Taming Hepatitis C
There has been a major step forward in the treatment, even eradication, of Hepatitis C. Patients and doctors have seen some impressive results in treating the disease from a survey Intermountain Health Care participated in.
One patient, Gina Palmer Douglas, was diagnosed with Hepatitis C 15 years ago, after what she thought was a gallbladder attack. Douglas has since been taking all sorts of different medicines to try and improve her health. One type of medicine she was taking was an injection that made her feel like she had the flu. Douglas was unable to see any results. After years of battling the virus, and even getting a liver transplant, she has been declared virus free.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Toxins, certain drugs, some diseases, heavy alcohol use, and bacterial and viral infections can all cause Hepatitis. Hepatitis is also the name of a family of viral infections that affect the liver. Hepatitis C is a contagious viral liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness that that leads to swelling and attacks the liver.
Dr. Michael Charlton works at IHC here in Utah and was part of a medical study that Douglas was chosen to participate in. She was just one of over 300 patients across the county who received a new drug compound. Instead of these patients taking multiple pills, they took one pill once a day for eight to 12 weeks. After taking the pills the virus disappears from most people’s bodies. “Yes, it’s really here, it’s really happened,” said Douglas. “It was a terrible burden for her, it nearly cost her her life,” Dr. Charlton said. “This really is an enormous breakthrough.”
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