I decided to re-cap the program I followed that was so successful, getting my Hep C viral load down to ZERO in 8 weeks. This is a long blog, I know because it recaps my entire progress including what I’m doing today to wean off the medications. It lists the products I used that supported my process, the stages I used them in and the amounts.
I had geno type 1, and this was my chemical protocol:
- PEG-IFN is injected, once weekly.
- RBV pills or capsules are taken twice daily, dose is according to your weight.
- INCIVEK comes in boxes of seven daily-dose blister packs. The daily dose is six pills—two 375 mg capsules every 7 to 9 hours—with a snack or meal that contains at least 20 grams of fat (3 tablespoons of peanut butter, 2 ounces of cheese, or a bagel and cream cheese). It is important not to miss doses of Incivek.
My personal holistic therapy was a little erratic and I believe it is because my body was trying to confuse the virus, which is contrary to the belief that the best way to help the immune system destroy the HCV is to take the medications at the right time and in the right amount.
Please understand that I am a Holistic Health Practitioner, an Applied Kinesiologist and Dowser. I work with herbs, vibrational medicines and energy tools and techniques. I have the capabilities to test what I am doing. For those of you reading this blog please understand that the energy tools I used played a huge role in my healing time.
Through this bog/site and linkages to other sites, I, Rev. Carol Lefevre will provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided is not a substitute for medical or professional care, or for the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. Rev. Carol Lefevre is not liable or responsible for any course of action or inaction you choose to follow, or for any service or product you choose to purchase or use based on information you obtain through this site. Reliance on any information provided on this site or any linked sites is at your own risk.
Hepatitis C Statistics
Statistics reveal that about 300 million people are infected with the hepatitis C virus worldwide. However, the number of new hepatitis C cases diagnosed each year in the US has been steadily increasing. Based on current statistics for hepatitis C, it’s estimated that 8,000 to 10,000 people die each year from chronic liver disease caused by this condition.
About 15 percent of cases end up being acute hepatitis C, in which the immune system is able to completely destroy the virus. For about 85 percent of infected people, however, the immune system is not able to completely get rid of the hepatitis C virus, and they end up having a long-term liver infection. This is called chronic hepatitis C.
How Genotype 1 Affects Hepatitis C Treatment
Genotype 1 is the most common form of HCV in the United States. It affects over 70 to 90 percent of the people in this country who have hepatitis C. It is estimated that up to 50 percent of the people with genotype 1 will have a sustained response (successful treatment).
Hepatitis C Viral Load and Treatment
The hepatitis C viral load is one measure that the healthcare provider can use to determine how successful treatment with hepatitis C medication will be. The higher the viral load, the lower the chances of a successful treatment. For example, in people with a high hepatitis C viral load, medications are successful about 40 percent of the time. For people with a low hepatitis C viral load, the success rate is around 56 percent. In addition to viral load, other factors can also influence the success of treatment. The factors include:
- The genotype of the hepatitis C virus
- The amount of liver damage present
- How long the person has had the hepatitis C virus
Within several months of beginning combination therapy (peginterferon injections , incivek, ribavirin pills), the healthcare provider will be able to tell whether or not the treatment is working. This is done using the same viral RNA blood test to determine the hepatitis C viral load. If the treatment is working, the amount of virus RNA in your blood (viral load) will have gone down. But if it’s not working, the viral load will stay the same or even increase.
My Personal Protocol
I began several months before I started the prescription medications by cleansing my system first. Depending on your lifestyle, food habits and personal health habits, you may need some or all of the cleanses I did. I cleanse regularly and still decided to go for it, thinking it would give me an advantage while on the medication. You can find this information on my blog Cleansing and Detoxing Before Hep C.
One of the most difficult things for people on hepatitis C therapy to deal with is the side effects caused by the interferon injections and pills. Side effects vary a lot from person to person. Some people will hardly notice that they are taking medications. Others will feel like they have a cold for much of the time on therapy, and sometimes they will feel even worse.
If you are on hepatitis C therapy:
- Mental health, Anxiety, irritability, and depression.
- Poor sleeping
- Feeling anxious
- Being short-tempered
- Feeling down–depression or sadness, It’s not unusual to feel “down” while you are on interferon. This is purely a side effect of the medication. Stopping the interferon will make these feelings go away within 1-2 weeks.
- Feeling tired
- Muscle and body aches
- Mouth, stomach, and digestion
- Poor appetite
- Bad taste in mouth
- Dry mouth and thick saliva
- Sore mouth and sore throat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hair loss
- Skin rash
- Injection site reactions
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Vision changes
- Thyroid problems
- Low red blood cells
- Low white blood cells
- Low platelets
So what symptoms did I have? All of them I’m sorry to say!
Low white blood cells
My white blood count dropped on the low side, however, my liver enzymes took a sharp turn down…this is a good thing in my case.
One of my biggest challenges way my sight. Both near and farsightedness have been affected by the drugs. I have just started taking the A.Vogel Sharp Vision and found that it really worked. I also added 1 tsp. of spirulina powder to my shakes, apparently it has high levels of Vitamin A in it, I have been doing this for years and to be honest it hasn’t really helped my eyesight.
Sore mouth and sore throat
This is a huge issue for me, The mucus membranes in my mouth were very sensitive. My throat was sore often but for the most part I usually only get symptomatic from 4:00-8:00pm but it is very uncomfortable.
I started using a straw if I drink lemon water and that helps a little and I cut back on the amount of spicy foods I eat. The item that has worked the best to date and that is natural and sugar free is a tea called Throat Coat…it is fabulous.
Bad taste in mouth
Yuck, this is horrible, I mean really horrible…YUK! I used an awesome product called A.Vogel Dentaforce Herbal Mouth Spray. This little bottle packs a huge punch and keeps that nasty taste in my mouth away for hours. Surprisingly it is gentle on my mouth, so no pain for my tender mucous membranes.
Feeling fatigued, Headaches and Fever
I got an energy dip every day around the same time. I get up at 5:15 every morning so it’s no wonder that my energy is low at 4:00pm, 10 hours is already a full work day for most people.
Unfortunately with the fatigue came the nausea, fever and headache and I’m totally off my game. That meant no evening yoga or socializing with friends, some days it was impossible to even make dinner! I have been taking supplements and trying different times of day to see what works and what doesn’t. So far I have come up with this formula that reduces the number of side effects and improves my dip times.
My life line at this point has been Biostrath and Vital Energy. I LOVE Biostrath…it is an awesome product and I have witnessed it helping so many of my clients over the past 20 years. When I took Biostrath with Vital Energy 8 hours after I got up, all the symptoms seem to be reduced by at least 60%. Later in my process (around week 5) I started taking them 40-50 drops of Biostrath twice daily. I must say that I also believe it is because of the Biostrath and other vitamins I am taking that I have not experienced any hair loss.
Skin rash (two thumbs up)
I had weird skin breakouts, hives and rashes. They would heal so I tried A.Vogel 7 Herbs Cream it Relieves cracked, chapped and flaky skin, diaper rash and crusts in the nostrils. This stuff is absolutely amazing. I told the Specialist about it, as a possible choice instead of creams with steroids.
Nausea and vomiting
Nausea is a common side effect of hepatitis C therapy. It can be caused by both interferon and ribavirin. This one is a challenge and I don’t want to add another chemical medicine to my regimen. I have been using fresh grated ginger in hot water and a new ginger tea called “Feeling Soothed.” A better choice for me than Gravol.
Shortness of breath
When taking interferon and ribavirin, many patients will feel a little more short of breath than they usually do. This is a common side effect of therapy. It usually happens because of the low red blood cell counts (anemia) caused by ribavirin.
Shortness of breath can be scary, so if there are times when you find it difficult to catch your breath, I had to stop going up the stairs from the beach 4 times when we went, yikes! I am back to doing my deep breathing exercises and my kundalini breathing.
I have included and/or increased the following: Vitamins A, C, D, and E
I have added 20,000 IU of Vitamin A every second day, 800 IU of Vit E every day, 2000 mg Vit D and started at 2000 mg of Vit C and increased my Vit C to 4000 mg daily. I also gave myself B12 and B6 shots weekly.
My blood work was monitored every week while you are on treatment and really dropped. This increased my fatigue levels.
Low red blood cells
Ribavirin is harmful (toxic) to red blood cells and can damage them. Interferon leads to fewer red blood cells being produced. This results in low red blood cells, or “anemia.” Unfortunately I had all these symptoms.
- Anemia can make you feel tired: I have increased my two life lines Biostrath and Vital Energy and have added Folic Acid 1mg daily. I took Inno-Vite liquid iron, 2 tablespoons daily.
- Insomnia I added: A.Vogel Deep Sleep Valerian and Hop Tincture and Tryptophan.
- A Pins and Needles, Tingling Sensation in Hands and/or Feet. I had and continue to get these weird sensations of being bitten by no see ems…you know that feeling of a mosquito bite. I have also developed hives, which are very itchy…I made a combination of Baking soda (battles itches), apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil. Soak for 30 minutes and air dry. Localized itches can be treated with a baking soda paste. Mix 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. Apply to the itch, but do not use if the skin is broken.
- Aloe Vera is a must to reduce itching. Snap off a leaf, slice it down the middle, and rub the gel only on the itch. I also began taking it internally, 2 tablespoons in a glass of water daily.
Low white blood cells
Interferon slows your body’s production of white blood cells. This leads to lower amounts of an important group of white blood cells called “neutrophils”, which fight many different infections. Low neutrophil counts are at risk for infections, such as pneumonia or skin infections.
Symptoms of low white blood cell count include; redness, swelling, pus formation at injury sites, cough, sputum, nasal discharge, high temperature, chills, unexplained discomfort, sore throat, sores in the mouth, bladder infection, and a white coating in the mouth, your body will be susceptible to a range of infections, skin problems, viruses, fever, gastrointestinal problems etc. Sounds yummy…for the gastrointestinal problems I use Molkosan, what a difference!
Platelets are clusters of proteins that act like bricks to form blood clots. They are produced by cells in the bone marrow. Platelet counts often drop if you are on interferon and ribavirin therapy. This can put you at a higher risk for bleeding.
Increase in the count of platelet may a little tricky than it first looked because no food is specified to increase the platelets production. It is believed that taking healthy foods and mainly organic and fresh foods will stimulate the mechanism internally and thus the platelet counts will also be increased. Flax seed is known for strengthening the immune system and also for reducing the inflammation. With this, the circulation is also improved in the body. I used and still use flax seed oil in my shakes and on my salads.
Tomatoes and cherries are for its good property of antioxidant. They are very good in vitamin and mineral contents and the production of platelet is boosted. Some of the other food items that improves the production of platelets are citrus fruits, green gram, fenugreek leaves and gooseberry.
When taking these medications you have to take them with 20 grams of fat. As a low fat eater it was a challenge, and when I was sick I couldn’t be bothered to cook much. I ate an avocado a day with one dosage and created some other good healthy fat options for my other dosage. Please see: New Foods for Surviving Hep C for some great ideas.
Where I am at Today
Week one I am off all supplements to give myself and my body a little break. I am decreasing my pharmaceutical medications and am still having withdrawal symptoms. I am drinking 3 liters of water daily, green tea and I have coconut water every other day.
Week two I will be only on interferon and a reduced dosage, 1/2 the protocol amount. I will begin my antioxidants again: 10,000 IU of Vitamin A daily, 400 IU of Vit E daily, 2000 mg Vit D daily, 2000 mg of Vit C daily and 400 mcg of Selenium daily. I have started rebuilding my intestinal flora with Bio-K and Molkosan.
I am still feeling the itches and rash so I am using the A.Vogel 7 Herbs Cream and soda bathes.
In week three I intend to go back on my Sam-e and stay on it for 3-4 months and to purchase more A.Vogel Sharp Vision and take it for 6 months as well
I have begun to reduce my fat intake slowly and am feeling more and more like eating fresh fruits and veggies, thank God.
I have not tested for herbs to detox liver as of yet, my suspicion is that I will need to purchase more Boldocynara and get back on that next month.
Kundalini is a cosmic energy that lies coiled in the Base or Root Chakra which corresponds to the base of spine, in your body. This cosmic energy is your life force, which keeps your body alive. When awakened, Kundalini begins to move upward within the pranic tube or the central channel, piercing the chakras and initiating various cleansing and clearing processes, which bring about total purification and rejuvenation of the entire being. Activate your Kundalini and Rejuvenate your Body, Mind and Soul
There are many proponents of rebounding who recommend that patients undertake about two minutes of gentle bouncing. I could only manage 10 minutes a day.
I go to an awesome place called Healing Movements.
Next week I will be posting some of the spiritual tools and exercises I did to help move the virus from my body quickly and tell you the horror story of all the mistakes that were made while under supervised treatment…I am so glad to have the tools I needed to test things for myself! Be well my friends.
In Loving Gratitude,
Rev. Carol Lefevre