Acupuncture and Hepatitis C

Acupuncture and Hepatitis C

Treatment by acupuncture. The doctor uses needles for treatment of the patient.

Treatment by acupuncture. The therapist uses needles for treatment of the patient.

Whether or not you are taking antiviral medications, make sure you know how acupuncture can help in the fight against Hepatitis C.

There are many new drug therapy treatments currently on offer to patients who suffer from Hepatitis C. This progress is encouraging; however, there are many individuals with Hepatitis C who still need help. Acupuncture is one such therapy which is of benefit to many. This eastern-based therapy can be extremely valuable to people fighting Hepatitis C – whether they take conventional drugs or not.

Drug Treatment Side Effects

The goal of Hepatitis C drug treatment is to suppress the virus so much that it becomes undetectable in the blood.

While the effectiveness of modern drugs is good, the side effects are often severe. The side effects frequently incurred from a Hepatitis C drugs can involve:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache and/or muscle aches
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Anemia
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Fever
  • Depression
  • Heart disease aggravation
  • Pancreas inflammation

Experiencing any of the side effects above can make Hepatitis C treatment a grueling process. Side effects may be the cause of reducing drug dosage. In more severe cases, several of the side effects can spell the end of Hepatitis C treatment all together – and a consequential surrender of hope.

Acupuncture Helps Minimize Side Effects

Acupuncture is not intended to be a substitute for Hepatitis C treatment. Rather, acupuncture maximizes the body’s potential for health by creating an energetic balance. For someone on a Hepatitis C drug cocktail, that balance is likely to reduce the incidence or severity of side effects. Those who have had acupuncture can attest to its ability to make a significant impact on the following symptoms:

  • Reduces fatigue
  • Stops nausea and/or vomiting
  • Eases headaches and muscle aches
  • Helps with itching and Rash
  • Improves mood/relieves stress

Another side effect is Anemia. Anemia, not having enough red blood cells, poses a major obstacle to successfully completing Hepatitis C treatment. Because red blood cells provide other cells with the oxygen they need to function normally, anemia can cause devastating fatigue.

One of acupuncture’s strengths is that its stimulation of the body’s energy to create balance can influence blood cell creation. In the treatment of anemia, points are typically selected that increase this effect.

Acupuncture for Liver Health

Many patients with chronic Hepatitis C don’t receive the antiviral drug treatment. There may be many reasons for this, such as:

  • Financial or health insurance constraints
  • Refusal to endure the medication’s side effects
  • Other health problems that complicate treatment
  • Previous failure of drug therapy

Individuals who fall into this category are encouraged by their physicians to do all they can to prevent their Hepatitis C from progressing to advanced liver disease. This usually involves healthy lifestyle choices that focus on nutrition and exercise, avoiding fat, sugar and processed foods, minimizing exposure to toxins, abstaining from drinking alcohol, supplementing with milk thistle or another liver protective herb, and loading up on antioxidants to prevent cellular damage. Gentle exercises like Tai Chi and Qigong can help too.

Adding acupuncture to this liver health plan increases its effectiveness even further. That is because regular acupuncture treatments can invigorate energy flow through the liver, a process that prevents congestion and inflammation. This is a major benefit, because congestion and inflammation in the liver are the physiological events that precede liver cell damage.

With the unified goal of staying as healthy as possible, it seems logical to utilize acupuncture alongside western medicine for a thorough Hepatitis C treatment plan. If taking a powerful drug cocktail to suppress Hepatitis C, acupuncture helps reduce the drugs’ side effects. This benefit increases the odds of successfully beating Hepatitis C by enabling people to complete the drug regimen. If waiting for a safer, more effective way to defeat the Hepatitis C virus, acupuncture can help protect liver health by deterring against congestion and inflammation. Either way, it’s hard to deny the inherent value this ancient alternative medical practice has for those with Hepatitis Cimage foot Liv 3

If you have any questions about how acupuncture could help you, or someone you know, let me know and I will try to help.

David Hankey

Acupuncture Cork

David Hankey

Hi, I’m David Hankey and I have been studying and practicing oriental health systems for more than 30 years.