In his mid-town Manhattan office, Dr. John W Phelts, D.C. sees patients who have various liver issues. One of these issues is Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne disease which was discovered in 1989. Hepatitis C infects the liver and can cause severe liver damage known as cirrhosis. Most people do not know that they have Hepatitis C, because there are no symptoms. Symptoms usually do not appear until there is so much liver damage that it begins malfunctioning. Hepatitis C can be transmitted by sharing needles, blood transfusion, sexual contact with a person who has the virus, and unsterilized needles or equipment in healthcare settings or tattoo needles.
Symptoms of chronic HCV may include: Dark urine, Fever, Fatigue, Jaundice (Yellowing of the skin), Joint pain.
Testing for HCV is done by first testing the Hepatitis C Antibody test in the blood which usually shows up two to three months after the virus has entered the body. If that test is positive, then it is followed up with another blood test called HCV viral load to determine if the virus is in the blood stream.
Other lab tests that should be considered when testing for HCV in the blood are:
• Your liver enzymes, SGPT and SGOT. (If SGOT is higher than SGPT, this can indicate that damage to the liver is worsening.)
• Alkaline Phosphatase
• Total Protein
Dr. Phelts explains what these tests mean to his patients, because other factors can contribute towards these other lab tests being abnormal. Alcohol consumption, medications, drugs, or Hemochromatosis (high ferritin / iron) can also elevate liver tests. The most common cause of abnormal tests is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which can affect up to 30 percent of the population.
Conventional drug recommendations by physicians usually consist of a combination therapy of two to three types of medications. These medications can be used anywhere from 12-48 weeks.6 Blood tests are done during drug therapy to see if they are working. These medications come with many side effects like anxiety, fatigue, headache, birth defects, high blood pressure, reduced thyroid function, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, just to name a few. Did you know that this current standard of treatment only has a 50 percent success rate?
Dr. Phelts provides natural alternative therapy using vitamins that have been documented by research. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a key nutrient that supports the immune system and helps reduce inflammation. Many studies have identified that patients diagnosed with chronic Hepatitis C are deficient in Vitamin D. One study showed that out of 118 subjects diagnosed with HCV, 92% of them were deficient in Vitamin D. Research supports taking Vitamin D during conventional drug therapy of Hepatitis C, because it improves the viral response.
Silymarin/Milk Thistle: Silymarin is widely used in patients with liver disease and Hepatitis C. A well-known study showed that patients who were not responding to conventional drug therapy responded very well with Milk Thistle supplementation. The study showed that after 12 weeks, the viral load test was undetectable in 43% of patients involved in the study.
Other supplements used in studies with patients who have chronic and/or acute Hepatitis C is large doses of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Alpha Lipoic Acid.11 However, every case is different, meaning what works for one person may not be effective for another. If left untreated, serious side effects can occur. This is why getting tested is so important. Dr. Phelts analyzes the results of blood work to determine the supplements and dosages that are effective and appropriate for each individual patient.
An individualized plan based on exactly what your body needs can be determined by testing a comprehensive blood test, toxic element hair analysis, and any further blood tests that Dr. John Phelts sees fit. Like mentioned above, every case is different and by identifying other deficiencies and toxicities in the body, we are able to improve the immune system’s ability to heal and repair. Just because you feel healthy, doesn’t mean that your body is not trending towards disease. Most diseases are symptom free until they are well advanced. It is best to stop a disease before it casues irreversible damage to your body or worse. Calls us 212-286-2012 to find out today what you can do to be healthier each day forward! We are located only two blocks from Grand Central Station. We are near the 10016, 10017, and 10018 zip codes.
1. CDC. Recommendations for the identifications of chronic hepatitis C virus among persons born during 1945-1965. MMWR 2012;61 (No. RR-4).
3. Carter, Michael. HCV epidemic in North America peaked between 1940 and 1965 with medical procedures likely source of most infections
April 4, 2016.
4. Hepatitis C testing. https://www.hepmag.com/basics/hepatitis-c-basics/hepatitis-c-testing. Accessed on 7/11/2017.
5. OH, Robert and Hustead, Thomas. Causes and Evaluation of Mildly Elevated Liver Transaminase Levels. Tripler Army Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program, Honolulu, Hawaii
Am Fam Physician. 2011 Nov 1;84(9):1003-1008.
6. Cherney, Kristeen. A full list of Hepatitis C Medications. July 29, 2013. http://www.healthline.com/health/hepatitis-c/full-medication-list#3
7. Cutler, Nicole. The top three alternative treatments to Hepatitis C. Hepatitis Central. June 2010.
8. Arteh J1, Narra S, Nair S. Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in chronic liver disease. Dig Dis Sci. 2010 Sep;55(9):2624-8. doi: 10.1007/s10620-009-1069-9. Epub 2009 Dec 4.
9. Julio A. Gutierrez, Neil Parikh, and Andrea D. Branch. Classical and emerging roles of vitamin D in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Semin Liver Dis. 2011 Nov; 31(4): 387–398.
10. Ferenci P1, Scherzer TM, et.al. Silibinin is a potent antiviral agent in patients with chronic hepatitis C not responding to pegylated interferon/ribavirin therapy
Gastroenterology. 2008 Nov;135(5):1561-7. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2008.07.072. Epub 2008 Aug
11. Dr. Rothfeld, Glenn. Hepatitis C can be treated without an expensive new drug. http://nutritionandhealing.com/2014/03/19/hepatitis-c-can-be-treated/. Accessed on 7/18/17