Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
What are some preventative measures for hepatitis?
A: The best treatment for hepatitis is prevention. You can avoid hepatitis A by practicing good hygiene and using the conventional treatment, known as immune globulins, while traveling in areas where the disease is common. Hepatitis B can be prevented by immunization and the same precautions taken against AIDS. AIDS precautions almost certainly decrease the transmission of hepatitis C as well.
Conventional medicine has little in the way of treatment for the initial hepatitis infection once it has started. Treatment for chronic hepatitis is developing but is still quite imperfect.
In Europe, the herb milk thistle is commonly used along with other treatments for hepatitis. Keep in mind, though, that this is a very serious disease. Medical supervision is essential.