I won't comment on what it is like to be in the end stages of liver disease - too many folks here can supply first-hand knowledge and there is nothing I can add to that. They will post info for you.
Natural treatment? Almost 100 percent of the "natural" treatments are quak medicine. Some treatments seem to help reduce liver inflammation which is generally held as a good thing. There certainly are no "natural" cures - unless you want to count interferon as natural, which it is, but in unnatural ammounts.
It really is not well understood who will have a quickly progressing disease and who might live to their 8th or 9th decade with this stuff. The point is there are no easy answers or decisions with this disease.
I don't know what you are having to struggle with, but I pray it resolves in positive way. God bless! -Michael
Right now I am dealing with life without treatment because I cannot tolerat the meds. I don't think of an end and in my humble opinion thinking of an end does not get you through the present. I am 52, single, I work and enjoy everthing I can. My 2 children are grown and the 3 of us are best friends. Work on now.
I agree with Michael, there is no "natural cure". Stick with nutrition, vit a supps maybe like folic acid and vit C.
Take good care.
Could you give us a little more information?
Your question is too broad to answer in such a small amount of space.
How long can you live without treatment is a vastly different question than whether a person who can treat, should treat and when. I'm guessing that that is your concern.
Most people die WITH hepatitis C and not OF it. There are factors that determine how well you will live, just as there are factors that determine how long.
I emphasize lifestyle choices for people with hepatitis C.
A majority of patients, for one reason or another , cannot treat with interferon, do not respond to it, cannot afford it, etc etc. Lifestyle matters and it matters a lot. You cannot rely on interferon alone to improve the health of your liver. This is in addition to the decision to treat with interferon, not a substitute for it.
The lifestyle choices you make can make a huge difference for those who do treat and those who do not. They have the greatest impact on those who are early enough in the disease to make a decision to improve overall health and well-being and who make a commitment to a lifelong strategy to protect their livers and the rest of their bodies. Lifestyle choices impact the success of the treatment for those who treat. No doubt about it. For most people, getting the lifestyle in order prior to treatment and going into a course of treatament in "good shape" improves the chances of success and can reduce the discomfort of side effects. It takes work and commitment.
Overweight people have two strikes....one, the treatment is not as likely to be effective, and two, they have a greater chance of having a fatty liver (which can account for fibrosis and liver damage all by itself) losing weight before treatment and increasing fitness improves lung capacity, circulation, mental outlook, and fatigue. It decreases the potential complications insulin resistance that we are now hearing so much about with reference to hepatitis C.
Smokers, likewise have been found to have increased fibrosis of the liver as an independent factor. It also is thought to increase the odds of liver cancer. Add hepatitis C and you cannot tell what is actually causing what. People with hepatitis C, before, during or after treatment are working against themselves if they smoke.
Alcohol use also has been categorically proven to cause liver disease and cirrhosis independently of hepatitis C.
When you connect the dots, there are factors that a person should seriously consider when trying to stop progession. These are three, there are more.
We have a large population of people who have had hepatitis C for many years and did not know to protect the liver and reduce the factors that cause liver disease and damage. In those people, the majority STILL don't die of hepatitis C, although the damage may have progressed beyond what it would have if they had known to take care of themselves. So, is it the lifestyle or the hepatitis C? That is a question that is still open. But, for certain, reducing the risks of lifestyle behaviors that work against healing and health do matter.
So, it depends so much on where you are in your disease. There is no doubt that there are people who have progressed in their liver disease and face transplant and end stage liver disease. But, even these patient can benefit in knowing about the types of research that show benefits in quality of life and the impact decisions in self care can have on the disease. This is an adjunct to care, not a substitute for it.
You cannot cure hepatitis C with lifestyle choices alone. The open question is : Can you delay liver disease progression, stop progression, or even improve your condition if you become healthier and take care of some basic factors that increase progression and the disease process? Would you have realized progression if you had only the hepatitis C virus and had not been choosing (unknowingly) behaviors that make the disease worse? For those with minimal disease, there is choice. Likewise for the newly infected. For them, there is the firstline option of taking the time to determine (under close medical supervision to monitor for changes) whether that is a good strategy. Interferon therapy has its downsides. You can improve your odds of success through wise choices and good timing. And, for those who cannot treat, life may simply improve your odds of living a long life and dying of something else entirely unrelated.
Since I do not know what you are facing or what has brought the question up for you, all I can really tell you is, that if you do not treat because interferon is not right for you, lifestyle and monitoring become critically important. The same is true for anyone who has treated, whether it was successful, or not.
Preserving the gains made by the treatment is critical to living a healthy life beyond treatment.
I hope this helps,
I hope you take the time to do a lot of reading and research. Having Hep C is not in and of itself a death sentence. You are more likely to die with Hep C than FROM it. That said, high risk behaviour, especially drinking for those with liver disease will make things worse and quicken the damage. You'll find many if not most of the people here have decided to avoid alcohol completely and forever, while others who have cleared after treatment will have a rare drink on special occasions.
Take a deep breath and relax and learn!
There is something called Sho-saiko-to that I going to start taking. (see my post on <A href="http://www.medhelp.org/perl6/hepatitis/messages/C36301-27.html">March
7th</a>. It does seem like it may be a <B><I>legitimate</b></i> herbal alternative to tx for preventing/reducing fibrosis and preventing liver cancer (but not eliminating the virus). Of course, more research is needed, but in my opinion it seems to have merit. Memorial Sloan Kettering is conducting <A href="http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/2270.cfm?peds=no&IRBNO=02-073&team=Hepatitis%20C&TT=">Stage II clinical trials</a> (which Thanbey was kind enough to post).
I asked my GI at the Center for the Study of Hepatitis C about it - he said he never heard of it, but he knew the doctor conducting the study and often referred patients to her; he was going to ask her about it for me. I am meeting with my GI, who recommended I wait to treat, to discuss Sho-saiko-to as a strategy for preventing fibrosis until better treatments come along. It can be purchased online and should NOT be taken by anyone currently taking Interferon because the combination is associated with development of interstitial pneumonia.
Where can you purchase the herbs and where would you get the dosage ? I would love to have more info on this. My husband, is delaying treatment for 6mo/1yr, due to business. He is 1a..Stage 1 mild fib. I saw the study on Thanbey's sight but didnt know you could buy the herbs. Thanks !