A viral infection of the liver. There are a number of different viruses whose names are identified by a different letter. Hepatitis A is caught through eating or drinking food with viral faecal contamination. Most other types of hepatitis such as B, C, D, E, F and G are transmitted by blood or blood products through needles, cuts or sometimes unprotected sexual intercourse. Acute hepatitis is a very serious disease with liver failure of varying degrees. After the patient has recovered, chronic hepatic disease can lead on to cirrhosis or even liver cancer. Excess alcohol can also cause hepatitis and cirrhosis.
• Provide you with a protective hepatitis vaccine before going into countries where hepatitis is a risk.
• In acute hepatitis there is no effective treatment, but in time most patients recover.
• Chronic hepatitis may be helped by a number of drugs such as interferon alpha, lamivudine or steroids. These may reduce the inflammation and may lower the risk of subsequent cirrhosis or cancer.
Avoiding hepatitis is by far the best option, so make sure you are vaccinated if going to at risk areas. Only drink bottle water and do not use any ice; eat only freshly cooked vegetables and avoid salads. Demand non reusable needles and intravenous tubing sets. Always use a condom during sexual intercourse.
If you have contracted hepatitis, don’t overstress the liver. Avoid alcohol and toxins, poisons and preservatives which rely on the liver for their detoxification before they can be excreted. Eat organic, non-fatty and simple food.
Some people believe that high doses of intravenous vitamin C (30-45 grams) can damage the virus and be beneficial in both the acute and chronic phases of the disease.
Because the liver may not be functioning well, these are especially important:
• A good multivitamin/multimineral makes sure that the liver and the immune system have all the nutrients and minerals required to function perfectly. These contain the nutrients the liver needs to detoxify and also to change potentially damaging materials in the body to less harmful ones.
• Grape seed extract (proanthocyanidins) is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. In the detoxification process many free radicals are produced, and proanthocyanidins help neutralize these before they cause damage.
• Co-enzyme Q10 is an anti-inflammatory supplement; it also provides additional energy. Dosages of 30-100mg/day help the liver cells to work.
• Specific compounds can also help the liver work and also heal, in addition to those found in a good multi-tablet: tri methyl glycine (Betane), selenium, glutathione, dietary flavanoids – green tea extract, curcumin, indole 3 carbinol, sulfapyrone, milk thistle.