Are there alternative treatment options for hepatitis?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Early symptoms of viral hepatitis can be treated with bed rest. Once your appetite returns, bed rest is usually no longer needed. Drinking alcohol is not recommended until the liver is healthy again. Your doctor may need to adjust the dosage of other medications and supplements you are taking until the liver is able to fully process the drugs. Within a few days, hepatitis symptoms usually begin to subside. Within one to two months, most people are fully recovered. Alternative treatment options for chronic hepatitis will depend upon the cause of the inflammation of the liver.

Acute and chronic hepatitis B
The best way to treat acute hepatitis B is to eat healthy and get plenty of rest and fluids. Drinking alcohol is not recommended until the liver is fully recovered. Alternative treatment options for symptoms of chronic hepatitis B will depend upon the severity and frequency of your symptoms and may include restrictions to your diet and alcohol consumption. Alternative supplements are not recommended because your liver may not be able to fully process over the counter medications and herbal remedies.

Acute and chronic hepatitis C
There are no approved alternative options for treating acute or chronic hepatitis C. Talk to your doctor before beginning any type of herbal supplements or other alternative treatments for your acute hepatitis infection. Milk thistle is an herb sometimes used to treat liver disease, but its effectiveness has not been proven. Bed rest, fluids, alcohol restrictions and eating healthy are the best things you can do to help you recover from acute hepatitis C. Your doctor may also recommend medications to treat the illness.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.