Complementary Medicine - Cam
About This Condition
Get a handle on hepatitis. This common liver disease can be severe, or even fatal, so it is important to know the facts. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
About This Condition
Acute viral hepatitis varies from a minor flu-like illness to an overwhelming infection resulting in liver failure and death. The early phase is characterized by loss of appetite, malaise, nausea and vomiting, and fever. Signs include a darkening of the urine and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes). Chronic hepatitis may be asymptomatic, or may manifest as malaise, fatigue, loss of appetite and a low-grade fever.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Avoiding alcohol is the most obvious way to avoid the liver damage it causes.
A variety of prescription drugs can, on rare occasions, cause hepatitis, as can large amounts of niacin or niacinamide (forms of vitamin B3). Excessive intake of acetaminophen or other painkillers can damage the liver, so excessive intake of these drugs should be avoided. People with hepatitis C who failed to respond to interferon therapy have been found to have a higher amount of iron within the liver.1 People with hepatitis C should, therefore, avoid iron supplements. People with any type of hepatitis should ask their physician whether any medication they are taking poses a risk to the liver.
For infectious (viral) hepatitis, good hygiene is necessary to avoid spreading the infection. The hepatitis A virus can be spread very easily through food that is handled by infected individuals; therefore, people with hepatitis A should wash their hands very carefully after using the restroom and should not handle food at work. The hepatitis viruses B and C are both transmitted by blood and sexual contact.
What Are Star Ratings?
Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
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37. Bortolotti F, Cadrobbi P, Crivellaro C, et al. Effect of an orally administered thymic derivative, thymomodulin, in chronic type B hepatitis in children. Curr Ther Res 1988;43:67–72.
38. Civeira MP, Castilla A, Morte S, et al. A pilot study of thymus extract in chronic non-A, non-B hepatitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 1989;3:395–401.
39. Wallace AE, Weeks WB. Thiamine treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection. Am J Gastroenterol 2001;96:864–8.
40. Takagi H, Nagamine T, Abe T, et al. Zinc supplementation enhances the response to interferon therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C. J Viral Hepat 2001;8:367–71.
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44. Chaturvedi GN, Tomar GS, Tiwari SK, Singh KP. Clinical studies on kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata) in infective hepatitis. J Int Inst Ayurveda 1983;2:208–11.
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47. Jenkins PJ, Portmann BP, Eddleston AL, Williams R. Use of polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholine in HBsAg negative chronic active hepatitis: Results of prospective double-blind controlled trial. Liver 1982;2:77–81.
48. Suzuki H, Ohta Y, Takino T, et al. Effects of glycyrrhizin on biochemical tests in patients with chronic hepatitis. Double blind trial. Asian Med J 1983;26:423–38.
49. Yasuda K, Hino K, Fujioka S, et al. Effects of high dose therapy with Stronger Neo-Minophagen C (SNMC) on hepatic histography in non-A, non-B chronic active hepatitis. In Viral Hepatitis C, D, E, ed. T Shikata, RH Purcell, T Uchida. Amsterdam: Excerpta Medica, 1991, 205–9.
50. Crance JM, L’eveque F, Biziagos E, et al. Studies on mechanism of action on glycyrrhizin against hepatitis A virus replication in vitro. Antiviral Res 1994;23:63–76.
51. Su XS, Chen HM, Wang LH, et al. Clinical and laboratory observation on the effect of glycyrrhizin in acute and chronic viral hepatitis. J Trad Chin Med 1984;4:127–32
52. Chaturvedi GN, Singh RH. Jaundice of infectious hepatitis and its treatment with an indigenous drug, Picrorhiza kurrooa[sic]. J Res Ind Med 1966;1:1–13.
53. Chaturvedi GN, Tomar GS, Tiwari SK, Singh KP. Clinical studies on kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata) in infective hepatitis. J Int Inst Ayurveda 1983;2:208–11.
54. Hobbs, C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995, 96–107.
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Last Review: 02-05-2013
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.
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