In my search for finding an alternative to the transplant and removal of Larry (Yes, I had grown quite attached to my lil liver, and more importantly, yes, I had named him), I have “googled,” I have “binged”… I have searched high and low, yet I have not seen anything that can CURE end-stage-liver-disease. What I have found is TONS of information on how to stop or slow its progression, and though they are life altering changes (such as strict diet and some exercise) your life is worth it, right? RIGHT!!
Unfortunately, once your liver becomes as bad as Larry had become, and symptoms such as jaundice, encephalopathy, and ascites are present, there do not seem to be any other options (especially when Hep C is present… poor Larry) There is no magic cure for liver problems but first thing is first. Find out what is causing the damage. It could be something genetic (like Wilson’s disease, PBC, or Hemochromatosis) or it could be something environmental—toxins. It could be drugs, alcohol, Budd-Chiari (a blockage in the hepatic veins) Hepatitis or NASH… The list of causes is long, but if it is found early, many people CAN stop or at least slow further damage to their livers and lead happy and healthy lives. But, and it’s a BIG BUT, you will probably need to make some maaaaaaaaaaaaaaajor changes.
I found the below Do’s and Don’ts list on the Hep C site alternativehopeforhepc.com (unfortunately, the website is no longer accessible), and I wanted to share it because it is not only good advise for us Heppers, but for anyone who wants to take better care of their livers… heck, better care of themselves in general. Remember, (not to get all Eastern Medicine on you) but you really have to live in balance, mind and body! And just like anything else, you have to work at that!
Hep C Do’s and Don’ts
Now that you have a few basics down… and we have previously talked about diet, there are also some vitamins and minerals that have been shown to help your liver. (Again, always check with your doctor first) Those with liver disease should be even more careful about anything put into the body, remember, it all must filter through the liver first! The following vitamins can help to “detox” the liver, help to heal an already damaged liver, and/or help to maintain sufficient health to undergo a transplant. More information and safety on each of these vitamins can be found @ LifeExtentions.
- PPC—2 to 4 900-milligram (mg) capsules daily. Each capsule contains phosphatidylcholine 900 mg.
- BCAAs:—L-leucine 1200 mg, L-isoleucine 600 mg, and L-valine 600 mg
- Silymarin (milk thistle extract)—900 mg
- L-glutathione—250 mg, in two divided doses
- SAMe—1200 mg daily, in three divided doses
- Vitamin B complex—1 capsule 3 times daily. Each capsule contains thiamin (B1) 100 mg, riboflavin (B2) 50 mg, niacin 200 mg, vitamin B6 75 mg, folic acid 800 mcg, vitamin B12 1000 mcg, biotin 600 mcg, pantothenic acid 1000 mg, betaine free base 50 mg, choline 45 mg, inositol 250 mg, and para-aminobenzoic acid 100 mg
- Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCl)—100 mg
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)—6000 mg daily
- Vitamin E—800 international units (IU) daily
- EPA/docosahexaenoic acid (DHA—fish oil supplement supplying EPA 700 mg and DHA 500 mg, and ideally providing 100 mg of Polyphen-Oil™ Olive Fruit Extract 265 mg along with sesame seed (Sesamum indicum) lignans.
If you are already having symptoms of ESLD (End-Stage-Liver-Disease) such as bleeding tendencies, other vitamins such as Vitamin K and (more) Folic Acid may be used to decrease symptoms. Vitamin C is great for Hepatitis patients as well as helps with excess bilirubin in the body. And just as a side note, most research I have found, does say to stay away from multi-vitamins, not only can you not control what you are getting, but they may have things you don’t need (for example, iron for many of us liver patients – iron speeds up the scarring process)
Hopefully, with a proper diet, exercise, vitamins and minerals, and as little stress as possible, you can keep your liver working great, no matter what ails it! I would love to hear from you if you have any other do’s and don’ts for the liver! And remember, Live Life then Give Life!!
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.