Hepatitis C is making headlines due to the criminal activity of someone deliberately infecting others with contaminated needles. This happened in a hospital environment, but drug users who share needles also spread hepatitis C. This disease is contagious through contact with blood of an infected person. For this reason, never share razors, toothbrushes or nail clippers.
Hepatitis C is one of many viruses that can cause liver infection. When liver inflammation is caused by HCV, it is called hepatitis C. Rarely, the body will self-heal of liver infection. The other 75-85 percent with hepatitis C will develop a chronic condition that may have no symptoms, leaving the person unaware that hepatitis C is slowly destroying the liver.
There are no symptoms upon initial infection. Up to 80 percent of infected persons will never have symptoms, though the liver is slowly losing function, sometimes leading to cirrhosis. The other 20 percent will experience fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, dark brown urine and discolored stool. These symptoms will develop four to 12 weeks after initial infection.
According to emedicine health, “It is believed there are 17,000 new (acute) cases of hepatitis C in the United States each year.” An estimated three million people are currently living with hepatitis C in the US.
Symptoms of cirrhosis are: retaining fluid, yellow skin and eyes, fatigue, inability to sleep, itchy skin, weight loss, vomiting with blood and hallucinations.
Treatment: Doctors rely on a drug called interferon which cures approximately 30-40 percent of infected persons. Milk thistle, which grows throughout the south, also grows in Atlanta and the North Georgia Mountain region, making the supplements far less-costly than interferon. Natural supplements do not cure hepatitis C, but ease the pain and suffering caused by hepatitis C and side effects of interferon.
Milk thistle contains a a property called silymarin. Based on studies, silymarin blocks toxins from the liver and reduces inflammation., improving liver function.
Drinking ginger tea or ginger ale will greatly reduce nausea associated with the disease and side effects of interferon.
Eating healthy, getting enough omega-3, exercising and getting 15 minutes of unprotected sun will help keep the liver healthy and functioning properly. Refrain from putting toxins in the body that the liver must work harder to filter.