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Avatar universal

pharma vs holistic hep c treatment

Along comes this HVC after hitching a ride for about 25/30 years. Read lots on the net about past and present pharma and natural herbal therapys,side effects and degrees of success on both sides. Without being derogatory, I'll call'em the Suits and the Hippies.
The Suits have some very convincing momentum in the battle against HVC for us but at a cost, both financial and side effect prone with varying success. The Hippies seem to be gaining (by my observation from the failure of the Suits) some momentum with less costs, little to no side effects with claims of degrees of success. Both are advancing in their knowledge and help so I must add I praise them all for effort.
Non are going to disappear tomorrow, nor am I but here's my question finally. Has anyone given any particular, less invasive and side effect prone Hippy strategy to return to (full health HVC wise) or is this more often used as a last resort (as I seem to gleen) after the Suits have had their chance but left you less than satified with their end result.
(If they would only get their collective knowledgeable heads together for all our benefits.)

105 Responses
Avatar universal
" Every one is so concerned about side effects of the tx, they act as though it's worse than the disease."

Many people recover from treatment pretty well, some come out with what I call "souvenirs" that are permanent but manageable. For a certain segment of people, treatment has either been extremely difficult and harmful with more distressing outcomes  OR it has simply failed. One fellow in my support group has tried treatment twice and it's failed and each time, he's come away from it with permanent health conditions. For him, treating a third time is a daunting proposition.  It frankly pi$$es me off to no end that this is ignored by those who so fervently push treatment  - these people need to be exploring alternatives to keep the impacts of existing Hep C under control.  For that matter....it's also a matter of personal choice if someone reads about the side effects of interferon and ribavirin and decide that they want to avoid treatment until better options come along and see if they can live with their Hep C instead.  That is THEIR choice, as long as it's an educated one.  Their body, their life.  They have NOT automatically sentenced themselves to death in that case if they are carefully watching and monitoring their health and are making use of alternatives to keep their fibrosis and their viral load in check.  People say there is no usefulness to keeping viral load in check but that's not entirely known - what IS known is that treating with a lower viral load potentially offers more chance of success so if one is keeping options open and trying to create optimal conditions IF they do end up having to go into treatment. I would be looking to keep viral load down as a " can't hurt, might help" approach as there are new things being learned all the time about Hep C.

There is nothing CLINICALLY proven to cure Hep C other than the known drug therapy we have today.  That is a fact.  That does not mean that there are not other things out there that improve conditions for persons with Hep C - and potentially even improve them to the point where life expectancy and the quality of life and health prognosis is greatly enhanced for persons with Hep C.  Perhaps if we explored these options more fully, it may be that CURE is not the only acceptable goal that persons with Hep C can entertain - nor should be allowed to entertain, when the current drugs are as difficult as they are with side effects that range from mild to debilitating from person to person and when the current rate of success with SOC drugs is still just under 50%. New and promising drugs on their way but still not a 100% panacea and accessibility to these drugs along with the new resistance issues to be addressed remain to unfold.  

I have thyroid issues as one of my "souvenirs".  I take daily medication. Easily manageable and controllable. Perhaps...just perhaps...we might find something that keeps Hep C in check enough to increase life expectancy and inhibit damage to the point where the number of liver transplants from Hep C is greatly decreased as well.  That isn't going to happen if the only option people ever entertain or investigate is the current pharmaceutical treatment.

Surviving Hep C is the goal....cure is certainly a great way to achieve that.  For some, that isn't going to happen and it would be nice if people can stop beating the treatment drum long enough to give a voice to those who need to discuss other options....and those who simply WANT to along the way to determining what is best for themselves in their own situation.  If treatment ends up being the best option for a person, that will become clear to them and I'd rather have the freedom to explore all my options so that I can feel some comfort with the option I've settled on after all that, knowing why what I've chosen is best for ME.
Avatar universal
Can you provide an example of a hippie treatment that cleared someone of the virus, that isn't purely anecdotal?
1225178 tn?1318984204
I have only read about a decrease in viral load with the hippie sort of treatment. There are very many people who have totally cleared all of the virus out of their bodies with SOC.

Unless you get rid of all of the virus, it will come back and continue to damage your liver.

I have 2 weeks to go with SOC and my virus was undetectable by my 12th week of treatment (I'm going for 48) It hasn't been a picnic for sure, but if they still can't find any virus 6 months after I finish, I can consider myself cured. There are no other treatments that give that benefit.

Avatar universal
That is my question also to the masses, however, in my readings I have come across several intriguing sites. One is , http://lloydwright.org/. and my question remains I hope on neutral ground. I just hope I havent' confused anyone with my intro as I enterpret what I've learned so far.. Just looking for experiences and personal accounts.
Thanks for your responce.
148588 tn?1465782409
Since there are no proven methods of achieving an undetectable viral load without using interferon, the question becomes "Do you wish to try and coexist with the virus while minimizing the damage it does?" If this is the case, there is a huge range of supplements, lifestyle choices, and even herbs that 'may' help with this. Unfortunately, as with so many things, a lot of it comes down to genetics - something none of us can change. Some people can live  totally organic, eat handsful of supplements and herbs and still go galloping to cirrhosis. Others ignore their disease and live to a ripe old age. It all depends - "Do you feel lucky?".
148588 tn?1465782409
If buy into L. Wright, I've got some land I'd like to sell. It's a little bit damp at high tide.
96938 tn?1189803458
It's the hippie approach that got a lot of people into the mess in the first place.  Please explain how the hippies "seem to be gaining".  I don't get that.
Avatar universal

  There have been many claims of certain degrees of success in dealing with HCV  by taking different supplements.herbs,natural products and the like. There may be some validity in that some of these products have varying degrees of success in lowering or perhaps keeping low the liver enzymes and there has even been claims of some of these modalities keeping viral load lower,however that has not been clinically proven.

Unfortunately today the only treatment that  IS clinically proven to eradicate HCV  is the combination tx.of  Inf/Riba. However the future has never looked brighter in regards to new  meds coming on the market,with seemingly better efficacy  and perhaps shorter treatment times.

In the meantime there are many  companys and salespeople on the net that would like you believe they have the answer ,most recently someone proclaiming a food preservative was the panacea...so proceed with caution..

Good luck

1586675 tn?1300908695
Because she has lupus on top of her hepatitis,,my friend was unable to receive a treatment such as interferon. She has treated on and off with homeopathy for the past five years, plants and acupuncture.,she did not get rid of the virus but for over three years the virus has shown non active on her blood tests. the signs of early fibrosis in her liver do not show up in her scans anymore. BTW, she feels and looks great and was able to get back to her life as a musician., Yes, the hep c is still present.,but, so far she is physically and mentally fit again with absolutely no side effects. I am a true proponent of non western medicines which when combined with our science can only make for the best medical system ever. If I decide on interferon I will def use it along with Chinese practices ie acupuncture and if the degree of my liver damage happens to be at an early stage, I will def look at my alternatives first. Our medicine is one based on the "emergency" mode which unfortunately forgets that a liver or a colon, cells, muscle... cannot function separately. By isolating each of these vital organs we also tend to forget the big picture which is the post treatment reality. I think hippies and suits should walk hand in hand. I don't think any of them hold the absolute truths. Can't wait to see more of that relationship in our insurance policies, programs develop and all that jazz.
Avatar universal
"she did not get rid of the virus but for over three years the virus has shown non active on her blood tests. the signs of early fibrosis in her liver do not show up in her scans anymore. "

What do you mean when you say non-active?  The virus doesn't actually go non-active and there is no test that declares Hep C active or non-active - it's either present or it's not and if it's present, it's active.  So I'm thinking you must be referring to something else such as low viral load or something?  Can you clarify please?  

I can see that taking certain substances can reduce fibrosis.  If pharmaceuticals can do that, I have no doubt that the right combination of herbals can do it also.  And those that have treated and it has failed for them - or those who choose not to treat, to my knowledge, use certain natural substances or substances extracted from naturals, to keep fibrosis and viral load in check as much as they can.
Avatar universal
"Has anyone given any particular, less invasive and side effect prone Hippy strategy to return to (full health HVC wise) or is this more often used as a last resort (as I seem to gleen) after the Suits have had their chance but left you less than satified with their end result."

Not sure what you mean by "return to full health HCV wise" - are you talking cured where your viral load is proven undetectable for a sustained period of time? (That proven word is key.)  Or are you talking those that are living well and relatively healthy in spite of having Hep C?

"(If they would only get their collective knowledgeable heads together for all our benefits.) "

No kidding, eh?  I think there is merit in combining the best of both approaches for various reasons.  To be completely aware of the benefits of natural approaches is important and the pharmaceutical approaches and to be able to choose from the range of options to do what is best for YOU within your own big picture is key.  Seems we deal with the two extremes often enough and I'd prefer a much more open dialogue on all options.
1523804 tn?1316564509
IMHO the success or failure of any school of medicine is largely dependent on the doctor. The more subtle the system the more dependent.
To its credit modern western medicine tries for an off the peg, one size fits all, mass applicable system. This obviously is a nice effort to help everyone even if the doctor is not  so well-tuned. Diagnostic tests are extremely accurate, even if expensive, and not dependent on  the doctors skills at all. The doc reads from his patient's charts of data and prescribes according to the drug companies' charts of data, modified and adapted as per his experience, or some new research  paper recently published.
On the down side the system concentrates huge amounts of  money in a few people's hands, and turns it all into an industry.  No need to elaborate where that can lead.
Other schools of medicine such as Ayurveda, Chinese, Homeopathy etc are more heavily dependent on the doctor and his skills. Find a good doctor in these schools, and western diagnostics become relegated to confirming what the doctor can divine by his own examination.
Since the strength of  the disease, and the patient determine the strength of the medicine a custom-made approach is always preferable, and even with Inf/riba SOC a good doctor  will customize it for his patient, this is why there will always be discussion over what works, because the cure has to  be tailored  for  the patient, especially with something as slippery as Hep C. Just because something worked for you, doesn't mean it will work for everyone.
We don't really know  what is going on even with a multitude of  reports and research and statistics and percentages, as we are dependent on others investigations and opinions  to form ours.
Suits is a fair enough term for allopathic medicine as it is run on business lines, but 'Hippies' seems a little shallow for everything else, as  some schools of medicine are thousands of years old and have a far deeper understanding of the body working as a complete unit on more than just the gross physical level.
Remove the money-making aspect and have government funding of  research, and I'm sure progress would be faster. Even a simple "if you don't get cured you needn't pay" policy would be nice. How is it that doctors, lawyers and pharmaceutical companies all  get their money even if  their product or  services don't  deliver?? What other commercial ventures work like that?
Wherever there's billions of dollars moving around, fudging  and manipulating  is very tempting.
Hep C can be defeated there is no doubt about that, how you do it is as much up  to  you as how, if, and to whom  you choose  to pray.
The best of luck.
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