You all know that the liver is one of my favorite organs. Of course, I am very fond of all of them, but the workhorse liver is tops in my book; now we learn that Hepatitis C is on the rise.
Also known as HCV, Hepatitis C, by far the most severe and deadly form of the disease, is increasing, according to the Center for Disease Control.
There could be many reasons for this, complacency about unprotected sex, increased numbers of IV drug users sharing needles, and transfer from mother to child during birth.
There is also a theory that larger numbers of patients or "legacy patients" who were infected many years ago through contaminated blood transfusions are just now developing symptoms. Because HCV is a slow growing infection, it can be present for years, silently doing its devastating damage while the infected person shows and feels no symptoms. According to the book Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, (CNC), Hepatitis C is 20 times easier to contract and four times more prevalent than AIDS. As it is blood and semen borne, it is contracted in the same ways as HIV/AIDS.
Almost 90 percent of these infections lead to chronic liver disease and can lead to cancer of the liver. HCV is a "stealth infection," you can contract it from someone who has no idea they are even infected and not realize you yourself are infected in turn.
Our blood supply is indeed much safer than it was before 1992, when screening was first implemented, but since it takes up to six months to develop anti-bodies to HCV, it is impossible to identify all infected blood. Still, the FDA maintains that only 7 percent of new cases have been transmitted in this way and your risk of contracting HCV from a transfusion is about 1 in 100,000. Good odds unless you are the unfortunate one. So what to do? Many people with HCV have elevated iron present in the liver. You can be tested for this if you think you have been exposed. Of course, it's best not to contract it in the first place by using precautions when coming into contact with the bodily fluids of another person.
In addition to medical treatment for HCV, there are things you can do naturally that will help to heal your liver and fight the infection. I have used Flor-Essence, a form of Essiac, my old friend colostrum and Beta- 1,3-D-glucan. Garlic helps to fight the infection and raw liver extract, a form of glandular therapy, helps to restore liver function. These are incorporated into a personal program based on your test results, antibody levels and course of allopathic treatment.
Please seek professional guidance and do not self treat if you have been diagnosed and are on interferon or another protocol. There are several forms of Hepatitis, some more contagious than others. Barring the rare transfusional transmission, HCV is one of those diseases you don't have to get if you use common sense. If you suspect you might be infected, go for testing immediately. If you test negative, test again in another 6 months. Get on a good natural program and do a liver flush every four months (Dr. Richard Schultze has a wonderful program for that), make sure you are properly supplementing and easy on the fatty foods, and absolutely no alcohol, ever!
I urge you to work with a qualified and skilled nutritionist and follow the program they give you to the letter. I have seen natural programs succeed where even interferon was failing. Hepatitis C does not need to be a death sentence. Be diligent about your health and you will reap the rewards.
Dr. Kleine regrets that she cannot give advice over the phone or by e-mail. For an appointment please call 631.472.8139, or e-mail us at Drfootsi@myway .com