What is Sclerosing Cholangitis?
This is an inflammatory disease of the bile ducts, which eventually become scarred and narrowed ducts (tubes). It is thought to be autoimmune in origin, which means that the immune system produces antibodies, which attack the bile ducts in the liver. This is supported by the fact that 50% of patients with sclerosing cholangitis have inflammatory disease of the bowel. Sclerosing cholangitis can respond very well to a change in the diet and the principles of the Liver Cleansing Diet need to be followed for life. I have had several patients with this problem who have been able to return their liver function to normal, after adopting my diet. However, they have found that the liver function becomes abnormal again if they do not maintain the liver diet principles.
What causes Cholangitis?
It is thought to be autoimmune in origin, which means that the immune system produces antibodies, which attack the bile ducts in the liver. This is supported by the fact that 50% of patients with sclerosing cholangitis have inflammatory disease of the bowel.
What are the symptoms?
There may be no definite symptoms, except for general fatigue and it may be picked up in a blood test by finding a high level of the liver enzyme alkaline phosphatase. In more severe cases, symptoms such as itching skin (pruritus), abdominal pain and yellow discoloration of skin and eyes (jaundice) may occur. The veins in the liver may become blocked by scar tissue, which causes an increase in the venous pressure in the liver. This is called portal hypertension.
How is it diagnosed?
A biopsy (tissue sample) of the liver confirms the diagnosis of sclerosing cholangitis.
What is the common prognosis?
The outcome is variable with 50% of patients being able to have a reasonably normal life over many years. Strong anti-inflammatory drugs are sometimes helpful, but not without side effects. Those who do poorly will require a liver transplant.
Recommended Dr Cabot Books
"The Healthy Liver and Bowel Book" - This book is essential reading for anyone suffering from this disease or any other conditions of the liver or bowels Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis is covered on p 87 of "The Healthy Liver and Bowel Book"
"Raw Juices Can Save Your Life"
It is important to take natural anti-inflammatory supplements to reduce the inflammation in the bile ducts. The most important ones are the antioxidant vitamins, vitamin C, E and natural beta-carotene. Selenium exerts a powerful anti-inflammatory effect and the dosage required is 200mcg daily. I recommend that you take a designer yeast powder high in selenium and its synergistic trace minerals, in a dose of 2 teaspoons daily. Raw vegetable juices, containing a mixture of carrot, celery, beetroot, broccoli and apple provide many benefits. Foods high in sulfur such as garlic, onions, legumes and eggs enhance sulfation of toxins making them easier to excrete. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, radish, bok choy and Brussels sprouts will help liver function and support detoxification pathways.
Follow the principles of eating outlined on p20-27 of "The Healthy Liver and Bowel Book". Make these vital principles a way of life. The diet should include as many raw foods as possible to eliminate the salt used in cooking processes as well as ensure a high fiber intake. Broiled fish and organic poultry are good protein sources.
Foods to be avoided are:
Processed foods, Soy sauce, pickled products, gravies, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, chocolate and refined sugar and flour.
If you want to improve liver function you must avoid ALL dairy products (milk, butter, cheese, cream, yogurt, ice-cream) - dairy foods contain high levels of antibiotics, steroids and artificial growth hormones as this is what the herds are treated with in today's high tech dairies to prevent disease and boost milk production. As with humans where substances go through into breast milk it is the same for cattle - only they neglect to tell you this in the advertisements when they are telling you how great milk is. If you need further info on this please visit www.notmilk.com
- Avoid ALL margarines and similar type spreads
- Avoid deep fried and fatty foods.
- Avoid preserved meats, fried foods and fatty meats.
- Limit chicken and turkey that is not free range as this contains growth hormone (in the USA) and antibiotics that increase the livers workload.
- Avoid ALL alcohol.
- Drink 2 liters of water each day.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners see www.dorway.com
Pay careful attention to any drugs or medications because they may aggravate your liver inflammation. Check with your doctor before taking them.
Dr Cabot has known about the incredible healing power of raw juices from a very young age. Her grandmother's life was saved by raw juicing back in the 1930s. Raw juices are an incredible powerful healing tool and can improve the function of the liver, bowels and kidneys. This increases the elimination of toxins and waste products from the skin.
Appropriate juice recipes are:
"Liver Tonic Juice"
"Liver Cleansing Juice" found on p116 of Dr Cabot's "Raw Juices Can Save Your Life" book.
Dr Cabot's recommended supplement program for Sclerosing Cholangitis:
1/2 tsp 2 x day in raw juices - this combination of synergistic mix of herbs, vitamins and minerals stimulate the phase 1 and 2 detox pathways in the liver - therefore it supports the liver function.
1 tsp 2 x day in fresh vegetable juices or "Selenium Complete" Tablets 200mcg daily - powerful antioxidant mineral works synergistically to assist in protection of further damage to liver cells
"MSM Powder Plus Vitamin C"
This is an organic sulfur food powder. Sulfur may assists in preventing further scar tissue
Flaxseed Oil and Cod liver Oils caps
2 of each twice a day- source of essential fatty acids to replace and repair damaged liver cell membranes and assist in reducing inflammation.
Natural Vitamin E
800iu daily - protects liver cell membranes from free radical damage and reduces and assists in prevention of scarring
Olive Life caps
2 with every meal - safe natural effective antibiotic.
The powder supplements should be stirred into fresh raw vegetable juices containing carrot, celery and beet made with a juice extracting machine. Dr Cabot's book "Raw Juices Can Save Your Life" is an excellent source of juice recipes for various conditions.