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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-05-14 (EDT)

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.

Naturopathic Assessment

Article Hepatitis C; An Update On Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Protocols, NDNR; 2013 April

Causal Factors

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.


  • Alcohol


  • Shared Needles
  • Hepatitis B can be transmitted through shared needles, during delivery, or through sexual contact.[1]


  • Infection with Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E viruses can cause Hepatitis. Furthermore, individuals infected with HCV and who drink heavily are more likely to suffer from severe liver disease.[2]
  • Hepatitis can also be caused by bacterial and parasitic infections.
  • Exposures to toxins, like Amanita mushroom poisoning can cause Hepatitis.[3]


  • Smoking not only increases a person's risk of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, but increases the risk of Liver Cancer in those that are carriers for Hepatitis B and C.[4]
  • Recreational drug use can result in hepatitis.

Medical Interventions

  • Prescription Medications
  • Certain medications can cause drug-induced Hepatitis: Acetaminophen, Isoniazid, Rifampin, Pyrazinamide, Halothane, Carbon tetrachloride, Tetracycline, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.[1]

Diagnostic Testing

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).
  • In alcoholic hepatitis increased AST will be more than twice the value of ALT, though both may be elevated, in addition to increased GGT.[1]
  • 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

Common Symptoms

The following symptoms are often associated with hepatitis:

Naturopathic Treatment

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

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:

  • Exercise increases blood flow through the liver.[5]

Naturopathic Therapies

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
  • Constitutional hydrotherapy may be helpful.


Reviewed by Iva Lloyd, BScH, RPE, ND [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 El-Hashemy Shehab(2007)Naturopathic Standards of Primary Care CCNM Press Inc.
  2. Schiff ER, Ozden N (2003) Hepatitis C and alcohol Alcohol Res Health; Vol27(3):232-9 PMID: 15535451.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gaby AR (2011) Nutritional Medicine. Fritz Perlberg Publishing.
  4. Chuang SC, Lee YC, Hashibe M, Dai M, Zheng T, Boffetta P (May 2010) Interaction between cigarette smoking and hepatitis B and C virus infection on the risk of liver cancer: a meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev;19(5):1261-8. PMID: 20447919.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Rakel D (2007) Integrative Medicine 2nd ed. Saunders
  6. Lu Henry (1986) Chinese System of Food Cures, prevention and remedies Sterling Publishing Co. New York.
  7. Bone Kerry 2007 The Ultimate Herbal Compendium, A Desktop Guide For Herbal Prescribers Phytotherapy Press, Australia
  8. Hoffman D (2003) Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices Of Herbal Medicine. Healing Arts Press.