In cases of autoimmune hepatitis, the body’s immune system attacks the liver. There are many possible causes and several natural treatments which may help this condition. Always be sure to inform your doctor of any herbal or other natural treatments you are taking to be sure there will not be any interactions with any conventional drugs you may be using.
There are seven different viruses that can trigger autoimmune hepatitis so blood tests are important for an accurate diagnosis.These viruses are caused by a number of different factors. They are called Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. They vary in severity and how much damage they may do to the liver. Hepatitis A is the most common and is easily treatable. It is usually contracted by casual person to person contact or by consuming contaminated food and water. Hepatitis B and C, which are usually spread through sexual contact, shared needles and infusions, are much more serious forms of the disease. Hepatitis B recovery is usually within a year and there are vaccinations available. Hepatitis C is much more deadly and hard to detect. Both can potentially cause liver cancer and cirrhosis. Hepatitis D is rare in North America and only multiplies in the presence of B. Hepatitis E is common in tropical areas that experience flooding. Hepatitis F is an extremely rare form that is transmitted from primates to humans. Hepatitis G is a mild form similar to A.
Artichoke increases the effectiveness of liver function. Take as directed on the label. Hoelen and schisandra help stop the inflammation caused by an autoimmune response, protect the liver from toxins, and assists with cell regeneration after an infection. Take 100 mg 3 times a day. Ligustrum extract helps restore the immune system and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Take as directed on the label. Milk thistle at 600 mg daily promotes growth of healthy liver tissue, protects the organ from damaging toxins, and relieves nausea. Enteric coated peppermint capsules relieve cramping and abdominal discomfort. Use 200 mg 3 times a day.
Caution on Herbal Treatments
Do not use schisandra if you are pregnant or have gallstones. Do not use milk thistle if you are taking interferon for your hepatitis. It may cause mild diarrhea. Do not use peppermint if you have any gallbladder disorders.
When experiencing an acute attack, be sure to consume plenty of fluids. Teas, broths and vegetable juices are best. Avoid stale and moldy bakery products and breads. The fungus present may trigger an infection. Avoid all forms of alcohol. Studies in mice have shown that high cholesterol may increase the risk of infection. It has not been studied in humans but it may be wise to avoid having high cholesterol. Avoid fatty foods as much as possible. If traveling in an area that may have polluted water and sub-par sanitation, be wary of what you are eating and drinking.
There are certain supplements that may be helpful. Take 30 mg of zinc daily. Infected liver cells cause an imbalance in zinc and copper ratios, reducing the amount of the former. Excess copper can damage cell walls. Zinc prevents the copper from attaching to the cells so supplementing will help maintain proper levels. Take 500 to 1,000 mg of liver extract daily. Taking Thymic factor may be helpful when being treated with interferon. Taking 1,500 to 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily may prevent hepatitis in people exposed to the virus.