I second what Susan said. Keeping you all in my prayers.
I also have you all in my thoughts and prayers..
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.
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.
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.
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.