A few years ago, I was diagnosed being a chronic carrier of the hepatitis B virus and there is no cure for this. At the time the virus was inactive and my liver function was normal which the ideal state is for a chronic carrier. However, last year a series of blood tests showed my liver enzyme measured in ALT has steadily elevated to 92, which is two times the normal level. The specialist I was seeing believes my condition is at the borderline for treatment with anti-viral medicines such as the Lamivudine. The anti-viral medication will no doubt suppress the hepatitis B virus in my system and normalize my liver function. The down side, once started, I have to take the medication for life without stopping. If I miss a few doses here and there, the virus will mutate and develop resistance to the drug not to mention other side effects. I was stuck with a dilemma. Either I wait until my condition worsen to the point there it justify taking Lamivudine; or take the drug now and for the rest of my life while risk having the virus develop resistance. Either way my liver will have to sustain further damage. Western medicine does not seem to have a practical solution to deal with moderate hepatitis flare ups like mine.
As hope wanes, I started searching for other medical alternatives. In the past, I heard of rumours that Chinese medicine is very effective in treating hepatitis with natural herbs. I search through a number of advertisements of Chinese medicine practitioners in Ottawa. The only practitioner who claimed to have experience with treating hepatitis is Doctor Linda Leng from Heritage Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Centre in Kanata. Well, I have nothing to lose so I went to see Dr. Leng for the first time. In my first consultation with doctor Leng, I was completely astonished by the depth of her knowledge in hepatitis B infection. She offered more insights where my doctor didn’t. She opposed to taking anti-viral drugs or having a liver biopsy without other test results pointing to severe deterioration of the liver. Doctor Leng explained to me that Chinese medicine takes abnormal liver function very seriously and that the patient must receive herbal treatment immeditately to control the virus and normalize liver function. Dr. Leng was confident that she can lower my ALT back to normal level in three months with her herbal medicine. She also aked me to go get a blood test after one month of treatment and provide her with a copy of the result. The herbal medicine, apparently, is natural substances that stimulate my own immune system to fight and control the virus without the risk of developing drug resistance and I don’t need to take the medication for life. Dr. Leng’s knowledge and confidence gave me renewed hope.
For a period of two months I visited Dr. Leng weekly for consultation and to receive my herbal medication. I was much disciplined in taking my medication day after day. I waited two months to have a blood test to allow sufficient time for the treatment to have an effect. My blood test results came back and showed my liver function is back to normal with ALT down to 44 which is below the threshold of 46. I was thrilled with this result and I have Dr. Leng to thank. I’m amazed that my ALT flare up can be threated with natural substances that do not have long term side effects. With this first hand experience, I now firmly believe Dr. Leng’s Chinese Medicine practice can treat chronic hepatitis B infections.
Simon Y., June 20, 2011, Ottawa