Diagnosis of Hepatitis C – Infections Example

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"Diagnosis of Hepatitis C"  is an engrossing example of a paper on infections. This paper aims to respond to a case study in which a 49-year-old male is diagnosed with hepatitis C. The patient has critical medical reports as he isn’ t responding to interferon treatment while also having a greater risk of a liver transplant for his survival. This case is actually analyzed through observing the common symptoms, studying the conventional treatments and pathogenesis whereas the nutritional protocol is also supposed to be developed considering all the aspects of patient’ s health and potential risks.

Moreover, the paper includes a thoughtful diet and supplements plan. Before going into the details of disease and the nutritional plan it is important to mention that patient’ s liver enzymes are significantly elevated while on the other hand, he is also having an elevated viral load i. e. 900,000 IU/mL. His alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is 368 and on the basis of these conditions, he has been suggested to have a liver transplant. Pathogenesis Hepatitis C is fundamentally defined as the non-cytopathic virus which enters into the cells of the liver and causes damage.

It actually initiates with a replication process which further causes necrosis due to certain mechanisms such as the immune-mediated cytolysis, oxidative stress, hepatic steatosis, and insulin resistance (Irshad). In addition to these proteins or peptides encoded by various forms of sub-genomic parts of Hepatitis C Virus and its subsequent quasispecies impact the entire mechanism of the body. From a broader perspective, the pathogenesis of Hepatitis C can be distinguished into two sub-divisions including Immuno Mediated and Metabolism Mediated. Immuno mediated further relates to innate immunity and adaptive immunity while on the other hand metabolism mediated develops into oxidative stress.

Both of these procedures are actually regulated by viral components (Irshad).   Common Symptoms In most cases, the symptoms of Hepatitis C take an incubation time period of about 2 weeks up to 6 months in which the virus enters the patient’ s body and start influencing the normal body functions. However, research indicates that usually patients of Hepatitis C do not display the common symptoms and therefore it is significantly difficult to diagnose the disease based on symptoms only (Hepatitis Health Center).   Following are the common symptoms of Hepatitis C (Hepatitis Health Center): Pain in the joints and belly Fatigue Skin itchiness Considerably dark color urine Sore muscles Apart from these, Jaundice is also a major symptom of Hepatitis C which causes the patient’ s skin and the white area of the eyes to turn yellow.

Moreover, if the liver functions are severely damaged as a result of Hepatitis C then Cirrhosis may develop. Since here the patient has advised the liver transplant, therefore, he might possibly have the following symptoms in addition to those mentioned above (Hepatitis Health Center): Expanded blood vessels cause redness to the palms of the patient’ s hands. Development of Clusters of blood vessels on the body specifically on the face, shoulders, and chest.

These usually resemble tiny spiders. Legs, belly, and feet start swelling while muscles begin to shrink. The enlarged veins of the patient’ s digestive tract start bleeding. This is also known as variceal bleeding. In more serious conditions brain and the entire nervous system can be damaged leading to a disease called encephalopathy. This develops further symptoms such as confusion, issues related to concentration and memory. Conventional Treatments The conventional treatments for Hepatitis C basically include a 24 or 48 weeks long course of ribavirin and pegylated alpha interferon.

Both of these are given in combination with the patient. Alpha interferon is actually a protein that develops in the body of patients primarily due to viral infections. It has the natural antiviral activity and therefore its different forms are used for treating Hepatitis C (Hepatitis C Treatment). Pegylated interferons actually replace the standard interferons and the process is used as both the combination therapy and the monotherapy for Hepatitis C. Contrary to this Ribavirin fundamentally acts against a large number of viruses.

It is described as the oral antiviral agent. Although ribavirin has very little impact on Hepatitis C Virus when it is combined with interferon then its response usually increases by the rate of two or three folds. This is also one of the primary reasons due to which combination therapy is largely recommended to the patients of Hepatitis C whereas interferon monotherapy is only useful in specific conditions (Hepatitis C Treatment).   Nutritional Protocol Following nutritional protocol may be used for you in order to fulfill your possible drug-nutrient deficiencies or the interactions. Antioxidant Vitamins: Research reveals that the elements of antioxidant vitamins provide direct or indirect protection while also maintaining the tissues’ capacity of antioxidant defense (Hepatitis C - Nutritional Therapy).

This will help you in developing maximum protection against the viral activities of the Hepatitis C Virus.   Glutathione: It is a molecule made up of glutamate, glycine, and cysteine. It performs key functions in regulating the overall cellular activity. It is important to be maintained in the body because its reduction may lead to cell death.

It is basically synthesized in the liver where it performs the functions of detoxification (Hepatitis C - Nutritional Therapy). Since your liver is not functioning well, therefore, you are required to consume glutathione externally to meet your cell regulation requirements while also for the proper detoxification in your body. Selenium: It is a trace mineral that plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system. It also has the antioxidant properties and it is used as the cofactor in different metabolic pathways (Hepatitis C - Nutritional Therapy).

This will also increase your defense against the Hepatitis C Virus. Recommendations Apart from the above mentioned nutritional protocol, you are extensively required to maintain a good diet based upon regular and balanced meals. It would be better if you have small meals 3 times a day while having snacks at an interval of 3 to 4 hours. Eating more frequently will help you in reducing nausea (Viral Hepatitis). Meals should be prepared with a variety of foods belonging to the four food groups including: Cereals, whole-grain bread, and grains. Dairy products Fruits and Vegetables Dried beans, nuts, meats, eggs, fish and soy. Each of these foods can be prepared individually or in combination to fulfill your nutritional requirements.    

References

Hepatitis C - Nutritional Therapy. Life Extension Vitamins. 2014. Web. 11 Oct 2014.

Hepatitis C Treatment. The Connecticut Center for Health. 2014. Web. 11 Oct 2014.

Hepatitis Health Center. WebMD. 2011. Web. 11 Oct 2014.

Irshad, Mohammad., Dhananjay Singh Mankotia and Khushboo Irshad. "An insight into the diagnosis and pathogenesis of hepatitis C virus infection." World Journal of Gastroenterol (2013): 7896-7909.

Viral Hepatitis. US Department of Veterans Affairs. 2013. Web. 11 Oct 2014.

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