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Hepatitis C case study

Hepatitis C Case Study

A 45 year old woman with chronic hepatitis C consulted me to get help using natural therapies. The type of hepatitis c virus she had was the nasty genotype 1 and she was aware that success rates of anti-viral drugs were only around 30 to 40% with this type of virus. She complained of severe fatigue which did not surprise me as when we checked her viral load (the amount of virus present in each millilitre of her blood) it was 5.4 million, which is considered high. With such high viral loads fatigue is a common symptom because the virus is draining the energy of the patient’s cells to reproduce itself.

This lovely lady worked full time and needed her energy and she considered she was really trying to look after her immune system with a healthy diet and lifestyle. She did not drink much alcohol and was a non-smoker and yet she had a high viral load. The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a nasty virus and is clever at evading the immune system and generally presents a difficult challenge for those who are infected. We had to come up with strategies to strengthen her immune system so it could destroy a lot of this HCV to reduce her viral load. Otherwise she would remain fatigued as the virus continued to sap her energy.

I ordered blood tests to check her liver function, an ultrasound scan of her liver and spleen and tests to check her levels of vitamin D and selenium. I ordered a urine test to check her level of the mineral iodine. Thankfully her liver function was normal and her ultrasound scan revealed a normal liver. Somewhat surprisingly her other tests revealed deficiencies of vitamin D, selenium and iodine. So notwithstanding this lady’s ostensibly healthy and normal diet she had severe deficiencies of nutrients essential to a strong immune system

Selenium is a mineral that helps the immune system fight the HCV and reduce viral load. Selenium also exerts a protective effect on liver cells and supports detoxification in the liver. The mineral iodine is not only vital for the production of thyroid hormone, it also exerts a natural antibiotic and anti-viral effect. Vitamin D strengthens the immune system and has anti-inflammatory effects.
I prescribed a supplement called Thyroid Health Capsules which contain a potent dose of organic selenium, iodine, zinc and vitamin D. I wanted to get her levels into the high range as quickly as possible so I prescribed 4 capsules of Thyroid Health capsules daily and would recheck her levels in 2 months time. I also prescribed omega 3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil and ground flaxseeds because high intake of omega 3 exerts a tonic effect on the immune system and reduces inflammation. I also prescribed a powerful liver tonic containing pure milk thistle, sulphur amino acids, taurine, B vitamins and antioxidants called Livatone Plus.

I have been using nutritional medicine for over 30 years in my medical practice and although there are some doctors who do not believe supplements are required in patients who have what appears to be a healthy diet, I have found them to be totally wrong about this. There is a lot of scientific evidence, epidemiological data and clinical studies that prove the effectiveness of specific nutritional supplements and herbs in improving the outcomes of those with chronic viral infections of the liver such as hepatitis C and B. There is also evidence that selenium can improve treatment outcomes in those with AIDS.
I am currently writing an e-book on hepatitis that provides a total holistic plan for those trying to improve their treatment outcomes and quality of life.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.

References

McKenzie RC, Beckett GJ, Arthur JR. Effects of selenium on immunity and aging. In: Hatfield DL, Berry MJ, Gladyshev VN, eds. Selenium: Its Molecular Biology and Role in Human Health. 2nd ed. New York: Springer; 2006:311-323.
Yu MW, Horng IS, Hsu KH, Chiang YC, Liaw YF, Chen CJ. Plasma selenium levels and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma among men with chronic hepatitis virus infection. Am J Epidemiol. 1999;150(4):367-374.
Zhang W, Ramanathan CS, Nadimpalli RG, Bhat AA, Cox AG, Taylor EW. Selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase modules encoded by RNA viruses. Biol Trace Elem Res. 1999;70(2):97-116

Hayes CE, Nashold FE, Spach KM, Pedersen LB. The immunological functions of the vitamin D endocrine system. Cell Mol Biol. 2003;49(2):277-300.
Vitamin D as immunity element against infection.  Med Clin (Barc). 2009 Sep 12;133(9):344–8.

World Health Organization (WHO). Assessment of 7. iodine deficiency disorders and monitoring their elimination: a guide for programme managers, 3rd ed. WHO: Geneva, 2007.