Ask Dr. D'Adamo

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Questions About Specific Health Issues

Type A with Major Liver Problems


QUESTION

I have been following your diet for a month. I am ABO group A. My liver results are off the wall. Ferritin is 875.9; WBC 6.0, RBC 4.59, HGB 15.5, HCT 46.1, MCV 100.4, MCH 33.8, MCHC 33.6, RDW 13.6, PLT CT 165., MPV 9.2. My Hepatitis Panel was positive with both Hep B then Hep A 3 yrs ago.


Do you have any suggestions to help this disease. I have been taking milk thistle but was told I need interferon. Please Help!




ANSWER

Although your ferritin is quite high, many of the other hematological parameters are only slightly elevated above normal. As I have written in ER4YT, group A does seem to have a weakness with regard to diseases of the liver and indeed milk thistle (Silymarin) is a wise choice. Several companies are now marketing a lipid soluable form (usually Silymarin bonded to a liposome) which can greatly enhance absorption, as it is to a degree specific to liver tissue.

Obviously following the A diet will be of good service. The low protein aspects of the A plan are in step with conventional management of liver disease, and the avoidance of harmful lectins will ease much of the burden on the organ's bile ducts, which are very sensitive to them.

One herbal which is well indicated for liver illness requiring Interferon therapy (many interferons are in of themselves lectins) is licorice (Glycyrhizza glabra or Glycyrhizza uralensis). Japanese studies have shown the the concurrent administration of licorice with interferon therapy is about 60% effective in inducing remission and improving liver parameters. While this might not appear so impressive, interferon therapy by itself is only about 20% effective. Licorice can be somewhat toxic (it can elevate blood pressure or cause fluid retention) so you should consult with a physician skilled in its use. The

There are several other herbals which have been used effectively in liver disfunction, and which are generally tolerable by type A's. Catechu (Gambir), Phylanthus amara and Eclipta alba are used in Ayurvedic or Traditional Chinese Medicine and each has shown some benefit. I have used both Catechu and Eclipta in my practice with good results.

With the increase in your ferritin levels, I would also advise against taking supplemental vitamin C. The American Association Of Naturopathic Physicians may be able to help you locate a naturopathic physician in your area.




The Ask Dr. D'Adamo internet advice column ran from 1996 to 2009, at which time Dr. D'Adamo's teaching and programming responsibilities no longer allowed him to devote time and resources to directly answering visitor questions. However we've recently reorganized this treasure-trove of material and made it again available to his readership. He occasionally posts new entries. These are marked with a NEW tag.



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