I just wanted to share what helped me manage hep C for 40 years until I could afford treatment, so if you have to wait years like I did, then maybe this info will help.
I tried many supplements over the years, and skipped all alcohol, but in spite of this at times I would feel like absolute garbage with headaches, numbing brain fog, lethargy, just feeling poisoned, etc. I would say most things like B vitamins, selenium, milk thistle, dandelion, were.. I don't know.. 'blah'. Maybe they worked or didn't, I keep taking them just in case good or bad.
But there were 2 things that I would swear by.
1. Managing your iron levels (keeping them as low as possible) through blood letting (phlebotomy).
2. Managing your insulin levels (keeping them as low as possible) through low carb ketonic diet practices.
This wont get rid of the virus but it will sure make a difference in your liver health and your overall health.
Being at high risk for cancer and sclerosis there is growing evidence that these two practices are anti carcinogenic and should also help stave off sclerosis. There are studies that show phlebotomy before interferon treatment increased your chances of success. I don't know if this would be the same case for DAA's but it is interesting to note that Ribavarin while not a DAA is known to pull your iron levels way down.
Pulling your blood iron levels down can return your liver enzymes to normal.
10 years ago my AST and ALT were elevated to near 100 way above normal ranges of 0-40, and GGT was also high, but my iron was at like 1300ng/ml where normal ranges were supposed to be 30-400.
So I started blood letting to get the iron in line. We actually messed up a little and went every 2 weeks for about 3 months. After testing my blood my Ferritin Serum was at 7ng/ml, oops - over did it. My heart valves were going nuts and fluttering with dove coo noises in my ears. We stopped blood letting cold for a year.
Shortly after stopping we did a liver panel, to check the iron, at the time I didn't notice, but my AST and ALT had gone back to normal for the first time in years! I didn't know at the time how that related to my liver health. So I didnt think much of it, until I started to feel like crap again a year later. That's when we took blood tests again and found high iron and elevated AST and ALT and GGT again. So we started the blood letting again and again the AST and ALT and GGT all came back into normal ranges. This time we continued blood letting every few months. If I forget to do my blood let, (which I have done from time to time over the years) then my AST and ALT will fall out of range again but otherwise they stay in the mid range.
The next discovery was going on a low carb diet. I went from being almost bed ridden to feeling like I could run a marathon at 53yrs and I probably could. And all without having been treated for hep C yet. I will say though if you go low carb, then its a lifetime commitment because no doubt you will lose a lot of weight and then switching back to carbs will raise your insulin levels and your weight will rebound and you'll get a fatty liver like you would not believe. Which happened to me, when I went back to a normal diet, I felt absolutely terrible. Also the fat that came off me, came from all over my body but when it went back on, it went on all around my liver and belly. I went from being a kind of overall big guy to humpty dumpty. So I went back to low carb, but in such a way that I could maintain my weight, and keep eating that way. Its takes a bit to research ketosis and how to switch from a sugar burning creature to a ketone burning creature. The difference in energy and thought clarity is night and day. No brain fog.
This kept me clear of diabetes (because prior to low carb it was looking like I was going to need insulin), I was able to drop the kidney destroying ACE inhibitor blood pressure pills (I was averaging 140/100+) after getting the liver back to normal and the weight down I went to an average 125/75 blood pressure, pulled my ALT and AST down in the mid range of normal, dropped from 215lbs to 180lbs, walking just an hour a day.
So I would say the two biggest obstacles to being healthy and normal for a Hep C sufferer are IRON and INSULIN. You can get those under control without drugs, and if you do you'll feel like you're 20 again even though you have the virus. And it wont cost you anything, except about an hours exercise a day, and eating a bit different, my food bills actually came way down once I stopped feeding the sugar cravings.
While your viral load probably wont come down on it's own, I would say also that your chances of a successful cure will also go up. So hopefully these two tips will allow you to stay healthy until you can afford the treatment.
It would be interesting to hear what someone more researched on this has to say.
(iron increases with hep c)
(The effect of iron depletion on chronic hepatitis C virus infection)
(quote "These findings lead to the conclusion that patients with lesser amounts of hepatic iron respond better to antiviral therapy than those with larger amounts of hepatic iron")
(article discusses iron and HCV with many references)
(This guys virus load goes from 600,000 to 27000 only by dieting)