Alternative Treatment
For Hepatitis C
By Robbi Borjeson, M.D.
I have read Definitions of Hepatitis C by Patricia Doyle, PhD. I agree whole-heartedly with her assessment of this problem. I want to thank her for her personal frankness and for bringing hepatitis C to the forefront as a big problem for our society's future.
It is truly unfortunate in this day and age of technology and scientific magnificence that we continue to be dependent on a medical system that can only give palliative therapy for our afflictions. Although I was trained in our conventional system my heart kept me on the path of truth. Today I am what I call a Real Doctor working with Alternatives to Conventional Medicine.
When we are told that we have a horrible affliction such as Hepatitis C it is a truly helpless moment. We are told that it is incurable and contagious with limited therapies available to us. These therapies are expensive and they will make most people very sick to the point of destroying one's livelihood. Maybe, at the most, 18% of those individuals accepting these therapies, such as Interferon, will be able to appreciate a benefit.
What happens to the rest? They get sicker and eventually die.
What other choices does one have? Usually we are fast-tracked by the medical "experts' to the latest "experimental protocols." These protocols are expounded upon while any alternatives are at best merely mentioned. So there you are, take it or leave it. They, or I guess I, should say, we are the experts in mind control. The doctors frighten us to death to get us to sign on the dotted line.
Have you ever actually read and understood a consent form? The form is designed so that we consent to forsaking our God-given rights as individuals. Sign the form and you become a guinea pig, or even worse a statistic.
Because of my own personal interest in our innate abilities to heal I found alternatives that not only work but that will heal. Several entities are needed to succeed. We have to believe in ourselves, rather than "the experts." We do have choices. In addition, you and I know about ourselves better than anyone else does. Next, we must acknowledge our affliction and what it means to us. Then, a support team is required to help us when we are weak in body, spirit and/or mind. The team can be as large or as small as you make it but what is important is that your team supports you in your decisions. They are not there to make your decisions for you. And lastly we must have the integrity to do what we committed ourselves to even if it seems impossible. We must make a contract with ourselves!
If I were told today that I had Hepatitis C, I have to admit I would be scared. Just hearing it scares me. I try to get rid of labels as quickly as humanly possible. Before jumping into any treatment I would have to educate myself on the how, when and where I got myself into this affliction. It is the result of something I did.
I must take on the responsibility and not blame. If I blame I will not be healed!
To be healed is an art of communication. There has to be an understanding of where we have been and where we want to go from where we are today. The answers are there. We just have to look hard. One of my patients told me, "Every thing is an illusion." Boy, was she right. So we must search for the truth.
I live in Arizona where there is access to Alternative Medicine. But even here it is not the mainstream practice. It continues to be shunned by the conventional medical system. So I would look to the Naturopathic School for guidance and options. Most of the time your insurance company will not readily accept this kind of treatment. Keep the pressure up. Eventually they will because it is ethically right. I worked with and studied with the Naturopaths, the Homeopaths and some Chiropractors. There are the good, the bad and the ugly among us all.
Combined offices may share their knowledge and expertise. So I would chose one with an Internal medicine doctor, a D.O. or M.D and with a Naturopath/ Homeopathic doctor. I am probably biased since this is how I found my own way towards the infinite possibilities to healing.
Alternative Medicine to me is actually an ancient art that was lost to the Western world. Let us take a look at how a person with Hepatitis C would be approached and treated.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. This is a cascade of reactions to a foreign substance. In this instance we are dealing with a virus, a very tiny package of DNA that multiplies inside of our cells. In the process of our body trying to rid our body of the virus the delicate liver structure is gradually destroyed. If enough tissue is destroyed we begin to see its effects. This is chronic cirrhosis. Chronic hepatitis C may develop into cirrhosis in about 20% of chronic hepatitis C. Hepatitis C can turn chronic in up to 50% to 69% of the cases. Hepatitis C antibodies, which are used in testing, may take up to 12 months to become positive following exposure.
Hepatitis C is transmitted usually through contaminated blood, usually through transfusions, IV drug needle sharing, and I suspect it may be transferred sexually. It can also be transferred from mother to fetus. It is important to find out how we have contracted the infection. Once it is known that we have the infection we have to take care to not expose others to it. So we need to educate ourselves on the causes of hepatitis C. It is still a relatively new disease; therefore just when we think that we know everything there is to know we must update our knowledge base.
Again hepatitis is an infection and a state of inflammation that may become chronic. In medical terms this means that we do not know how adequately to treat this disease. There are experimental protocols out there, some more popular that others, but at best around 18% of cases benefit. This is a poor response.
So what can we do?
First of all, we do not want to cause further damage to an inflamed liver. We need to take a look at the toxins we are consuming on a daily basis. The liver is an organ without which we cannot live. It is the detoxification center of our body. All our body fluids are filtered through the liver, which cleans our fluids the way a car's oil filter does. Like an oil filter, it can get dirty and clogged up.
Let us start by taking a look at our daily diet and our medications, both over-the-counter and prescription. Even the most innocent types of remedies may be sources of stress for your liver because this is where they are assimilated. The most common types are pain relievers such as Tylenol, Aspirin, Ibuprophen, Acetaminophen, and Naproxen. To make it easier, stop taking all over the counter remedies for now. They will only inhibit your recovery.
That was easy!
Now what in the diet could cause stress to the liver? What do I mean by stress? Anything that will keep your liver enzyme tests elevated. Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, coffee, black tea, cola, and chocolate, and sugar are important to decrease the stress load on the liver.
Beneficial foods are concentrated with fruits and vegetables because of their flavonoid compounds. Especially useful are soups with various green leafy vegetables.
Now that we have started to eliminate stress-causing substances, let us concentrate on the things that we can do to regenerate or heal the liver. Above I mentioned that the liver can become clogged up with mucous and debris or dead cells. We need to find ways to clean up the pathways or ducts. Our liver has two major pathways of assimilation known as Phase I and Phase II pathways. We can clean up Phase I but if Phase II is not also cleared we will not see the benefits of our efforts.
You may have heard of Milk Thistle or Silymarin. It works on the Phase I pathway. Use standardized extract (70-80%) 400mg twice per day (1/4 teaspoon 2x//day Omnivite nutrition Inc.). Can also use intravenously.
For the Phase II pathway we need a supplement with a sulfur group. The best molecular compound would be glutathione 300 mg in the a.m. and p.m. Other compounds are methionine 250 mg 2-4x/day and MSM or methylsulfonylmethane 1000mg 2-4/day.
You will need to supplement with a high potency multivitamin and minerals without iron. The fat-soluble vitamins are the most critical especially if cirrhosis is present (50% of patients have fat malabsorption).
Multiple antioxidants are needed. Quercetin 500mg in a.m. and p.m. CoenzQ10 250-500mg in a.m. and p.m.
Green tea - couple cups per day. DHEA if levels are low in chronic hepatitis. Glycerrhiza - solid extract 1/2 teaspoon 2x per day. N-acetyl cysteine 500mg 2x per day. Tumaric or curcumin - have shown hepatoprotective effects against inflammatory conditions of the liver found in toxic exposure. It increases the flow and solubility of bile. For our immune system I recommend Flax seed oil with borage for the omega 3,6,9 free fatty acids 3 TBSP per day. You need to keep it refrigerated immediately after using to prevent it from going rancid. It is great for our mind, heart, gut, and immune system.
Selenium is a mineral tested specifically with hepatitis B in China. We have to be careful not to take too much but 200mg per day is fine. It is also good for congestive heart failure, dementia, and metabolic problems like diabetes.
Our gut needs care, too. This is where we absorb all our nutrients. Some of the other supplements mentioned above also work to benefit the gut though we need some kind of probiotics to support nice fluffy small intestinal villi. I like Primal Defense "HSO" - Beyond Probiotics. As it turns out our gut has a very important role that is indirectly and at times directly related to our immune system. In other words if our gut is not healthy are immune system is not healthy.
There are other supplements to boost your immune system like ImmPower AHCC, MGN3, and various Maitake antiviral preparations.
This last supplementation is vital: It is an infusion of high doses of vitamin C, from 50 to 75 gm per infusion. What is an infusion? An infusion is made by taking a liter of salt solution that matches our body fluids acidity - such as 9% normal saline solution - then adding other compounds to it. Once we have our final solution made at a slow rate we drip it into the veins. Why do I like infusions? With an infusion we can have an effect over the whole body very quickly. The infusion is circulated through our body with each beat of the heart!
Why is vitamin C used? Dr.Linus Pauling studied the compound ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, for much of his life. He found that vitamin C is an effective antiviral agent that is non-toxic to our bodies. This is an important concept. Those of you who have already been treated with Interferon understand that this treatment itself can make us very ill. With the vitamin C infusion there are minimal side effects.
The intravenous infusion should also have doses of calcium, magnesium, B complex. While this is infusing you should get an IM injection of methylcobalamine. The vitamin C in high doses kills the virus. It is best to keep the vitamin C level in the blood at a continuous level therefore we will have to receive an infusion up to two to three times per week at first and maybe for many months up to a year. Before you start with these high levels of vitamin C you must be tested for an enzyme in the red blood cells, G-6-PD. If your red blood cells do not have the normal level of G-6-PD you risk hemolysis of your red blood cells with high doses of vitamin C. If your level does come back at a lower than normal level you can still receive between 50-75gm of vitamin C with each IV - just not the higher doses.
To beat this thing it takes diligence, to say the least. We don't have to be perfect but we have to keep the therapy and management program in the "on" position for at least a year to beat it. Even when the liver tests are normal and the hepatitis C titers (viral load) are coming down we have to continue the program. I think the virus may hibernate in the little crevices in the body, only to leech out a little at a time. This is why it is important that we keep the therapy going over the course of a year.
As you can see, to beat hepatitis C one must look at the whole body - not just at the virus. This is why it is called holistic medicine. In holistic medicine it is the whole body that is brought back into a balance. When we are balanced we are whole and at our optimum state. We speak of the whole as being parts of the mind, body and spirit. So far, we have been working with the body. What about the mind and the spirit?
Well, in Chinese medicine the liver is part of a triad, the liver, the spleen and the lungs. These three things are connected; they communicate with one another or maybe they don't. If they do not communicate well we have dis-ease. When we are seeing this dysfunctional triad, I think of sadness. This means we must take a look at our lives to acknowledge a sadness that we have not addressed. We generally do not connect our emotions with our illnesses. We generally adapt unconsciously and fail to notice this relationship.
So, now is the time to take notice and do something about it!
As our mind starts to acknowledge these things in our lives and starts to act on a different level our body and organs will begin to communicate as they are meant to. I call this kind of communication "being in the flow." If we tell our mind how we want to live our life then our body will follow the directives it is given. It is actually very simple so don't try to make it more complicated than it is. I know it is hard at first. All the experts in the world do not know how you feel. Do they? So why look up to them? Look at yourself and believe in yourself. Do not second-guess yourself! Start by knowing who you are!
A way I have found to reach this kind of understanding is through some old methods. All one has to do is do it! Tai Chi and Yoga to achieve knowledge and understanding. By using these movements we can get in touch with ourselves. So I definitely recommend starting either one of these disciplines.
This gives us a starting point for healing ourselves of hepatitis C. I hope that I have given some knowledge and information that will help you in your journey to wellness.
Dr. Robbi
Robbi Borjeson, M.D. practices Intensive Preventive Care. Her undergraduate degree, from Northwestern University, is in Medical Technology and Microbiology. She obtained her MD from Rush Medical College. She finished one year of General Surgery at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago before changing to Internal Medicine at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix. As a postgraduate she has worked extensively with nutrition and holistic forms of medicine.


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