Cayce Health Database
OVERVIEW OF HEPATITIS C
WHAT IS HEPATITIS C
Discovered in 1989, the hepatitis
C virus causes approximately 20 percent of all cases of acute viral
hepatitis each year in the United States. Recovery from infection
is rare - about 85 percent of infected persons become chronic carriers
of the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, about 30,000 new infections occur each year. Chronic liver
disease due to hepatitis C causes between 8,000 and 10,000 deaths
and leads to about 1,000 liver transplants each year in the United
States. By the year 2010, the number of deaths from hepatitis C is
expected to rise to 38,000 per year. (National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health)
Chronic hepatitis C varies greatly in its course and
outcome. At one end of the spectrum are patients who have no signs or
symptoms of liver disease and completely normal levels of serum liver
enzymes. Liver biopsy usually shows some degree of chronic hepatitis,
but the degree of injury is usually mild and the overall prognosis may
be good. On the other end of the spectrum are patients with severe hepatitis
C who have significant symptoms, abnormal serum liver enzymes, and who
ultimately develop cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease. In the
middle of the spectrum are many patients who have few or no symptoms,
mild to moderate elevations in liver enzymes, and a prognosis that is
uncertain. The best estimates are that at least 20 percent of patients
with chronic hepatitis C develop cirrhosis, a process that generally takes
10 to 20 years. After 20 to 40 years, a smaller percentage of patients
with chronic disease develop liver cancer.
HCV is spread primarily by contact with blood and
blood products. Blood transfusions and the use of shared, unsterilized,
or incompletely sterilized needles and syringes have been the most important
causes of the spread of HCV in the United States. Sexual transmission
of hepatitis C between monogamous partners appears to be uncommon.
Maternal-infant transmission is also uncommon.
Many people with chronic hepatitis C are asymptomatic
of liver disease. If symptoms are present, they are usually mild, non-specific,
and intermittent. They may include:
- Mild right upper quadrant pain or tenderness.
- Muscle and joint pains.
Once a patient develops cirrhosis or if the patient
has severe disease, symptoms and signs are more prominent. In addition
to fatigue, the patient may complain of muscle weakness, poor appetite,
nausea, weight loss, itching, dark urine, fluid retention, and abdominal
swelling. Physical findings of cirrhosis may include:
- Enlarged liver.
- Muscle wasting.
Alpha interferon is currently the only approved medical
treatment for hepatitis C. It improves serum aminotransferase levels in
50 percent of patients during treatment, and a majority of these patients
also become negative for HCV RNA by PCR. However, many of these patients
relapse once interferon is discontinued. In patients who relapse, the
reappearance of HCV RNA and rise of serum ALT levels usually occurs within
1 to 3 months after treatment; only rarely does it occur later. A sustained,
long-term response (defined as no relapse at least 6 months after stopping
interferon) occurs in 10 to 15 percent of patients who are treated for
6 months and 20 to 25 percent of those treated for 1 year.
Few options exist for patients who either do not respond
to therapy or who respond and later relapse. Patients who relapse after
a 6-month course of interferon may respond to a second, longer course
of therapy (lasting 12 to 18 months), particularly if they became and
remained HCV RNA negative during therapy. New treatments are needed for
those who do not respond to interferon at all. (Note: The above
information comes from National Institutes of Health Publication No. 97-4230.)
EDGAR CAYCE APPROACH TO HEPATITIS C
Because the diagnostic category of hepatitis C was
not used during Edgar Cayce's era, there are no readings which use that
designation. However, thirteen readings are indexed as hepatitis
and several others mention inflammation of the liver. It is not
known how many, (if any) of these cases were linked specifically to the
hepatitis C virus. So although Edgar Cayce gave no readings which
can be identified as hepatitis C, considerable information is provided
in the readings on therapies which focus on healing liver inflammation
and addressing the systemic effects of viral infections. Regardless
of the cause of the hepatitis, treatment recommendations tended to follow
similar patterns as described below.
In most of the readings on hepatitis, the liver pathology
is viewed from a systemic perspective. Invariably other organs of
the digestive and eliminating systems become involved. Problems
with the kidneys, gall bladder, spleen, pancreas and stomach are often
associated with the liver inflammation. Thus the Cayce approach
is to consider hepatitis (and liver disorders generally), from a systemic
perspective with regard to treatment.
EDGAR CAYCE'S THERAPEUTIC MODEL
Another way of thinking about this approach is to
recognize the natural healing potential of the body. The Cayce approach
is to assist the body in healing itself. Relatively mild, natural
therapies are used to improve systemic functioning while also addressing
the specific pathology of liver inflammation. As the whole body
becomes more healthy, it is better able to deal with the hepatitis virus
and its effects.
The treatment recommendations made by Cayce for hepatitis
reflect the specific and systemic aspects of the disease. Hot castor
oil packs applied over the area of the liver were frequently prescribed
to stimulate the circulation to the liver and improve eliminations.
A basic cleansing diet and colonic irrigations were often suggested to
increase eliminations through the alimentary canal.
Manual therapy (spinal manipulation and massage) were also suggested
to improve circulation and eliminations. As is typical of Cayce's
holistic approach, the mental and spiritual aspects of therapy were emphasized.
Based on the Cayce information for hepatitis, here
are some basic therapy recommendations:
- INTERNAL CLEANSING: Hydrotherapy includes drinking six to eight
glasses of pure water daily, colonic irrigations (preferably) or enemas,
and cleansing diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. Castor oil packs
across the abdomen are recommended to improve eliminations through
the liver and colon. Mild laxatives may be helpful if constipation
is a problem. Fume baths followed by full body massage helps
the body eliminate toxins through the skin.
- MANUAL THERAPY (SPINAL MANIPULATION AND MASSAGE): Osteopathic or
chiropractic treatment is recommended to relieve any pressures that
may be hindering circulation and decreasing eliminations. If
osteopathic or chiropractic treatment is not available, the use of
an electric vibrator along the spine may be helpful. Gentle
massage is suggested to relax the body and improve circulation and
- DIET: The Basic Cayce Diet is intended to improve assimilation
and elimination. The diet focuses heavily on keeping a proper
alkaline/acid balance while avoiding foods which produce toxicity
and drain the system. Essentially, the diet consists mainly
of fruits and vegetables while avoiding fried foods and refined carbohydrates
("junk food"). Certain food combinations are emphasized.
- DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS: Beef juice taken as a medicine is suggested
for persons suffering from weakness and general debilitation.
Olive Oil taken in small quantities during the day is recommended
to improve assimilations and eliminations through the alimentary canal.
- ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS: The mental and emotional aspects of healing
are frequently discussed the Cayce readings. Particularly, an
attitude of desiring and expecting to be healed is important.
A positive mental and emotional attitude and can be created and maintained
by focusing on a high purpose (ideal) for being healed.
Note: The above information is not intended for self-diagnosis
or self-treatment. Please consult a qualified health care professional
for assistance in applying the information contained in the Cayce Health