Hepatitis C Help

Western Medicine

Lab Tests

Liver enzymes AST and ALT are more commonly elevated in chronic HCV infection.

Levels may fluctuate as part of the normal course of disease. High levels of AST and ALT indicate that there is damage to the liver due to cell damage. However, unless a liver biopsy is done, it is hard to know what level of damage has been done.

If having hepatitis symptoms, get hepatitis panels for hepatitis B and hepatitis C. If there are acute symptoms, have an additional test for hepatitis A as well as hepatitis B and C.

Viral load tests should be done if positive for HBV or HCV.


Western drug therapies may be appropriate for an individual. I advise consultation with a Western medical doctor.

Current Western bio-medical treatment is primarily using a combination of pegylated interferon injection with oral ribavirin therapy. You need to talk with your Western doctor about eligibility for these programs.

There are a number of side-effects of drug therapy, including flu-like syndromes, headaches, fatigue, fevers, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, and depression, as well as the possibility of the lowering of the white blood counts and platelets through bone marrow suppression. Ribavirin may cause sudden, severe anemia as well as birth defects.

If you have decided to use a combination of East/West therapies, it is wise to discuss this with both your Eastern and Western practitioners. Some herbal therapies may be inappropriate in conjunction with interferon therapy. Chinese medicine, however, is highly effective for the management of side-effects of drug therapies.

A list of herbs that are considered liver toxic is available from:

Robert Gish, MD
California Pacific Medical Center
3698 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 923-3911

Interferon Treatment

Who should consider treatment and how to best combine Eastern and Western medicine so you can get the best results.

Doc Misha’s Optimum Interferon Protocol

Learn More

Hepatitis Vaccinations

Co-infection with other forms of viral hepatitis is highly dangerous for people with HCV, therefore vaccination for hepatitis A and B is recommended.These vaccinations are generally recommended for those at risk if becoming infected and for children.

For people who do not have adequate antibodies to hepatitis B, it is highly recommended to have an HBV vaccination.Three injections over a 6 to 12 month period are required to provide complete protection. Some people do not develop enough antibodies to become immune to HBV.

For people who have hepatitis C and who never had hepatitis A, it is highly recommended to have an hepatitis A vaccination. Immune globulin can be given to receive temporary immunity for up to 3 months. There is evidence that there may be as much as a 40% death rate from acute hepatitis A if one is co-infected with hepatitis C. If one has not had hepatitis A and has not been vaccinated after exposure to hepatitis A,immune globulin should be given as soon as possible after exposure, no later than two weeks.

For more details and guidelines on vaccination and treatment, please contact the Hepatitis Foundation International at 1-800-891-0707.

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