That is 1 out of every 50 people and some will be people you know. One out of every 10 Veterans is infected, 62% of Vietnam Vets have it. Three people with Hep C die every day, two of them are Veterans.
Hepatitis C is considered an epidemic and is now killing more people than Aids/HIV... 30,000 a year and it's going to get much worse. The number of adults seeking liver transplants for hepatitis C infection will skyrocket in the next 20 years. An estimated 10,000 to 30,000 Americans die from this disease each year. Deaths are estimated to increase because of the increasing risk of infection, and the resulting cirrhosis, portal hypertension, thrombocytopenia, bleeding from varices, and liver cancer. Five years ago, 20% of hepatitis C patients were candidates for liver transplantation and today the number has increased to about 50%.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), by the year 2008, the cases of de-compensation will increase 279%, liver-related deaths 223% and the need for liver transplantation 528%. Considering that we don't have enough organs now and people die on transplant lists, far too many of those precious lives will be lost. For those fortunate enough to find a donor, the process costs roughly $300,000 during the first 3 months, and can be painful and incapacitating. Add to this the thousands of dollars for anti-rejection drugs and the costs of aftercare more frequent visits to health care facilities. The other option, debilitating and woefully ineffective chemo, runs into the tens of thousands of dollars and more and has success rates in the mere single digits
Hepatitis C is called the dragon, because it sleeps for many years and one day, suddenly, it wakes up and ends your life (people who got infected 20-30 years ago may just now find out). The Hepatitis C virus is very old and very smart.....it doesn't kill quickly like the old HIV virus or like the Ebola virus. Hepatitis C has chosen to infect the liver. The ONLY organ capable of regeneration. It simmers for many years, keeping its host alive. It is so smart it uses our own immune system against us.
Nobody knows exactly where it came from. During World War II, an unlicensed yellow fever vaccine was released to immunize our troops who were going to the South Pacific. To stabilize the vaccine, scientists used serum from Australian Aboriginals, hoping they were immune to endemic illnesses and that immunity would then be passed to our troops. Years later, it was discovered that 50% of the Aboriginals had Hepatitis B and C. A study done by the Veteran's Administration later PROVED that over 320,000 of our troops were infected. Thousands of them fell ill with hepatitis and hospitalized or quarantined in their barracks. When they came back home, they were encouraged to donate blood. A monster, with the power to mutate, had just been unleashed.
Hepatitis C is transmitted through blood only. That means blood transfusions with contaminated blood before 1992 (because blood was not screened), tattoos, body piercing, needle sticks, IV drugs with contaminated needles, manicures that made you bleed (instruments are not sterilized), sharing razors, toothbrushes, anything that could pass infected blood to your blood. Even doing IV drugs once could have given you the virus or sharing straws with someone that had nasal sores or bleeding.
A mutating virus for which there is no vaccine. It has many strains and sub-strains. By the time they figure something about it, it's already mutated into something stronger.
70-75% of people have genotype 1, the strain most difficult to treat.
95% of Veterans who have Hep C have genotype 1. The success rate with traditional modern medicine treatment is only about 50% and treatment is a whole year and side effects from the medications are cruel. For Veterans, success rate is only 19%....and sadly, even that treatment is approved for only 11.8% of them.
The Hepatitis C virus causes diabetes (40% of genotype 1 have diabetes), it affects the brain causing depression, it causes lung problems, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, Sjogren's, cardiac problems, skin problems, arthritis, stomach problems, anemia, fatigue, and of course, cirrhosis. After cirrhosis comes DECOMPENSATION. The liver stops working, the skin and sclera become yellow, your belly looks like you're pregnant, you're unable to process protein, you get anemic, confused, the kidneys stop working and many bleed to death.
Many of the people that are infected already have severe liver damage and don't know it....and they are going to be looking at herbal products to treat the symptoms they are having. What many people do not know is that there are at least three excellent inexpensive supplements that can be used for hepatitis. First of all, an aqueous extract of the oleander plant made according to the directions in the book "Cancer's Natural Enemy" (written by the author of this article) has had excellent results in treating hepatitis-C (the extract, commonly called "Oleander Soup" , is best known as a remedy for treating cancer).
Secondly, the product Colloidal Silver has been used by a great many people who testify that it is second to none in treating hepatitis.
There is also an excellent herbal supplement treatment regimen for hepatitis that is all natural, inexpensive and extraordinarily effective. Most people in the United States are not familiar with the Berkson Clinical Study on Hepatitis-C, a study that was never published in the United States, despite Dr. Berkson's impressive credentials that include Rutgers, the Max Planck Institute and the Center for Disease Control (CDS) in Atlanta.
It has been suggested that the real reason the study has never been published in the states is due to the fact that liver transplants are highly profitable for mainstreams medicine, costing over $300,000 in the first three months alone, plus many thousands of dollars afterwards for anti-rejection drugs and aftercare.
In Doctor Berksons study, which was 100% effective in a limited study on advanced hepatitis-C patients who were facing either transplants or chemo, he used a combination of three commonly available and inexpensive natural supplements, along with healthy modifications in diet, exercise and lifestyle.
And what are the supplements
Milk thistle (silymarin), alpha-lipoic acid and selenium - all commonly available and inexpensive. I have used milk thistle for years, after reading long ago that it was deemed effective at not only protecting the liver but also in regenerating damaged livers by the German E Commission (their equivalent of the FDA). Now I take all three supplements to help offset a fondness for another natural substance - blue agave (smile).
In treating any disease or illness, it is usually an excellent idea to cleanse the body of toxins (toxins help promote disease and retard healing). A liver cleanse is a very good procedure to use to help treat hepatitis as well as a good one for anyone to use as part of a healthy anti-disease lifestyle. And, since good health begins in the gut, the same holds true for cleansing the colon. Liver and colon cleanses are widely available online and at retail natural health product outlets.
Live long, live healthy, live happy!
(With thanks to Sylvia from the Herbal Musings Forum for the Hepatitis-C background information)