Hepatitis A - Rising In The USA

Outbreaks of this potentially deadly liver disease are rising throughout the USA. This year there have been nearly twice as many cases as last year. The worst outbreaks have been in San Diego, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an emergency alert to public health officials throughout the country, warning of the sharp increase in hepatitis A cases. This is all despite community education and vaccination campaigns. Hepatitis is a general term that means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A is a virus that causes infection and inflammation of the liver.

How can a person catch hepatitis A?

This virus is easily spread through consuming contaminated food (eg. raw seafood) or liquids, contact with cutlery, bed linen and exposure to feces contaminated with the virus. It can also be contracted via contaminated needles and other injection paraphernalia, sexual contact and living in generally poor sanitary conditions.

How does hepatitis A affect the liver?

The hepatitis A virus attacks the liver cells producing an acute illness with symptoms of nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue, fever and jaundice. Most people feel extremely sick and need bed rest in order to recover. This illness usually lasts for several weeks and resolves quickly once the virus is cleared from the body.

In those who are run down to start with there may be a longer or relapsing illness and this occurs in around 15% of cases. The healthier your liver is, and the better your blood levels of vitamin D and selenium, the faster your body should recover from the infection.

Unlike hepatitis B or C, a chronic illness does not develop from the hepatitis A virus, and once the virus is cleared from the body a permanent immunity is acquired. The hepatitis A virus does not cause cirrhosis. There is a vaccine, which is highly effective in preventing hepatitis A. In those recently exposed to hepatitis A, an injection of gamma globulin can reduce the risk of infection if given within 24 hours of exposure.

Treatment strategies for those with hepatitis A

  • Minimize the use of all medications, especially liver toxins such as alcohol, analgesic drugs (especially acetaminophen, paracetamol and narcotics) and anti- inflammatory drugs. Avoid using household and workplace chemicals such as insecticides, pesticides, chlorine, bleach, paints, glues and solvents.
  • Drink one or two glasses of raw vegetable juices daily. There are many suitable juice recipes in the book Raw Juices Can Save Your Life. The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in vegetables are easier to digest when juiced.
  • Eat cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, bok choy as well as garlic and onions to help the detoxification ability of the liver. NAC (n-acetyl cysteine) is also crucial for improving detoxification abilities by the liver. Your liver uses NAC to manufacture glutathione, which detoxifies and reduces inflammation in your body.
  • The herb St Mary’s thistle has antiviral effects.  The active component of St Mary’s thistle is silibinin; this substance actually inhibits the replication of the hepatitis virus, making it a vital component of the treatment plan.  Livatone Plus contains St Mary’s thistle plus other herbs and nutrients to support healthy liver function.
  • Make sure you have an optimal blood vitamin D level.  You are probably vitamin D deficient, therefore you should ask your doctor for a blood test to find out.  Vitamin D deficiency promotes inflammation and scarring in the liver.  5000 IU of vitamin D3 is an appropriate amount to take in supplement form for most people, but check with your doctor first.
    - Selenium has amazing antiviral properties. It actually inhibits the ability of viruses to replicate, so helps reduce the viral load. Selenium is also wonderful for improving energy levels in those battling an infection.
    - Try to avoid sugar and keep your carbohydrate intake low. Sugar promotes inflammation in the body and inflammation worsens aches and pains. If you can’t always stay away from sugar, serrapeptase is a natural enzyme that powerfully reduces inflammation.

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