There are new tests prior to interferon these days to determine if he would be a good canidate for treatment, i.e., alpha-1 deficiency which is a genetic disorder. As for the new safer test regarding the biopsy, I would only suggest that for hemophiliacs. It is invasive to have a liver biopsy...however, that is right now, the only true picture to see what state the liver is in. If by chance, the doctors agree the biopsy is needed, the only thing that really hurts is the numbing medication. The rest happens so quick, theres really no time to react. (I had three in two days...((i made the doctor nervous because i didn't want the numbing shot, i wanted the biopsy over, with one! ((the biopsy needle))....anyway. (I'm tuff for a girl!)
As far as treatment? It was very easy for me. I did have psychosis and blame that on stopping the pot (to keep from losing weight). I had also lost a bunch of weight, so by the third to last month for treatment I was over medicated too. Now the doctors know better...they usually treat aggressively at first (how long depends on the genotype) and then taper down or adjust the meds. I did take anti anxiety (buspar- one that does not affect you like space or a walking dead person) and I took zoloft (which began a month prior to treatment).
The only time I was ill (vomiting and headache) was when I forgot to check to see if I had hit a vein, as the interferon does not mix well with blood!) That happened twice. My bones didnt hurt after the 3rd week on treatment!
My white and red cell counts got low and even tho i went below 2.4, I stayed with it and without the use of a cell increasing medication. My doc told me to call if I began to feel ill after that point.
I did lose alot of my hair (but i figure the less hair i had when it was all done and over with, the less brain fog i'd have) lol....(brain fog comes with having hcv, the interferon does not cause it, although the treatment can exabborate the issue). ((pardon my spelling, its late))
I did not eat alot of food, but I did make a very berry shake with frozen yogurt and mixed frozen berries and I would sip on that every day with a bite or two of a meal that was cooked. (I still cant stand too much fried stuff and dont care for pork anymore)
All but the brain fog is gone. I did the treatment, not really because of the HCV, but because I wanted to get rid of the brain fog! (i also attribute the fogginess from too many surgeries, too many antidepressants when they said it was "all in my head") with a bad liver, too much of a good thing is not good. half doses for me in anything i do except coffee!
My teeth are strong for the first time in my life, however, it is wise to use a good mouthwash to help keep the warm dry mouth from creating cavaties. I sucked on altoids and drank water or sucked on ice. (gallon a day is a good thing, it lessons what sides (if any) you will have.
My thyroid is still in question, however, that is also another issue i have had because of 1, being female and 2, because of the years being chronically infected with hcv and last, treatment can cause an issue, but i know many who say that issue resolved on its own withint that one year recovery period. This issue began around the time my joints and bones hurt at age 12.
My spider nevi is still on my upper chest, but its a rash that never itches...that was my first physical sign of hcv at age 8.
The rash that nothing got rid of (even from suggestions from my np buddy as well as regular medicine) is finally gone and has not appeared since the third month of my 48 week of chemo. I have been cleared of the virus and cured (yes, they do use the word cure now if the virus shows 10< on labs) now for going on 4 years.
During the time after I was diagnosed (that was a relief in itself, just a name!),
I sought out my options.
I tried almost everything there was, herbs, vitamins, tinctures, juices, flushing, cleansing...and even though some of it made me feel better, i was right back at day one. same thing as antidepressants, they'd work for a while then quit.
I did that for 15 years and it did not cure me. One month my alt and ast's were normal, the next up again. (some herbs do interfer with lab testing). Also with HCV, it is a natural thing for your alts and asts to roller coaster.
I may not call curezone a cure all site, but I definately see no harm in calling it a health maintenance site. there is nothing wrong with being health conscious thats for sure!
Please be careful that you make sure all other organs are in proper order if you choose to maintain hcv with the suggestions on this site. With hcv you can never be too safe, there are many bi-directional diseases that can damage other organs and therefore, just because one herb is good for this, may not be good for that.
also no matter what you decide, one thing is certain...if you strive for a good outcome, you will have some sort of benefit!
(even if you opt for antiviral chemo, you can mark my words it will definately have a positive role, whether or not you respond to treatment as it gives the liver a nice break!)
same thing goes for milk thistle...that is the only herb i approve of!
keep in mind, half strength too if there is any sort of liver damage!!
best of luck to you guys!
stephanie, hcv victim genotype 2b (tuffy)