HCV and Vitamin Supplements

My wife enlisted me on a joint endeavor this year. In order to live longer, we signed up for a longevity clinic. I do not know if everyone is familiar with the concept, but it entails getting a blood draw every 3 months to optimize your vitamin regimen based on what is being absorbed by your system. That is a brief outline. The regimen includes transdermal testosterone and much more. Testosterone makes Winky feel and act young again. That part is  fun.

In my case, with my short bowel syndrome (courtesy of the VA), my absorption of vitamins requires me to eat mass quantities in order to get the minimum necessary daily essentials. This is, of course, the longevity Doc’s idea of the normal baseline if you are healthy. In my case with a compromised liver, eating 10-20,000 units of Vitamin D and handfuls of optimum B 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 12, fish oil pills, Curcumin, ad nauseum  was having a horrible effect on my liver. We were unable to determine which individual supplement was the culprit for driving my AST/ALT through the roof. My doctors experimented by removing me from the thyroid medication, adding a high-fiber diet and other shots in the dark.

My wife and I decided to drop all my supplements entirely in hopes of saving my liver from further damage. Lo and behold, after just three weeks off the program, my numbers have declined dramatically. My results from last week’s draw at the VA revealed my AST had decline from 122 to 49 and my ALT from 301 to 106!

In order to get my vitamins, I have resorted to liquid versions which are far more expensive. They seem to keep my energy levels much higher, too. I still take Ultrathistle capsules by Natural Wellness. This milkthistle product is suffused with a soy product which increases it’s absorption threefold into the system. But the big hit is Intramax by Drucker Labs:


I’m lucky in that my liver is still compensated. Intramax apparently is very gentle on it. Additionally, I now use Barlean’s Omega Swirl liquid fish oil supplement:


Now, I know what all of you are thinking. The man has gone off the deep end and is swigging all manner of vitamins in a vain attempt to retrieve his health. Not so, fellow heppers. These things appear to be working beyond my wife’s and my wildest dreams. We all need vitamins as we age. What we don’t need as heppers is to overload the liver in a vain pursuit of our former youth. Our systems are far more fragile and require a different, nuanced approach custom tailored to our individual circumstances.

I have been fooling around with gluten-free this and meat-free that since February. Vegetarian nightmares. High fiber, no dairy, no fun regimes all. Cupcake finally reasoned that a high-fiber diet was scouring out what was left of my small intestines. The VA doctors were trying to get me to pound down 25-30 Imodium tablets a day in hopes of making the diarrhea from the short bowel desist. It never even slowed down. Then they tried Atropine. Again , nothing. All the while Metamucil was the order of the day-morning, noon and night.

After eight months of more fiber than the horse gets, naturopathic remedies from the Longevity clinic, lost weight, and rising Liver function panels, we put our collective foot down. We read up on everything I was putting in me and were astounded. The things we assumed were detrimental were good (Coumadin blood thinner). The phlebotomies for the PCT were a lifesaver (reduced iron infiltration and portal hypertension). The culprits were all the pills. My liver simply couldn’t filter them out and the stress was incrementally destroying it. The more vitamins I consumed in pursuit of health, the worse it became.

Now in just three short weeks, my LFTs are lower than they were before 1988. I’ve given up red meat, but would sooner cut off my right arm. If I hadn’t already quit smoking, I think I would try to drive a bargain whereby I quit the tobacco in lieu of the beef. War was hell, but this is something far worse. Lactaid milk I can handle. Little or no sugar? A piece of cake. The gluten-free thing? It sucks beyond words. Cigarettes and Scotch? Regrettably, yes. But filet mignon? Prime rib rolled in rock salt? A marinated flank steak? Take the right arm above the elbow, please. I insist. Hell, take it to the shoulder, but step away from the Spencer Steaks, pilgrim.

There is no Faustian-style bargaining with the Devil where my wife is concerned. No, the program is keep Buckwheat alive and make his food and drink adventures a mere memory. Why don’t I have a vote in all this? Women have controlled their reproductive functions since Roe vs. Wade. All I’m asking for is a few beef functions a month. Living longer has it’s positives such as the rugrats who refuse to move out and the grandchildren, but I’ve relinquished so much to this disease that I feel there should be some quid pro quo.  Princess’ idea of quid pro quo is turkey burgers and chicken as far as the eye can see. Oh, and some fish thrown in for good measure each week.

I’m thinking of changing my name to Sue because life ain’t easy anymore. Driving by Burger King and waving “Hi” to the King is no longer possible. I have been forced to find another way to drive into town on my infrequent forays just to avoid the aroma of beef broiling. All this to stay alive a few more years and keep Cupcake happy. Now I know how Al Bundy felt in Married… With Children. And, if you think this is all very funny, imagine your best friend as a butcher with his own store. I go there once a week and watch steak TV in his display coolers.

About asknod

VA claims blogger
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1 Response to HCV and Vitamin Supplements

  1. Robert G says:

    WOW!!! My story sucks but not as intense as yours. Listen to this. My cancer surgeon knew I had HCV before he cut out my thyroid and assorted cysts and growths in my neck. I have a ugly scar under right ear to left side of adams apple. He crows he was/is HCV free since INF therapy for 6 years. When the ribvirin mix came out he got on it immediately. His HCV is now not detectable. After his success he insists I do the same! I almost blew snot bubbles in his face. Now to herbs and spices. My GI doctor told me point blank “If you are going to prescribe for yourself then you don’t need to see me”. Off the record I tried everything at the health food store. Drained all my money for worthless stuff and advice. Today I push myself at the gym. I take much whey protein with my assorted meds. Whey is shown to pass through the liver with less work and stress. My big problem is getting the excess blubber off. Coming up on 60 in July. I also have a big problem with anesthesia, or, coming out of it. Less weight less to put me down. I sincerely hope your new regimen does work. I couldn’t give up red meat unless it was life threatening. I never eat fish or anything out of a can. Here in CA all fish caught off coast had mercury or pcp poison in it. I see the old guy on the internet with his ripped body. Read the reviews very carefully. They use HGH which is bad for the liver/thyroid. Very expensive but good for those who can afford it. I also have stage 1 cirrhosis and more tumors/cysts upper right quadrant. One small on on right testicle as well. For now my diet isn’t pressing. I know we each suffer differently but we understand why. Sharing information is how we endure outside the doctors offices. I will keep you and your regimens in my prayers. Remember what the good book says about a wife. A hard woman is good thing to find…

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