List your Practice List a School List an Event Contact Us
Account Login View Cart Cart ($0.00)

Acufinder.com is the leading resource for everything to do with Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and Asian Medicine. It is the premier Web destination for those seeking health and wellness for themselves and their loved ones through the principles of Oriental Medicine. We are the voice of authority for up-to-date health and wellness information from an Eastern Medicine perspective.

Search for Acupuncturists Search for Acupuncture Schools Search for Acupuncture Events
Explore Acufinder

Ask the Acupuncturist

Bookmark and Share

« Back to Liver & Kidney Concerns Questions

Q: Is there any report about Hepatitis B relatively healed by alternative medicine and acupuncture as well?

A: The diagnosis of HBV infection is generally made on the basis of serology. Virtually all individuals infected with HBV, either acutely or chronically, will have detectable serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). In acute infection, HBsAg is detectable several weeks after infection and its appearance coincides with the onset of clinical symptoms. HBeAg is also detectable in acute infection which is characterized by a high rate of viral replication.

To be "cured" of chronic HBV would be the loss of HBsAg. this does occur in some patients who are treated for HBV. At this time I have no data on patients that have been cured of HBV from alternative medicine treatments.

Hepatitis B and increasingly, Hepatitis C is prevalent throughout China, accounting for increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in the mainland Chinese population. The Chinese medical system has been dedicated to solving the problem for many years, working to eliminate sources of hepatitis as well as developing treatments for hepatitis using both Chinese traditional medicine and Western medicine.

At the International Symposium on Viral Hepatitis and AIDS held in Beijing in April 1991, more than 100 papers on viral hepatitis were presented, several of which documented positive results of studies of Chinese herbal medicine. Studies of herbal antivirals and Xue (Blood)-cooling and Xue (Blood)-circulating herbs for repairing liver damage supported the hundreds of years of practical experience with Chinese herbs for the symptoms of hepatitis.

A literature review by Dr. Kevin Ergil in 1995 revealed at least 55 herbal formulas that may be used to treat hepatitis clinically. Recent herbal studies in China and Australia showed positive results in hepatitis using similar formulas to those used widely in clinics in the US.

In the US, Chinese traditional medicine is a popular complementary or alternative therapy among patients with chronic liver disease. In a late 1990's anecdotal report from one of the largest clinical hepatology practices in San Francisco found that at least 20 to 30 percent of patients report use of Chinese herbal interventions for hepatitis. The level of use is probably underestimated because patients often choose not to divulge the use of complementary and alternative medicine therapies to their Western primary care physician.

Chinese medicine uses nutrition, acupuncture, heat therapies such as moxibustion, exercise, massage, meditation, and herbal medicine for the treatment of people with hepatitis . Protocols have been developed that have successfully helped hepatitis infected people to decrease symptoms, normalize or lower liver enzyme levels, and slow down the progression of liver disease.

About Hepatitis

Hepatitis is a general term that means inflammation of the liver. The liver can become inflamed as a result of infection, a disorder of the immune system, or exposure to alcohol, certain medications, toxins, or poisons.

Hepatitis B is caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). This infection has 2 phases: acute and chronic.

Acute
(new, short-term) hepatitis B occurs shortly after exposure to the virus. A small number of people develop a very severe, life-threatening form of acute hepatitis called fulminant hepatitis.

Chronic (ongoing, long-term) hepatitis B is an infection with HBV that lasts longer than 6 months. Once the infection becomes chronic, it may never go away completely.

About 90-95% of people who are infected are able to fight off the virus so their infection never becomes chronic. Only about 5-10 percent of adults infected with HBV go on to develop chronic infection.

People with chronic HBV infection are called chronic carriers. About two-thirds of these people do not themselves get sick or die of the virus, but they can transmit it to other people. The remaining one third develop chronic hepatitis B, a disease of the liver that can be very serious.

The liver is an essential organ that the body needs to stay alive. Its most important functions are filtering many drugs and toxins out of the blood, storing energy for later use, helping with the absorption of certain nutrients from food, and producing substances that fight infections and control bleeding.

The liver has an incredible ability to heal itself, but it can only heal itself if nothing is damaging it.

Liver damage in chronic hepatitis B, if not stopped, continues until the liver becomes hardened and scarlike. This is called cirrhosis, a condition traditionally associated with alcoholism. When this happens, the liver can no longer carry out its normal functions, a condition called liver failure. The only treatment for liver failure is liver transplant.

Chronic hepatitis B also can lead to a type of liver cancer known as hepatocellular carcinoma.

Any of these conditions can be fatal. About 15-25 percent of people with chronic hepatitis B die of liver disease.

Hepatitis B is the most common serious liver infection in the world. Worldwide, about 350 million people are chronic carriers of HBV, of whom, more than 250,000 die from liver-related disease each year.

In the United States, hepatitis B is largely a disease of young adults aged 20-50 years. About 1.25 million people are chronic carriers, and the disease causes about 5000 deaths each year.

The good news is that infection with HBV is almost always preventable. You can protect yourself and your loved ones from hepatitis B.

Self-care


If you've received a diagnosis of hepatitis B, your doctor will likely recommend certain lifestyle changes. These simple measures will help keep you healthy longer:

Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol speeds the progression of liver disease.

Avoid medications that may cause liver damage. Your doctor can advise you about these medications, which may include over-the-counter (OTC) medications as well as prescription drugs. It's especially important to avoid using acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), which can cause liver damage even in healthy people.

Eat the healthiest diet you can. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Healthy foods help keep you strong, give you more energy and support your immune system. If you're nauseated, try eating small meals throughout the day. Choose foods that are soothing and easy to digest, such as soups, broths or a plain baked potato. A registered dietitian can be especially helpful if you have weight loss or trouble eating.

Get regular exercise. Exercise helps increase your strength and energy levels.

Get enough sleep. Rest when you need to.