Some thoughts and discussion by Dr. Myatt
Hepatitis C and/or Iron Toxicity?
Hepatitis C virus causes inflammation of the liver and is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States. The virus can be spread by sex with an infected person, transfusion of infected blood or contaminated needles. HCV infection often results in chronic liver disease. High iron levels are a major factor in many cases of hepatitis C.
How to Properly Diagnose Iron Overload
Iron overload, or hemochromatosis, is actually the most common inherited disease. Excess iron has been known to be associated with infection for 30 years. When excess iron is present, the body’s normal antibacterial mechanisms become severely compromised, making one more susceptible to infectious disease.
Measuring serum iron is a poor way to do diagnose iron overload, because frequently the serum iron will be normal. The most useful of the indirect measures of iron status in the body a measure of the serum ferritin level in conjunction with a total iron binding level. Ferritin shows us how much iron is stored in the body.
Help and Hope for Hepatitis C
Conventional medicine takes a “Band-aid” approach to HCV. Many of the treatments are “supportive” only, meaning they are designed to manage symptoms but not intended to cure the disease. Interferon, the “latest and greatest” bug guns treatment for HCV has many devastating side effects. Unfortunately, we do little in conventional medicine to find and correct HCV at the causative level.
In Alternative and natural medicine, we go looking for the cause. Iron overload, as described above, is a major factor. Causes of immune weakness, including nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, increased intestinal permeability, heavy metal toxicity (other than iron) are a few of the factors to be considered.
With the help of an experienced holistic physician, the cause of Hepatitis C can usually be discovered and the disease either cured or put into sustained remission. A normal life span and health span can be expected in HCV when the disease is diagnosed and treated correctly.