I'd like to relate our experience with Hep C treatment. My husband got Hep C back before it even had a letter, in the 1970s, and he is now 62. He has never been much of a drinker, which is very fortunate. He has always had a ridiculous amount of energy, and an active occupation. He kept an eye on his liver (don't take that literally!), and the diagnosis never much affected him. But after a divorce about 10 years ago, he began to consume more alcohol than before, and his liver enzymes crept up, and his biopsy in 2009 said he had Stage 4 cirrhosis. Yet function was still fine, and still he did not feel affected by the disease. The doc said, the numbers say it's time for interferon.
The side effects and prognosis for cure were not encouraging, and I contacted naturopaths I know to get a recommendation for someone for him to see. They recommended a doctor at John Bastyr Naturopathic College in WA State, and we went to see her. She specializes in traditional Chinese medicine for cancer, HIV and liver diseases. She prescribed an herbal combination, and some other supplements. And ZERO alcohol. She was the first doctor who actually said NONE. Other doctors would pussyfoot around and say, don't drink a lot, but no one said, don't have any at all. Not even one beer on Friday. Not drinking was not a problem for him, as he had already mostly stopped having any once he got the Stage 4 pronouncement.
The treatment regimen she started him on made him feel worse, so he went back, and she put him on a different formula, something called Livercel, made by Nutricology. It contains a proprietary blend of Patrinia extract, Phellodendron amurense extract, Yi-Chen wormwood extract and Schisandra extract. He also was taking milk thistle and a few other things. This herbal combo reversed the numbers, brought his liver function (alt and ast) down to high normal, whereas they had been going way up.
He kept to this regimen and was going along fine, back to not feeling impacted by the virus, though of course he knew it was still there. However, at his checkup last June, his numbers were starting to go up again, and now that there was a real cure available, his naturopath said, ok, now the new drugs have been proven effective and have minimal side effects, so time to give that a try, if you can afford it. Which of course, hardly anybody can. So then we started on that journey.
Meanwhile, what my husband hadn't mentioned to me was that because he was feeling so unaffected by the disease, he had started being not so diligent about taking the Livercel. Taking it once a day instead of twice, or skipping a day, etc. Once he got the higher numbers in June, he started taking them religiously, never skipping. And you know what? HIS NUMBERS WENT DOWN AGAIN. The RNA quantitation was 15,774,971 in June, and on the 11th January, it had gone down to 6,646,637. Down about 60%. This shows to me that the Livercel was having effect. So look into that while you are waiting for the new medicines to be available at a reasonable price.
Meanwhile, although his allopathic doctor's request for Harvoni was initially denied by the health care insurance company, they approved it when she resubmitted it. And they signed him up for the Harvoni's patient co-pay subsidy. He has been on it for a week, and so far no side effects at all. I asked him if he felt anything at all yet, and he said, "I think they must have given me the placebo." ;-)
So hang in there folks. Don't drink, and try a good naturopath until you can get the cure.