Hepatitis C
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Articles by
Dr. Zhang
 
TCM and MCM Theory Related to Common Liver Disease Blood Test Markers

Low Dose Interferon Patient Experiment

Hepatitis A Prevention Reminder

Hepatitis: Causes of Pain in Liver Region 

The Need to Monitor Your Chronic Hepatitis

Liver Enzyme Fluctuation during Allergy Season 

What are the Serum Markers of Hepatitis B and What do They Mean?

Enterogenous Endotoxemia in Chronic Hepatitis–
Part 2

Enterogenous Endotoxemia in Chronic Hepatitis–
Part 1
 

Chronic Hepatitis and "Blood Activating and Stasis Expelling" (BASE) Therapy -
Part 2

Chronic Hepatitis and "Blood Activating and Stasis Expelling" (BASE) Therapy
Part 1

What Causes Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Cirrhotic Liver Disease

Dietary Support for Cirrhotic Liver Diseases

Ascites - A Complication of De-Compensated Liver Cirrhosis

Liver Cirrhosis - Portal Vein Hypertension Complications

Liver Cirrhosis Overview

PG-IFN and Ribavirin Treatments

Antibiotics and Chronic Liver Diseases

Why is Alcohol Harmful for People with Hepatitis?

Co-infections and Super-infections of Viral Hepatitis

Beware of Medications That Can Cause Liver Damage

Bile Retention and Its Clinical Manifestations (MCM) part 4

Modern Chinese Medicine (MCM) Part 3 
Jaundice and Chronic Viral Hepatitis

Modern Chinese Medicine (MCM) Anti-Liver-Fibrosis Treatments - Part 2

Modern Chinese Medicine (MCM) Anti-Liver-Fibrosis Treatments - Part 1

What is Liver Fibrosis and How is It Different from Cirrhosis?

How does the liver change as we get older?

How is that my LFTs are so good when my viral load is seemly so high?

Comprehensive Care for Chronic Viral Hepatitis

What can Cause Liver Inflammation?  

What Are the Major Functions that the Liver Carries?


 





How Does the Liver Change When We Get Older?

In treating chronic viral hepatitis, age is an unfavorable factor for healing. Conventional treatment criteria even listed that when the patient is 65 or older, IFN based treatment is contraindicated.

Why is aging an unfavorable factor and what happens in the liver while we age? In order to answer this question, we should know how the liver changes with age. When we get older, not only our appearance changes but at the same time, the anatomy and physiology of the internal organs also change. For example, the liver undergoes very obvious changes when we get older.

First, the blood supply to the liver reduces with age. After 25 for male and 20 for female, the blood supply to the liver is reduced 0.3 ~ 1.5% every year. The blood flow through the liver at the age of 60, compare to 20, is reduced to 40 to 50%. The blood flow brings in oxygen and nutrients, and also carries out the metabolites and toxins. When the blood supply to the liver is reduced, the liver's metabolic and detoxification ability is also reduced. This ultimately reduces the liver’s ability to repair damages from inflammation caused by virus, alcohol, or chemicals.

Second, the number of liver cells also reduces sharply after the age of 60. When we reach age 80, our liver has only 50% of the cells compared to age 40. The nucleus of the liver cells also show aging changes, such as doubling or becoming multinuclear. With aging, the liver becomes harder and the weight of the liver also reduces. The average weight of the liver for a person age 90 is only 51.8% of a person at age 30. So when we get older, there are less liver cells to carry out the important functions that keep us healthy. Plus, the phagocytic function of the Kupffer cell of the liver is also reduced to about 67%. This is an important immune function to filter the microorganisms from the nutrients gathered from the intestine. Thus, we are also more susceptible to infections when we are older.

Because the above aging changes, for older people, to recover from chronic hepatitis is more difficult than younger patients. So for patients older than 60, the treatment should be gentle and comprehensive.

With Chinese medicine, we focus heavily on supportive treatment, such as improving micro-circulation of the liver to increase the blood infusion to the liver and to promote phagocytosis of Kupffer cells, to help the liver heal.

 

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About HCV
Overview
Causes and Transmission

 
Diagnostic Tests
Antibody
HCV RIBA
HCV RNA 
Viral Load

Viral Genotyping

 
Major Signs
Liver Inflammation
Fibrosis
Cirrhosis

 
Peripheral Signs and Symptoms
Fatigue
Jaundice
Bile Retention
Joint Pains and Skin Rashes
Blood Sugar Instability
Portal Vein Hypertension
Ascites

 
Important Liver Function Test Markers
Overview
ALT and AST
ALP and GGT
Albumin
Bilirubin
PT (Prothrombin Time)
 
Liver Biopsy
Overview
Procedure
Inflammation Grade
Fibrosis Stage
 
Interferon Based Treatment
Overview
Ideal Candidate
Possible Side-effects
 
Liver Support with TCM
Overview
Liver Enzymes
Serum Albumin
Blood Clotting Factors
Bile metabolism
GGT
 
Dietary Considerations
Overview
Proteins
Essential Fats
Carbohydrates
Vitamins
 
 

 


 

 

Medical Information Sources:
http://www.nih.gov/
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/

http://nccam.nih.gov/
http://www.medlineplus.org/


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