Categorized | Medical Uses

Hepatitis C – The Silent Killer Can Medical Cannabis Help?

Sharing needles, an accidental needle stick, blood transfusions that occurred prior to 1990, unprotected six, unsanitary dental instruments, infected tattoo needle or even from dirty tools used by a manicurist one could possibly contract hepatitis C – a lethal killer. This killer is also known as HCV and attacks from the blood stream and has become the leading blood borne virus in the United States. This condition is known to be the primary cause of liver cancer and/or liver failure. The HCV is highly contagious through contact with blood of an infected person.

There is usually no early detection signs and the disease can be dormant for years, hence the name the “silent killer”.  Persons who have symptoms such as loss of appetite, weight loss, jaundice, itching, fatigue, nausea and vomiting and joint pain may be unaware that the symptoms are due to HCV. These symptoms are generalized, as there are many other medical conditions in which these same symptoms may occur. If you have any concerns, you should consult with your doctor.

Once you have discussed your concerns with your doctor, he can review your history and you will probably get some blood drawn to be tested. The review of your blood will determine the liver enzymes and if there are any hepatitis C antibodies present in the blood. There are other blood tests that can be done which can determine the particular strain that may be present.  You may also have a physical exam in which the doctor will check to see if your liver is enlarged and if there is any swelling in the legs and feet.

It is now common practice to do even more testing prior to treatment to determine if there is more severe damage inside the body. A CAT scan can look for blockage and/or tumors and a liver biopsy will determine if there is any cancer or cirrhosis. The liver and the pancreas maintain the blood sugar so the body’s balance of fluid and clotting of blood is controlled by the processing of proteins that is done by the liver. If this process isn’t working correctly, it could be due to a liver disease.

The therapy that one would probably receive is with medication in which there is not a lot of studies done to determine what the results are from long-term use. The therapy that a patient would undergo will be based upon their history and what the results of the blood work and possibly liver biopsy discovered. Along with the prescribed medication that is part of the therapy, there are of course side effects that can include joint pain, anemia, nausea and depression.

By using medical marijuana, the appetite is stimulated, nausea and vomiting are reduced and joint pain is minimized. Cannabis is a natural product and when used in a responsible manner and the amount that is used is sufficient to assist with relieving a medical condition without having a “high” this is why people are turning to medical marijuana for relief. Research has shown that medical marijuana can reduce the inflammation in the liver, slow or stop the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma and cirrhosis. The use of medical marijuana as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant has been proven time and time again. While there are parts of the cannabis that are still being researched, it has been shown that when used appropriately and not abused, medical marijuana can assist to relieve numerous medical normality’s.

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