Hepatitis can be acute or chronic and refers to an inflammatory process in the liver that destroys liver cells and disrupts the liver's ability to do its various tasks. Hepatitis can occur because of viral infection, autoimmunity, alcohol overuse, or metabolic disorders. Chronic hepatitis is most often caused by hepatitis viral infection, typically Hepatitis B (HBV) or Hepatitis C (HCV). Other less common infections include Hepatitis A, D, E.
- 1 Naturopathic Assessment
- 2 External
- 3 Characteristics
- 4 Naturopathic Treatment
- 5 References
|Article||Hepatitis C; An Update On Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Protocols, NDNR; 2013 April|
In order to stimulate the innate ability of the body to heal the causes of disease must be identified and addressed. With Hepatitis, the causes are variable and include lifestyle and environmental factors. A detailed assessment is required to determine which factors are contributing to Hepatitis.
- Shared Needles
- Hepatitis B can be transmitted through shared needles, during delivery, or through sexual contact.
- Exposures to toxins, like Amanita mushroom poisoning can cause Hepatitis.
- Prescription Medications
- Certain medications can cause drug-induced Hepatitis: Acetaminophen, Isoniazid, Rifampin, Pyrazinamide, Halothane, Carbon tetrachloride, Tetracycline, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.
Diagnostic testing for hepatitis is typically done after a full intake and physical exam, with a focus on the abdomen and liver.
- Physical exam - Positive physical findings include an enlarged or tender liver and a fever. The abdomen may become filled with fluid (ascites).
- Blood Tests include: Alkaline Phosphatase, Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), Albumin, Bilirubin, Ammonia levels
- Imaging Studies
- Liver biopsy, a more invasive procedure, allows for definitive diagnosis.
Related Symptoms and Conditions
Other conditions that may occur along with the hepatitis include:
Hepatitis is an inflammatory process in the liver characterized by diffuse or patchy hepatocellular necrosis affecting all acini.
The differential diagnosis between viral hepatitis, chronic non-viral hepatitis and alcohol induced liver disease is critical. The different types of hepatitis are broken down as follows:
- Alcoholic hepatitis
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Hepatitis D
- Drug-induced hepatitis
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
The following symptoms are often associated with hepatitis:
- Abdominal pain
- Low grade fever
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss
- Nausea and/or Vomiting
- Dark urine
- Pale or clay coloured stool
The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body and to address the causal factors of disease with individual treatment strategies. Hepatitis can be an acute or chronic disease.
It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.
Home Care strategies include:
- Reducing toxic exposures by using organic products and foods as much as possible, drinking filtered water, not smoking cigarettes, etc.
Lifestyle recommendations include:
- Avoid alcohol.
- Avoid processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and oxidized fats. Focus on a whole foods diet including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins.
- Increase consumption of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale etc), Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Fiber.
- Ensure you drink adequate water.
- Exercise increases blood flow through the liver.
The prescribing of naturopathic therapies requires the guidance of a naturopathic doctor as it depends on a number of factors including the causal factors, a person's age, prescription medications, other conditions and symptoms and overall health. It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor prior to taking any natural therapies.
Naturopathic Therapies for Hepatitis include:
- Other foods such as Royal Jelly
- Vitamins such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K2, Choline.
- Minerals such as Selenium, Zinc, Magnesium.
- Amino Acids such as Taurine.
- Other supplements such as N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), Green Tea, S-adenosylmethionine, L-Carnitine, Folic Acid, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Glutathione.
- Caution with Iron supplements.
- Herbs such as Andrographis paniculata, Astragalus membranaceus, Bupleurum,Coriolus (Coriolus versicolor), Dan Shen, Echinacea root, St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum), Phyllanthus amarus, Schisandra chinensis, Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum),, Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)., Turmeric (Curcuma longa),Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis), Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), Artemisia vulgaris, Chionanthus virginicus.
- Constitutional hydrotherapy may be helpful.
Reviewed by Iva Lloyd, BScH, RPE, ND 
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