Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver . There are a multitude of causes of hepatitis, the most common of which is viral. Hepatitis can be, however, caused by drugs, alcohol, bacteria, tumours, heart problems and food allergy or intolerance. Hepatitis may cause jaundice but does not necessarily need to do so.
Symptoms of hepatitis may be nothing more than a general ache in the upper right abdomen but may also include fevers, gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and an inability to eat, fatigue and jaundice. With jaundice, dark urine and pale stools may be symptoms, along with a yellowing of the whites of the eyes.
This virus is caught by ingesting food that has been contaminated. This contamination usually comes from food containing faecal matter, often from the unhygienic unwashed hands of people preparing food. Transmission through water is possible if people have defecated in the source of the water in question. It takes two to six weeks to cause the physical symptoms – this is termed the incubation period.
Hepatitis A in a healthy being is an uncomfortable and unpleasant illness but rarely serious or fatal. It never becomes chronic, although it can leave the individual unable to tolerate alcohol or fats for up to one year.
Hepatitis B is transmitted through infected blood, saliva and sexual secretions such as vaginal or seminal fluids. This is the type that is transmitted through sexual intercourse, particularly anal intercourse, intravenous drug abuse and transfusions. The incubation period is six weeks to six months; the infection is serious, causing death in around one per cent. In ten per cent of cases the infected person may not destroy the virus completely, which then settles into the cells of the liver and persists in causing no problems or only mild problems. This medical situation is called a chronic carrier state and leaves the individual potentially capable of infecting others and also with a 10 per cent risk of developing cirrhosis over the following 30-40 years.
This is similar in its transmission to hepatitis B, although up to 40 per cent of those infected can develop the chronic carrier state. This type of hepatitis is found more commonly in patients who have had blood transfusions. The incubation period is thought to be between two weeks and five months and some studies have suggested that acute hepatitis C may actually have a fatality rate of 10 per cent.
Hepatitis D, E and others
There are many more rare forms of viral hepatitis, probably mutated from the other three. Little is known about them and more is being discovered regularly. From the point of view of classification, Epstein-Barre virus, more commonly associated with glandular fever, is a cause of a hepatitis similar to hepatitis A. Cytomegalovirus is another uncommon but established cause.
Vaccinations for hepatitis
Hepatitis A is treated with a gamma globulin that is available against hepatitis A and is often called a vaccination even though it is not.
Hepatitis B has a vaccination that is encouraged by governments and health officials to be used by those at risk, such as hospital and care-workers. Vaccinations and treatments for other types of hepatitis causing viruses are not yet established.
Anyone suspecting that they have hepatitis should be investigated by their GP and will be tested for raised liver-function tests , a variety of tests for different parts of the hepatitis-causing viruses, such as the Australian antigen in hepatitis B, and urinalysis to establish what liver functions are not being performed. Those interested may choose to have a bioresonance or humoral blood test to help establish liver cell damage.
Any liver area pains that persist, or any suggestion of yellowing of the skin or sclera , must be taken to a GP or other doctor for full evaluation. Remember that you may be transmitting and passing on a dangerous virus unwittingly.
Once hepatitis has been established, consult your complementary medical practitioner because self-help is not generally enough.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine, saturated fats , additives, preservatives and overeating. Remember that the liver is the chemical factory of the body and everything you eat passes through it before reaching any other part of the body.
A period of fluid fast or following the basic Detox diet should be considered if the appetite is poor or vomiting is preventing ingestion .
The liver is required for the manufacture of several essential compounds and therefore the following should be taken in doses recommended by your specialists: vitamin B complex, vitamin C, coenzyme Q10 and all amino acids particularly methionine, choline and lipoic acid . Specific treatments should include the use of milk thistle, Cheledonium , the Ayurvedic herb Phyllanthus amarus and the widely available Ayurvedic formula called Liv 52.
Intravenous vitamin supplementation can be of great benefit but needs to be administered by a doctor. The liver may not be processing correctly and direct introduction into the bloodstream of necessary nutrients can be very rewarding.
Avoid strenuous exercise, lack of sleep and undue stress. The liver breaks down adrenaline and the more you produce, the harder the liver has to work.
Those with hepatitis A should not cook for others and should be particularly careful with their hygiene. Those with other forms of hepatitis should avoid unprotected intercourse until the incubation period is over and they are assured that they do not have a carrier status, which can only be assessed through blood tests.
Constitutional homeopathic remedies with specific remedies against hepatitis are beneficial and an eminent naturopath recommends a particular homeopathic remedy that is specially made up: two drops of the patient’s first morning sputum, two drops of the first morning urine and two drops of blood all added to 34 drops of water and succussed down to potency 6. Four drops are then given nightly.
A relaxation or meditation technique must be practised daily.