Knowing the ABCs of this liver disorder can save your life. Though some hepatitis viruses cause an acute but temporary flulike illness, others can produce a chronic, festering liver infection. Natural therapies are designed to protect the liver and boost your immune system.
Loss of appetite.
Nausea and vomiting.
Aching muscles or joints.
Abdominal discomfort, pain, or swelling.
Jaundice (yellowish tinge of skin and whites of eyes).
Dark urine and pale stools.
When to Call Your Doctor :
If you think you have been exposed to hepatitis, either through contaminated food or water or by sexual contact with an infected person.
If you develop lingering flulike symptoms. During its acute phase, viral hepatitis so closely resembles the flu that it is frequently misdiagnosed.
If you develop jaundice or other symptoms of hepatitis.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
What It Is :
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Of the two forms — acute and chronic — the first is the easier to treat. Hepatitis can be caused by any of six viruses, called A, B, C, D, E, and G. Hepatitis A, the most common, is highly contagious; it produces acute flulike symptoms but usually no long-lasting damage. Hepatitis B and C, on the other hand, can linger for years, often causing few or no symptoms but in some cases leading to irreversible liver scarring (cirrhosis) or liver cancer. Types D, E, and G are rare. All forms of hepatitis attack the liver, impairing its ability to process sugars and carbohydrates, to secrete fat-digesting bile, and to rid the body of toxins and waste. But the chronic forms are the most dangerous because they may ultimately lead to liver failure.
What Causes It:
Whether contracted through contaminated food or water (type A), or through blood transfusions, infected hypodermic needles, or sexual intercourse (types B and C), hepatitis is most often caused by a viral infection. Certain medications, toxic chemicals, or years of alcohol abuse can also result in hepatitis. Rarely, an autoimmune dysfunction — in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues — is to blame. And sometimes, no cause can be determined.
How Supplements Can Help :
Conventional medicines have achieved only limited success in treating hepatitis, particularly the more dangerous chronic form. The natural therapies listed in the chart are designed to protect and strengthen the liver and boost general immunity. They should be used together, along with conventional drugs, until symptoms of acute hepatitis subside. Benefits may be noticed within a week. For chronic disease, take them long term.
What Else You Can Do :
Watch what you eat and drink when traveling in areas where sanitation is poor and disease rates high. Have only bottled water and cooked foods.
Refrain from alcohol, especially during and for a month after an acute illness, or until your doctor says your liver function tests are normal.
Make sure disposable or sterilized needles are used during acupuncture, body piercing, tattooing, and similar procedures.
Vaccines against both hepatitis A and hepatitis B are available. Ask your doctor if you should have one or both.
Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Reduce dose if diarrhea develops.
Dosage: 400 IU a day.
Comments: Check with your doctor if taking anticoagulant drugs.
Dosage: 150 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Standardized to contain at least 70% silymarin.
Dosage: 2 pills twice a day.
Comments: Should contain milk thistle, choline, inositol, and other ingredients.
Dosage: 200 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Can be taken with or without food.
Dosage: 500 mg standardized extract twice a day.
Comments: May be contained in lipotropic combination formulas.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs (Reader’s Digest)