Zhang has a good reputation and I believe is recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, for what that's worth.
The main thing to keep in mind are that the alternative treatments are designed to reduce or keep fibrosis (liver damage) and not to eliminate the virus, or what we call SVR.
Because of this, the major pitfall with such treatments is that they can potentially keep people off of treatment who need it.
For this reason, it is very important to get a baseline fibrosis score -- preferably through needle biopsy -- before starting, and to then follow up with needle biopsies every 3-5 years. An alternative to measuring liver damage would be a new device called "Fibroscan" but it is not yet readily available.
Without this type of monitoring, you could potentially get into a position where you think your liver is getting better but in fact it's getting worse. You should also have periodic blood tests, including liver enymes, and preferably all monitored by a hepatologist not affiliated with the herbalist.
Second paragraph should have read:
The main thing to keep in mind are that the alternative treatments are designed to reduce or keep fibrosis (liver damage) from increasing, and not to eliminate the virus, or what we call SVR.
Also, the wisdom of alternative treatments IMO would be somewhat dependent on the baseline fibrosis score. If significant liver damage is found, I'd be more inclined to treat/eradicate the virus which can only be presently done with interferon-based treatments. I don't think you will find any claims on Zhang's web site that he can eradicate the virus.
Hi, I'm of the opinion that at this time, there is only one cure for hepC, combo treatment.
Thank you for the sound advice. That is exactly what I had understood. And that is also what he claims the herbal protocol does. He strongly suggests one goes through tx, as it is designed to eradicate the virus, the herbs may stop and even reverse fibrosis, strengthen the liver and help counter effect the symptoms of tx. To me that sounds like a perfect combination. Thanks again
Just to be clear, I wasn't suggesting you necessarily treat or take an alternative approach such as Zhang.
As I would approach it, first I'd get properly evaluated as you seem to be doing. Then, once you know genotype and the amount of liver damage, decision making will be easier.
If you don't have significant liver damage, and somewhat dependent on genotype, you certainly have the reasonable option to hold off from taking the current combo treatments. At least that is my bias, as shorter and more effective protocols appear to be on the horizon.
After you make that decision, then exploring non-treatment options such as Zhang's is reasonable although no reason to rush into anything. For example, it may turn out you have little or no liver damage which suggests that your current lifestyle/regimen may be enough.
In any event, good to see you exploring your options.
Thanks again. That is exactly what I am planning to do. I am trying to gather as much information, as I can get. So I can make a decision, once the time has come. It will take a few months, until I have all the results, can meet with the Hepatologist team of our hospital, have evt. biopsy and discuss treatment. I hate the waiting... I have contacted Dr. Zhang and he advised me to wait until then. I was diagnosed only two weeks ago and do not even know my genotype, yet. I might have contracted HCV any time between 1978 - 1998, while living in Indonesia. 1b is most common there, they also have cases of 10 and 11. So I hope it will not be one of those. I have fortunately been living quite healthy. For almost 10 yrs I have been vegetarian, living on a healthy whole food diet. No drink, no smoke, hardly any sugar nor dairy products. I believe it has slowed down the process. I don't easily grab medication, not even for a headache. Prefer to drink more water and to take a nap, instead. Well, I don't know how I will react to treatment, when it gets that far... Time will tell, but I'm not afraid. I admire this Forum, it's a really nice loving atmosphere. Am glad I fell onto it.