comment
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2061362_tn?1353283118
Welcome to the forum and I'm sorry about your diagnosis. Only treatment can CURE HCV not herbs. And niether an ultrasound nor liver enzymes will indicate the extent of your liver damage, only a biopsy can do that. Most people have no symptoms even when their liver damage is severe. I don't know about your genotype (I am/was 1a), but I don't think your Dr can predict your treatment length either. There are, however, other drugs coming out in a few years. However, you need to find a different Dr the has experience with HCV (a hepatologist or GI that is very experienced) and find out the extent of your liver damage before you can decide if you have time to wait for the all orals. In the mean time, live a healthy lifestyle with whole organic foods (as little processed food as possible), get plenty of exercise, no street drugs, and absolutley no alcohol. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. If one is to be diagnosed with HCV then genotype 2 is actually the best type to  have contracted as it has the highest cure rate of all the types

The therapy consists of the combination treatment of Interferon /Ribavirin and usually is for a duration of  24 weeks with an efficay rate of approx.80%

Ultrasound  will not give a good indication of how much liver damage ( fibrosis) you have or neither will your enzyme levels.

Biopsy and /or a fibroscan  along with often a "fibrosure blood marker test are the best tests being used today to ascertain this,however many doctors do not feel a liver damage assesment is necessary for Geno type 2 patients if one intends to treat anyway being there is such a high cure rate for this genotype

The treatment usually comes with a varying degree of side effects from very mild to sometimes more severe,and one would not know the extent of these until tx. is underway.

There is currently no herbal cure for HCV and in fact many herbs are known to damage the liver.

Best to talk to a specialist (either a gastroenterologist or a hepatologist ) about your condition and possibly a treatment plan.

I have linked (below) all the up to date info. on  G2 ,including the  current treatment regimes  as well as possible future thaerpies being tested

Best to you and welcome to the group....

Will

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1478-3231.2011.02710.x/full

excert)

Patients infected with genotype 2 HCV are an ‘easy-to-treat’ population. As a result of the very high successful response rate and the possibility of shortening the duration of treatment in nearly all patients who achieve an RVR in the absence of cirrhosis, treatment of HCV-2 with a standard combination of PEG-IFN/RBV may be continued.



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1431734_tn?1333920149
welcome to the forum where u will get tons of help/ the best available and lots of support. i was geno 2 and if u check my journal u can see how mine went. every one is different but i was older and maybe more advanced but it sure is the best geno if u have to have tx. best of luck, babs824
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163305_tn?1333672171
You need to find out how healthy your liver is before proceeding with treatment.
A biopsy will show the stage of fibrosis. Many of us don't feel sick even when we have advanced liver disease. This is why a biopsy is important.

If you liver is stage 0-1 you could easily wait for the new all oral meds currently doing well in clinical trials. If your fibrosis is further advanced you may chose to do the treatment now.

If you look in my profile, there is a list of questions for your doctor.

Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
Speaking for the minority position, I am just about certain that the odds of a healthy happy life are higher w/o treatment than with, especially if you can abstain from alcohol and undertake a really good diet and course of living.  

You will then not risk losing a small to large piece of your soul, of your essence, which is too often what interferon takes.   You will not expose yourself to risks of a myriad of other autoimmune disorders that might manifest themselves anywhere from the time of treatment to years down the road.    

Don't treat and you may end up with cirrhosis at 75 - so what?  Get cirrhosis at 75, and odds are even it won't kill you before 85.  You may also die in a car wreck in 5 years.   You might perish from widespread civil unrest in 20 years.

Treat and you may be cured.  80% cure is likely a titch optimistic.  You know you will be sick.  You know you will lose six months to a year now, as opposed to the year(s) you may or may not lose at the end of life.  Many assumptions of cure in these forums.  Treat and thou shalt be cured.  We're all optimists on the front end.  And a "cure" (being defined as eradication of the virus) doesn't mean it saved you from anything.  Odds are very high the virus won't kill you anyway.

The taking of the drug also increases, I am convinced, the long term probabilities of other life-threatening complications.  

You have Hep C.  You face a dilemma.  Is either course of action a much better odds play than the other?  Very likely not.

Again, spiritual work is probably as good of treatment as pharmaceutical.  Interferon combo treatment is the only thing Pfizer and Roche want you to think about, but treatment can actually take many forms.  You don't have to inject your body with poison to treat it.

It also depends on what you value and how you want to live.  We all die.  Nobody in America wants to talk about it or face it or see it in the light of day, but that's the way it is.  Spend your time living in fighting unavoidable death (with the not insignificant risk of actually hastening it!) or spend your time living in living.    

So says the minority on these boards.
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Avatar_m_tn

Oh my,



After infection, the immune system reacts to hepatitis C by trying to rid the liver of infected cells. It is this immune response that can cause liver inflammation, and this inflammation leads to scarring. As the immune system attempts to isolate infected cells, scarring worsens.



As the liver becomes more scarred, it hardens and becomes less elastic. This makes it increasingly difficult for blood and other fluids to flow through it.



Even though the liver can operate when badly damaged, the continuous effect of hepatitis C can slowly interfere with liver function. Complications then occur when the liver is unable to carry out important tasks.



These complications include: fatty liver (steatosis), jaundice, oesophageal varices, ascites, encephalopathy, portal hypertension, kidney damage, thyroid disease, diabetes, and appetite and weight loss resulting in malnutrition.



Hepatitis C outside the liver



Hepatitis C (HCV) can cause other serious medical conditions that occur outside of the liver during chronic infection. Some are more common than others. These conditions can be treated (or will resolve if HCV treatment is successful). Many are related to problems with your immune system.



Diabetes: inadequate production or use of insulin.



Essential mixed cryoglobulinemia: the presence of abnormal proteins in the bloodstream that thicken the blood, causing blood vessels to become inflamed. Essential mixed cryoglobulinaemia involves a mixture of different antibodies that can cause joint pain and swelling, Raynaud's phenomenon (pain and whitening of fingertips and toes in cold weather) purplish patches on the skin, enlargement of the spleen, and neurological, renal and cardiac disease.



HCV-related arthritis: Inflammation and swelling of small joints.



Keratoconjunctivitis sicca: eye dryness, caused by a deficiency in the production of tears.



Lichen planus: a skin condition causing flat, purplish, itchy patches inside the mouth and on the wrists, ankles, legs, lower back, neck, genitals and -- less commonly -- the nails and scalp (leading to hair loss).



Non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma: a cancer occurring in lymphocytes (white blood cells). Symptoms may include swollen glands, fever, night sweats, fatigue and weight loss.



Porphyria cutanea tarda: a skin disorder that causes extreme sensitivity to sunlight; blisters may develop in areas exposed to the sun and skin may become very fragile. Pigmentation and hair growth may increase.



Sjögren's Syndrome: dryness of the eyes and mouth, occurring with joint inflammation. Can also cause skin dryness, rash, thyroid problems, fatigue, fever, nasal irritation and bleeding, and vaginal dryness




Vitiligo: loss of skin pigment, resulting in pale patches.





http://www.thebody.com/content/art53724.html
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Avatar_m_tn

Hepatitis C and your liver



What does your liver do?



Although hepatitis C also affects other parts of the body, it is your liver that is most affected.



Your liver is an essential organ that has hundreds of jobs, including.






•Filtering chemicals and waste from the blood
•Storing vitamins, minerals, and iron
•Converting nutrients from food into energy
•Helping to balance levels of sugar and hormones
•Producing cholesterol
•Making bile (necessary for digestion)
•Creating the hormone that helps to produce platelets (to stop bleeding)

http://www.thebody.com/content/art53724.html
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1815939_tn?1377995399
Welcome to the forum.

Herbs won't cure Hepatitis C. While meditation, spiritual work, good diet, and physical exercise all help to maintain health, none of them will cure chronic Hepatitis C. At this point in time, treating with the approved Hepatitis C regimen is the only thing that will get rid of your chronic Hepatitis C.

As Will said, you are Genotype 2 so you will treat with the Interferon and Ribavirin. They can have side effects, but at least you will not have to deal with the side effects of the Protease Inhibitors. As far as the 80% cure rate, when Will posts he always uses proven stats/data based on trials and studies.

"The combination of PEG-IFN and RBV has been shown to be very successful in patients with genotype 2. The AASLD guidelines [5] advise treating HCV-2 and -3 patients for 24 weeks with combination treatment, including PEG-IFN alpha-2a or alpha-2b and a fixed dose of 800 mg of RBV [6]. With this treatment, more than 80% achieve SVR. "

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1478-3231.2011.02710.x/full


The medications can have side effects. Most of them go away after Tx. Some people can experience longer term side effects, but these are in the minority. People get frightened by the side effects and, while they are no picnic, they usually are very doable. Plus the dual treatment of Interferon and Ribavirin is usually an easier treatment than doing triple med therapy. (I did not say dual treatment is easy, just that the addition of the 3rd drug adds an array of side effects or increases the likelihood of side effects.) A large number of the posts on Med Hep which deal with side effects are about the side effects of triple med treatment.

I disagree with the premise of one of the above posts: "the odds of a healthy happy life are higher w/o treatment than with." It is true that many people with chronic Hep C do not develop cirrhosis and instead die from something else (which may or may not be related to Hep C).  But many of us do develop cirrhosis and even more of us have extrahepatic manifestations of Hep C (as Can-do has outlined). It has recently been acknowledged that chronic Hep C can cause a myriad of extrahepatic symptoms and diseases, some vague but noticeable, some minor, some severe and deadly.

As far as losing a piece of one's soul and essence to interferon, I don't agree with that premise either. A person can lose his/her essence, his/her quality of life, and/or his/her actual life if he/she does not treat and get rid of the Hepatitis C.

In addition, while the Interferon can trigger some autoimmune disorders, the Hepatitis C infection itself can trigger numerous autoimmune disorders and numerous other diseases and disorders, and worsen many other diseases.
      
The assertion that, if a person does not treat, that person MAY get cirrhosis at age 75 and won't die until age 85, is, in my opinion, misleading.
Sure, some with Hep C won't develop cirrhosis or they may develop it late. But that does not mean that no one gets cirrhosis until they are 75. It also does not mean that, even without cirrhosis, the person has no Hep C related diseases such as autoimmune disorders, skin and eye disorders, lymphoma, kidney disease, joint problems, diabetes, cryoglobulinemia, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disorders, etc., etc. There are a lot of people on this forum with cirrhosis and none of them, to my knowledge, is 75. Most are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. Most of them have either treated or are currently treating in an attempt to get rid of their Hepatitis C  before their Hepatitis C gets rid of them. Some of them are waiting for transplants or have already had transplants. Many of us know people who  have died while waiting for a transplant.

Yes, we all die of something, but if we know we have something that can kill us, most of us will try to eradicate that "something."

No one is guaranteeing cure, but most of us would rather try to eradicate this deadly virus than take our chances with it. Yes, we may be sick from side effects for a few months but, after treatment is finished, most of us can resume a normal life, often a better, fuller, healthier, and less painful life than we had before treatment.

Personally, here are my own experiences with extrahepatic disorders and diseases caused by Hep C. I lost a year to systemic vasculitis in 1993 ... off work 7 months, hemolytic anemia, pericarditis, pleuritis ... Since then I have suffered decreased quality of life  in the form of decreased energy, stamina, pep, and increased fatigue, muscle and joint aches, eye problems, some peripheral neuropathy, increasing weight gain for no apparent reason and increasing  blood sugar for no apparent reason. I blame Hep C for all of these problems. And, they definitely have affected my quality of life. ..... I just finished 48 weeks of triple med treatment. 1 week ago. Despite some lingering side effects which are improving daily, I actually feel better now than I did before treatment. I am no longer severely fatigued. My joint and muscle aches are almost gone. My back pain, which is what caused me to retire, is gone. I have more stamina and energy. My weight is down. My blood sugar is trending down. My labs work including liver enzymes and lipids are now all normal. I feel good for the first time in a very long time. I feel normal for the first time in a very long time." I feel almost as good as I did before I had the systemic vasculitis, and I have been off treatment for only a week.

I am convinced that, with treatment, I have lengthened my life span, increased my quality of life, and decreased my probabilities of an array of Hep C related diseases and disorders.


In the end, treating or not treating is an individual decision based on many factors. It is best to be educated and knowledgeable about Hepatitis C and to know the pros and cons of treatment. It is best to have all of the facts and data before making the decision. Then, armed with knowledge and facts, a person can make an informed decision.

Best of luck, hillbilly.
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Avatar_f_tn
As others above have said, it is important to take the next steps, which should include vaccinations for Hep A and Hep B to protect your liver from further infection, testing for HIV to make sure that you don't have another serious infection that could compromise your liver further, and a liver biopsy to see what your stage of liver damage is.  From there you can determine together with your doctor what the best course of action is.  When and how to treat depends on many variables, but I agree with the majority of posters above who have said, if you have liver damage, it is best to treat your Hep C.  The last thing you want is for liver damage to progress to a stage where you are too sick to be able to treat and your liver fails or you develop liver cancer.  Treat when you are healthy so that you can prevent more damage to your liver and/or other complications due to Hep C.  As far as the new all oral medications that will be coming out in 2-4 years, I am not sure what is in the pipeline for Genotype 2's.  I know there are several for Genotype 1's that will be available in that time frame.  If I were you, I would research that more before basing a decision on the new meds.  Development of new meds takes years, testing takes years, and FDA approval takes time as well.
Advocate1955
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2061362_tn?1353283118
Cirrohsis not till maybe 75 and so what, Then you may not die until 85. I think many others would beg to differ with you.
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Avatar_f_tn
This is such a dilemma.
What can do man is very true. I became cirrhotic around age 58 and the quality of my life plummeted. It is when you begin to fail and really suffer that suddenly you say, wait a minute...this is a terrible way to die, is there nothing I can do?
I am genotype 2.
I was fortunate that I got into a study with Ribavirin and Gilead 7797.It has a very high cure rate for gen 2 and geno 3.  I did have sx from ribavirin and I think it was worse for me because I was already cirrhotic, but it was nowhere near what people on interferon go through (not all but many). I am undetected and I think I am cured though we won't know for sure until 12 weeks after treatment.
I urge you to see if you can find a study with this combination or plan with your Dr. to be in on it when it is available. The latest I heard is that it will be available on the market within 2 years for gen. 2 and 3 only.
Rambleon is correct in his assessment  as well as that was his experience and there are others that have had long lasting sx from interferon. I don't believe it is a majority but there are enough folks with problems that it is important to consider what they have to say as well. It is part of  making an informed choice.
So in brief--you are not invincible, if you do not treat you will eventually die and unpleasant death from liver failure. Pharma is all there is (This comes from a real "natural living" person)
Interferon is brutal. Some people do not recover from the sx. The oral drugs are promising and Rba/7797 has your name on it for a Gen.2
Good luck to you and remember that this virus is a monster that pisses on our herbal remedies.
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163305_tn?1333672171
Sadly Rambleon had a bad experience and wishes he hadn't done treatment.
I on the other hand, wasn't diagnosed until I had severe liver damage. I'm also geno 2. I did the treatment, relapsed, and am only alive because of a liver transplant.

This is why the most important thing to consider is the health of one's liver.
A good friend of mine has hep C, no liver damage and is patiently waiting for better treatment options.

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747988_tn?1396540478
agree with you orphanedhawk-altho I've been left with many side effects,I've seen too many good friends die of this horrible disease.It really does depend on the health of your liver.
It took me 19 years to become brave enough to finally go for it and the treatment although gruelling is doable.
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Avatar_m_tn
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163305_tn?1333672171
Shame on you ! That guy posted all kinds of crazy posts around the medhelp. Look at his profile.

How I wish you'd stop trying to scare people who already are frightened because of this virus.

I lost my liver to this virus !
I put off treatment for over a year when diagnosed because of all the scary stories on the internet.

The truth is most people do not have long term side effects from interferon treatment.  Most do treatment and go on with their lives, without ever posting on forums because they are busy living life.

To the OP: What is most important is the health of your liver. If your liver is healthy you may want to wait for better options than the current treatment. Otherwise do indeed do treatment if you don't want to possibly land up getting a liver transplant, like I did.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had no idea about other poster.  Just read it.  ...  Oh Lord, just read other posts.... you are right.  

Not trying to "scare" anybody.  Hep C can have terrible effects on the minority of people it infects.  Interferon combination therapy can have terrible effects on the minority of people who treat.    It has minor lasting effects on almost all who treat with it.  

I will likely lose my liver to Hep C just as you did.  My fantasy is that I will accept it with dignity and courage, and in the interim I will live cleanly and as well as I can.  Hope so, anyway, on both counts.    :-).

Be well.
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2061362_tn?1353283118
I will keep my mouth shut on this one, or should I say keep an idle typing hand. Tactics still abound.
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Avatar_m_tn
hello my friend.  this week i finished 48 weeks of treatment. had to do 48 weeks because of cirrhosis.  i agree with the other posters who suggest a biopsy to find out how advanced your disease is, and if it isn't too far advanced then perhaps you can wait for the less toxic treatments that hopefully will be here in 2 to 3 years.  i turned 57 today and was first diagnosed with cirrhosis 5 years ago.  dragged my heels but am happy i treated. the virus was undetected at 4 weeks into treatment and has been undetected since.   it might have taken the cirrhosis a few more years to kill me if i had not treated.  if i develop liver cancer maybe less.  i know a woman who is 41 that is end stage cirrhosis from hepatitis c and is now much too sick to treat.  
blessings
eric
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Avatar_m_tn
One other thing - I have read of a test that can predict psoriasis-like response to interferon.  In other words, whether you are probe to have at least one particular type of bad auto-immune response to the drugs.

I do not know its name.  I should. I do not know if it is a good test worth doing.   I have just seen it referenced a few times in journal articles I have read.  
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131114_tn?1380086790
wow great info- a bit daunting- but thanks for posting this for anyone new or wondering if they should treat.
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131114_tn?1380086790
and again- congrats on coming thru.
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131114_tn?1380086790
Good one OH..
i too waiting to see.
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