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Ending Liver Congestion Can Stop Liver Disease Progression

March 31, 2017

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Find out why a broadened understanding of liver congestion can help stop the damage that chronic Hepatitis C can cause.

Some healthcare clinicians refer to “liver congestion” as accepted nomenclature for liver health impairment. Others consider congestion as a problem limited to mucous obstruction of the sinuses and lungs. By acknowledging the concept of liver congestion as an impediment of blood and bile flow throughout the liver, the limitation relating congestion only to mucous is lifted. With this broadened understanding, liver congestion perpetuates the damage incurred by the Hepatitis C virus – and recognition of this sequence can aid in its prevention.

About Hepatitis C

Earning the distinction as the most common blood-borne infection in the United States, the Hepatitis C virus primarily infects liver cells. Some facts about Hepatitis C include:

  • At least three quarters of those infected develop chronic Hepatitis C infection.
  • Causing inflammation and damaging liver cells, chronic Hepatitis C can progress to severe liver disease if unabated.
  • Hepatitis C usually progresses slowly – typically taking 10 to 40 years before symptoms or complications from the virus emerge.
  • As the Hepatitis C virus damages more liver cells, blood flow throughout this vital organ is restricted.
  • Any additional factors that congest blood or bile flow within the liver worsen the potential damage the Hepatitis C virus can cause.
  • Chronic Hepatitis C infection is associated with an increased chance of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer.

Hepatitis C Disease Progression

Given enough time to fester, Hepatitis C can cause damage to the liver, progressing in the following way:

  • Fibrosis – Scarring of the liver that may be reversible.
  • Cirrhosis – Severe scarring of the liver that is described as a permanent hardening of liver tissue.
  • Decompensated Cirrhosis – Extensive scarring of the liver that prevents its ability to function properly. This is potentially life threatening and typically requires a liver transplant.

Another way to perceive the progression of Hepatitis C is, the more congested the liver becomes, the greater the degree of liver damage. On the other hand, improving circulation of blood and bile throughout the liver brings liver cells the nutrients needed to repair and thrive while flushing out substances that are harmful and congesting.

Liver Congestion Contributors

In addition to the damage that Hepatitis C viral particles inflict, there are additional key contributors to liver congestion. Toxin and fat accumulation are two of the most likely aggravators of liver congestion.

  1. Toxin Accumulation – One of the liver’s roles is to detoxify the blood. However, substantial toxin exposure damages liver cells, which reduces the liver’s ability to detoxify. Working to reduce the amount of toxins the liver must process helps ease liver congestion.

    Top liver detox strategies include:

    •    abstaining from alcohol consumption
    •    getting regular exercise
    •    avoiding foods laden with chemicals
    •    increasing water intake
    •    minimizing exposure to environmental toxins
    •    supplementing with herbs that help detoxify liver cells, such as those contained in Clinical LiverSupport

  2. Fat Accumulation – Excess fat in the liver (steatosis) is seen in more than half of all people with Hepatitis C – two to three times more than the general population. Studies have found that the combination of Hepatitis C and steatosis increases the risk of liver disease progression and may contribute to the development of liver cancer.

    Liver congesting steatosis can be reduced or reversed by:

    •    losing excess weight
    •    avoiding alcohol consumption
    •    getting regular exercise
    •    eating a healthy diet
    •    minimizing sugar and simple carbohydrate consumption
    •    supplementing with herbs that help mobilize bile and metabolize liver fat, such as those found in Clinical LiverSupport

    Liver congestion is not defined by mucous accumulation, but rather by impaired circulation. Those with Hepatitis C can help prevent liver disease progression by reducing congestion in their liver. By taking various steps to minimize toxin and fat accumulation, circulation in the liver improves. As congestion in the liver lessens, each cell is better nourished. Improved liver cell nutrition leads to better health and liver function – dampening any detrimental effects of the Hepatitis C virus.

http://hcvadvocate.org/hepatitis/factsheets_pdf/FAQ_eng.pdf, Frequently Asked ?’s About Hepatitis C, Retrieved September 11, 2016, Hepatitis C Support Project, 2016.

http://hcvadvocate.org/publications/fact-sheets/hcsp-fact-series/hcv-disease-progression-facts/, HDV Disease Progression, Retrieved September 11, 2016, Hepatitis C Support Project, 2016.

http://mysickliver.weebly.com/compensated-vs-decompensated.html, What is “Compensated vs. Decompensated” Cirrhosis?, Retrieved September 11, 2016, My Sick Liver, 2016.

http://www.christopherhobbs.com/library/featured-articles/hepatitis-c/, Hepatitis C, Retrieved September 11, 2016, Christopher Hobbs, 2016.

http://www.liversupport.com/3-safe-ways-to-detox-your-liver/, 3 Safe Ways to Detox Your Liver, Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., Retrieved September 11, 2016, Natural Wellness, 2016.

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HepatitisCentral.com provides information regarding hepatitis and liver disease. Comments are available to the community in order to discuss these topics and obtain answers to questions through community members. The Editors at HepatitisCentral.com will not be responding to questions or comments posed in article comments.

  • Sylvia Sweet

    Rpbert is on kidney dialysis, he took the meds that cleared up his hepc, Now he is wearing this med patch all the time to help with his pain he has, I guess from being on dialysis for so many year, What I am wondering is could patches intefer with his live and cause the HepC to come back, If any one could give me an answer to this I would be most grateful

    • Helen

      Pain medication, cause hep c to come back? My answer would be, No.

    • keith63

      HepC is a virus. So if he has gotten rid of the virus and cleared it then the only way to get the virus back is to be reinfected with another strain of the virus. Using pain medication is not relevant unless he was using some illegal intravenous drug which is how most people acquire it in the first place. My answer is no.

      • Sylvia Sweet

        no he doesn’t use anything illegal, thanks for your answer of no, thats a relief for me to hear

    • trotter

      Hep C won’t come back from pain patches, but his doctor needs to prescribe drugs that are processed in the kidneys rather than the liver whenever possible. Everything we take goes through one or the other.

  • e’Layne Koenigsberg

    I lived with hepC for about 42 years…I was cured in October with Harvoni and I am so grateful. I have been told by doctors that I have no scaring or signs of liver damage. I totally attribute this to my lifestyle. I went undiagnosed for 20 years and during that time drank moderately but when I was diagnosed I drank very occasionally. I did acupuncture on a regular basis, drank green drink everyday, ate mostly organic and took liver supporting vitamins. Although I was very scared when I was first diagnosed I saw Hep C as a teacher not as an enemy. I made friends with my Hep C. It kept me living mindfully and for that I was grateful. It was emotional to say goodbye to a disease I had become friends with but I have kept the lesson of living with a life threatening disease. Eating well and taking care of my body are among the lessons that serve me well.

    • cadillacrich

      wacko.

    • CoyoteJohnKerr

      I strongly disagree with cadillacrich. Hep C may have been the best thing that ever happened to me. It completely changed my self-destructive habits (alcohol and drugs), gave me the awareness that I controlled by own destiny by eating better, exercising more and by placing my faith (that is a choice) in a Gracious God that gave me hope no matter what happened in my battle with Hep C. I am now “cured” after treatment with Epclusa. Even though I have cirrhosis of my liver, I feel healthy, happy and ready to encourage others that having Hep C is not the death sentence that I thought it was when first diagnosed 26 years ago. e’Layne, your story should be an inspiration to us all. Thank you!

  • Corey Brunskill

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/966633f552671c358c5862bf380dc8bb5c232a7747bde7d4d6e5b04893db6334.jpg I had my yearly ultrasound for my Hep C, I have had it 31 yrs, did one treatment didn’t work.
    I go April 6 for ultrasound , next day doc calls and said they have found a couple of things so she booked me the next week for ct with the contrast drink and dye. I went yesterday and got my results and please I cannot find very much info on this , my doc is even confused over it. The report said I have swollen lymph nodes and the largest , 9 mm (they call them periportal and peripancreas, the big one sits lateral to the head of the pancreas which intermittent .
    Now a MRI is next. I am worried about this, because no .one seems to know anything , why, what .
    Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks corey

    • Corey Brunskill

      I can’t believe this is suppose to be a site to tell your story and I finally do and not one person replies to. It well thanks. Sure made my day. I will no longer use this site at all if this is the support you get seems like it is a site of people who know each orther and that is what is important , thank she for caring what a joke

      • The Editors

        Corey, I’m sorry you didn’t receive a response, but please know that we state at the beginning of the comments section that the comments are for people that visit the site to discuss topics posted. The Editors will not respond to questions posed in article comments publicly.

        As we don’t know your specific situation, we can’t assume to know why your lymph nodes are swollen at this time. This is why your doctor’s are moving forward with additional testing to get more information. The physicians that are familiar with your health and history are best able to answer questions regarding your health than any online forum. With the additional information you’ll gain, if your doctor is still confused our recommendation would be to get a second opinion.

  • Corey Brunskill

    Don’t join the discussion cause they are all one sided

    • CoyoteJohnKerr

      Hi Corey,
      Don’t give up hope. There are many of us who care and share your pain. The best advise I can give you is simple. Look to God for all of your strength. He will never give you more than you can handle. Spend time researching on the internet. There is a wealth of information out there, more than any one person, including your care giver could ever process. Make sure you eat a healthy diet and exercise, exercise, exercise. I believe exercise is the single most important thing you can do (besides prayer) that can change your outlook and the way you feel. God bless you, Corey. I will be praying for a full recovery.

  • Angela petrillo

    I don’t understand I had hep c found out in 1994 had Salvadoran and olysio treatment 2013 I am hep c free BUT developed chirosis didn’t find this out until testing done just before the treatment. I still after many good doctors don’t know how bad my liver is but dec of 2016 was not at stage to be put on liver transplant list. No more hep c but I never felt better barely ever have enough energy to do a damn thing. I’m now 65 and have so many problems. What can be done to boost my energy and feel less exhausted doing nothing. HELP

    • CoyoteJohnKerr

      Angela, I also have cirrhosis from 45 years of being infected with Hep C. My doctor feels it is “Non-compensated” and says that I can live a full and long life as long as I avoid alcohol, drugs that are processed in the liver (Tylenol is one of the worst), avoiding exposure to chemicals, keeping my weight down and exercising daily. I will be 65 in October. Try starting out slow with the exercise, keep a daily journal and make sure you stick with it. Diet has a huge impact on how we feel. Stay away from processed food, sugar and especially diet soda, regular soda and “power drinks”. It as fresh and “raw” as you can. Also get plenty of fresh air and turn off your TV! Listen to good music, read inspiring books and place your hope in God at all times. Spend time in prayer and meditation and make sure you have plenty of contact with family and friends. Do you have a pet? Get one and love it with all your heart. Most of all, try encouraging others, teach some kids how to read or garden and live everyday like it was your last. I have faith that you will find health and happiness by placing one foot in front of the other and keep going forward. May God bless you!