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Hep C/ Kambucha
Jul 23, 2006
My husband has Hep C 1A with liver damage, stage 3-4 fibrosis (bridging) with some cirrhosis. His VA doctor told him his liver was too bad to start treatment and said that the only thing left would be a transplant a little way down the road. That was about a year ago and since then he has felt fairly well, taking Lactulose and blood pressure meds and watching his diet. He was told recently about Kambucha, a yeast/bacteria culture made with tea. Has anyone ever heard of this helping ? I think he should ask his doctor before he takes anything but sometimes doctors don't even like patients taking milk thistle so I don't know if he would be open to trying alternatives.
Any suggestions? I'd appreciate any comments.
Lavendar
Re: Hep C/ Kambucha
Jul 30, 2006
I have not heard of Kambucha being good for the liver. I was diagnosed in Bangkok :angel: and I told my doctor at the international hospital there that I wasn't ready to do interferon and he put me on milk thistle. It has no side effects and is supposed to repair liver damage. I know beets, carrots and artichokes are also good for the liver. I make beet juice with ginger root for flavor. Do a search on line. Good luck.
Re: Hep C/ Kambucha
Jul 30, 2006
[QUOTE=Lavendar]My husband has Hep C 1A with liver damage, stage 3-4 fibrosis (bridging) with some cirrhosis. His VA doctor told him his liver was too bad to start treatment and said that the only thing left would be a transplant a little way down the road. That was about a year ago and since then he has felt fairly well, taking Lactulose and blood pressure meds and watching his diet. He was told recently about Kambucha, a yeast/bacteria culture made with tea. Has anyone ever heard of this helping ? I think he should ask his doctor before he takes anything but sometimes doctors don't even like patients taking milk thistle so I don't know if he would be open to trying alternatives.
Any suggestions? I'd appreciate any comments.
Lavendar[/QUOTE]

My suggestion would be to get a second, quite independent, opinion right away. stage 3 0r 4 fibrosis with 'some' cirrhosis is definitely NOT too far gone for treatment. Pegasys in particular has shown real results in the research, with patients further along than this. I am not a big advocate of interferon, have been ducking it myself for some time, but your husband seems an obvious candidate for it. He is also an obvious candidate for NOT getting a place on the transplant wait list, since he is not very sick, so I don't know how real that option can be for him--at the least it means waiting (and hoping) to get much sicker to qualify and move up the list.

Further, although I am not much impressed with kambucha, to think your docs would discourage even milk thistle is not great news either. Milk thistle, or its more purtified forms of sylimarin and lecithin-bound silibin, is no cure all by any means, but is one of the only alternative treatments for liver problems with any supporting research at all (mostly from NON viral studies, I should point out), and has almost no side effects to speak of.

But the question of alternatives aside, your husband's case cries out for another review, by a doc who treats hep c, and who is not connected in any way with the docs youve had til now.


my opinion only, of course.

sean
Re: Hep C/ Kambucha
Jul 31, 2006
Thank you both SO much for your replies. When you are dealing with the VA as my husband is, you are limited in your options. Unfortunately he is a 100% disabled veteran and the VA provides his only healthcare. The Hep C clinic is not connected with his doctor, they (hep-c people) read his charts and they decided he should not be treated. They said his liver was beyond the point of being able to handle the treatment. We are definitely getting a separate opinion outside the VA A.S.A.P. The fact that they said to wait until you are sicker and get a transplant seemed amazing to me, especially since he has gotten better. His viral count and liver enzyme levels are better than they were a year ago. I think the path now will be to check with another doctor to see if Pegasys is an option and also start taking milk thistle. If they do start him on the treatment I think the healthier he is, the better it will be for him.
Thanks again,
Lavendar
Re: Hep C/ Kambucha
Jul 31, 2006
[QUOTE=Lavendar]......The Hep C clinic is not connected with his doctor, they (hep-c people) read his charts and they decided he should not be treated. They said his liver was beyond the point of being able to handle the treatment. We are definitely getting a separate opinion outside the VA A.S.A.P. The fact that they said to wait until you are sicker and get a transplant seemed amazing to me, especially since he has gotten better. His viral count and liver enzyme levels are better than they were a year ago. I think the path now will be to check with another doctor to see if Pegasys is an option and also start taking milk thistle. ....

Hi again,

by the way, the liver condition that IS correlated with failure to respond to treatment is not fibrosis, but steatosis, that is, fatty liver. Losing weight and keeping fit is more strongly related to surviving hep with or without treatment than almost anything else in the literature. (except drinking and smoking, of course).

Good luck!

sean
I am so glad I wrote to this site. It has given us hope and optimism. He doesn't have a fatty liver ( so that's good ), he is the proper weight, is 50yrs old and has not smoked or drank in over 15yrs. I'm anxious to get that second opinion, it might be some good news that he can be treated.

Thanks again,
Lavendar
[QUOTE=Lavendar]I am so glad I wrote to this site. It has given us hope and optimism. He doesn't have a fatty liver ( so that's good ), he is the proper weight, is 50yrs old and has not smoked or drank in over 15yrs. I'm anxious to get that second opinion, it might be some good news that he can be treated.

Thanks again,
Lavendar[/QUOTE]


Hi again lavendar.

all this is good news. i do hope you find a sympathetic doc, one with whom you can converse fully, easily, and without bushwah. would you please be good enough to come back and tell us how it goes?

thanks,
and all my best.

sean
Re: Hep C/ Kambucha
Aug 10, 2006
Hi Sean,
We have all his records and biopsy results and are ready to see a new doc in two weeks. Will let you know what happens.
Thanks again
Lavendar





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