Natural Disease Processes
Each type of Hepatitis has its own trigger and produces a common and unique type of damage.
The modes of Hepatic damage include:
- Infectious: HCV is the most common infectious Hepatitis. The Hep C virus causes inflammation in response to the viral antigen and ER Stress (Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress) due to the rapid multiplication of the viral proteins inside the cell. ER stress triggers apoptosis and inflammation. The inflammatory response causes stellate cell conversion into myofibroblasts, which secrete collagen and create fibrosis. End stage damage occurs when the liver cells attempt to replace the damaged hepatocytes with regenerated cells. But, the new hepatocytes are isolated into islands by the fibrous barriers, and are dysfunctionally connected to the biliary tree and the portal and arterial circulation. This leaves the liver progressively unable to clear the body of waste metabolites, resulting in rising levels of ammonia and bilirubin.
- Fatty Liver: a diagnosis when liver fat exceeds 5-10% of weight. NASH/NAFLD and Alcoholic Hepatitis have at their base damage due to the accumulation of excessive amounts of fatty intracellular deposits. The causes of FLD include: obesity (high fat diet and/or high sugar diet), corticosteroids, alcohol (over 2 drinks/d), and diabetes. Fatty liver is produced by excessive caloric intake. Large, rapidly, and chronically consumed quantities of ingested sugar, fat, or alcohol can be converted into fatty liver deposit. Obviously, fat can be stored as fat, so is sugar. High blood glucose stimulates insulin secretion, which drives sugar into the cells, where the cellular machinery converts it into fat. Foods with a high glycemic index (sugars and starches without much fiber), in large quantities, are especially prone to produce fatty deposits. Fatty Liver has the effect of damaging the liver by producing Free Radicals. Fat is a metabolically active chemical, since it is continually being stored and broken into ketone bodies for transport and utilization. The process of fat metabolism generates Free Radicals/ROS, which in turn must be neutralized to prevent damage to enzymes, organelles and structures. More stored fat generates more ROS, and without a free radical quenching anti-inflammatory there will be actual damage.
- Toxic: Toxins include: alcohol, mushrooms, tamoxifin, is the most common liver toxin. Cessation is important, stop the damage. When the body has reached cirrhosis-levels of damage, patients may be exquisitely sensitive to even small amounts of alcohol. Thus, alcohol-based tinctures are not recommended for such patients. The mode of damage is conversion of alcohol to acetaldehyde in phase I detoxification, which is a very reactive molecule that can damage hepatocyte structure, inducing inflammation, apoptosis, stellate cell to myofibroblast conversion, and fibrosis.
- Autoimmune: Immune complexes land on the walls of the liver cell blood vessels, which activate immune inflammatory response, which damages cells, inducing the cascade from inflammation to fibrosis.