I say this all over my blog but I will say it again, I am not a doctor and am unable to give medical advice. I have done a lot of research on different supplements but I am not a doctor and cannot advise you on what you should take and what you should not. Certain things may have worked for my husband but I cannot say they will work for you. You may need more than what he needed. Cirrhosis is a very serious, life threatening condition that hospitalizes over 300,000 people per year and 25,000 people die from it annually (these statistics are from the US alone). Make no mistake, cirrhosis kills, and it kills often. If you are in stage 3 or 4, you should take this very seriously. DO NOT WAIT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
You also need to understand that a cirrhotic liver cannot process supplements like a normal liver, and if you are extremely sick, these vitamins could be "too much" for your liver to handle at once, so if you are going to take them, you may want to start slowly, with smaller amounts.
Note: Sorry I realize this post is long. If you're interested in ordering the vitamins, there will be links towards the bottom of the page. Look for the area highlighted in GREEN, that will say
Before we knew about The Berkson Protocol, PEMF, Special water, Serrapeptase and antioxidants that help the liver... there was Visalus. And it worked like a miracle for my husband!
I will have links below, to show you how you can order it online. Right now you can get it for about 1/3 the price we used to pay for it!!!!!!!!
In 2011, when Jake started to develop cirrhosis for the first time, and wound up in the hospital with the classic symptoms of cirrhosis (edema, pregnant-looking belly, jaundice, itching etc), he took his health into his own hands, partly because he didn't have any health insurance at the time. All he did was take diuretics and a couple of other prescriptions his doctors gave him, plus Visalus Shakes and Supplements, and he bounced back at an unbelievably quick rate.
Please note: Visalus is marketed as a weight loss shake, but please don't pay attention to this. It did not make us lose weight, but we were not trying to. It helped my husband to gain weight. What it does, is get lots of nutrition into the body, which helps people with energy, which helps them to lose weight.
It took me a while to recommend these because some people might consider them to be expensive vitamins, but I want to remind you that THERE IS NOTHING MORE EXPENSIVE THAN MEDICAL BILLS. CIRRHOSIS IS EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE, and being sick from Cirrhosis will likely suck every last dime out of your bank account!!!
Don't think of these as "expensive vitamins." What if your liver specialist / gastroenterologist said, "As part of your recovery process, you are going to need to get nutritional infusions through an IV, you have to go once a week and it will cost you $60 every time you go, but it will help your body to heal, it is likely give you more energy, and you will probably feel better." (again I'm not saying this is a cure, but there are many things that can help a person with cirrhosis, and nutrition is one of them).
You'd probably think nothing of a doctor telling you to go get IV treatments - you would just do it because that's what he told you to do. But imagine that, when you got there, the person said, "we ran out of IV equipment so we're going to give you the oral version instead." And she handed you a box of 2 kinds of packets - one to take in the morning, one at night. You'd probably just do it.
These are pharmaceutical grade vitamins that are VERY easy for your body to absorb and utilize, and in my opinion it's better than a "vitamin IV infusion" because it's cheap in comparison, painless and easy. There is no IV, you don't have to see a doctor, you don't have to leave your house, you just take the supplements on your own, and in my opinion you are going to get GREAT RESULTS. AND THERE IS A 90 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. I'm not saying these would be as good as an "IV infusion" but I'm also not saying they're not... the fact is I'm not an IV expert... all I know is, this stuff seemed to work wonders for my husband. And if it doesn't work for you, it has a money back guarantee.
Can you imagine saying to a doctor or the IV specialist, "Um... I'm not sure if I got the results I was looking for, over the last 3 months... can I get my money back?" They'd be like, HELL NO!!!! But if for some reason you don't like the supplements (which - like I said, worked like a miracle for my husband when he was SUPER SICK from cirrhosis)... you can get your money back! (minus shipping and handling... and I'm assuming they'd have to refund the tax too... sorry I am not sure as we never requested a refund).
Again, I am not able to state that these vitamins or anything else is a CURE for cirrhosis. But they worked so well for my husband there is no way I'm going to NOT tell you about them.
Trust me on this one...I wish I could be standing right in front of you with my hands on your shoulders, looking right in the eye and say this in a way so you really get how serious I am about this. The current total of expenses accumulated in the last 3 years, because of my husband's cirrhosis (and not taking better care of his health) has been about $250,000.00. So please believe me when I say, the best way you can SAVE MONEY is to start taking care of your health and heal your liver ASAP!! (And of course, stop drinking but I'm sure I don't have to tell you that).
(Update 8/12/15) I just talked to a man who said cirrhosis cost him over a million dollars over his lifetime, in terms of lost expenses, etc.. and his cirrhosis wasn't even from ALCOHOL!
It was even MORE costly for another woman I spoke with later in the week, who lost even more than that. She lost her MOM, who was her best friend, and WAY too young. I truly believe in my heart that if she started taking these vitamins soon enough, she would still be here today. I can't say what path she would have stayed on but I truly believe they would have helped her tremendously. But you have to take it early. If you wait till you're in the hospital and can't breathe or eat on your own, it might be too late.
In my (strong) opinion, if you are able to get better for anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000, think of that as the equivalent to finding a huge bag of money with somewhere between $200,000 and $1,000,000 in it. If you quit while you're ahead, you can spend your hard earned money on the things you want (vacations, movies, furniture, cars, a HOUSE), instead of things that SUCK, like having to get a paracentesis over and over again, lactulose enemas, hospital stays, ambulance transporation.... doctors you may not even like... trust me... if your cirrhosis continues, YOU WILL BE MAKING YOUR DOCTORS' MORTAGE PAYMENTS... NOT YOURS.
I found this testimonial online by someone named Cindy who had cirrhosis (Primary Billary Cirrhosis) and this is what she had to say about the vitamins:
Because of ViSalus
8+ years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC). It is a progressive disease that affects the small bile ducts in the liver and eventually leads to cirrhosis of the liver. There is no known cure. Symptoms are similar to other autoimmune related diseases and can include itching, fatigue, joint pain and many others. I was diagnosed early and put on medication to slow the progress. On Thursday, I saw my specialist to review my recent blood work to evaluate the progress of the PBC. After reviewing my tests my Doctor smiled said, "Candy, your tests are even better than last time....I don't see any progression in fact your blood work has actually improved" "There is no doubt in my mind that you will outlive this disease". Thank you, God, thank you, Dr. and thank you, Visalus.
This is a screen shot of some of the vitamins that are in the Visalus Vi-Pak. When I took a better look at them recently, and started looking some of these supplements up, it became more apparent WHY Jake got such great results by taking these. I knew some of them were good for the liver (Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin D3, Vitamin K, B Vitamins, Vitamin E, N-Acetylcysteine, Sam-e, but I had no idea that SO MANY of these supplements are either considered to be very good for the liver, OR, the body becomes very deficient in these vitamins when a person becomes cirrhotic! Or, the supplement was recommended for people with hepatitis.
I went and looked up these supplements on google and... WOW. It's incredible to see how many nutrieitns Visalus packed into these vitamins, that are good for the liver. I've circled them in red. Have a look for yourself! If you google each one of these supplements (circled) with the word "cirrhosis" you will see for yourself.
I realized I really needed to make a post about Visalus, for two reasons.
1) There's NO SUBSTITUTE for PROPER NUTRITION
Jake's diet is still pretty poor (you should see the amount of candy wrappers in the trash bin right now). I'd make him shakes but have been too busy. Not coincidentally, I've noticed he is starting to get some headaches again (and has been taking more naps) so he is going to drink the shakes again and if that doesn't fix the problem I'm going to try to get him to take the supplements. To me, the fact that Jake's headaches came back is proof positive that there is NO substitute for good nutrition!
2) If you have Cirrhosis, you NEED to get adequate protein to keep your albumin levels up.Without adequate protein, your albumin levels can get dangerously low, and you need to get them back up. I have told people to avoid red meat, but realize some people may not understand the importance of getting enough protein and nutrition into your body, and this is CRITICAL.
If you are on a tight budget and cannot afford Visalus, I recommend you make protein shakes with vegetable protein. Or you could make a vanilla protein powder shake with peanut butter and silken tofu to get lots of protein. I was just recommending this to a reader but realized the reason these shakes tasted do good is because I added Visalus shake mix, which seems to make any kind of shake taste great. The shake powder is very sweet but made with sucralose so that it's safe for diabetics.
UPDATE: I read a post by a voracious researcher online, who turned out to be a a jerk (who got mad that I didn't publish his negative comments on my blog). But I am a big believer in trying to sift gold nuggets out of dirt, and while this guy was kind of an a--hole, he was a VERY good researcher, and taught me that many symptoms of cirrhosis are caused by NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES. That made me realize, that must be why the vitamins worked so well for Jake!!! You learn something new every day!
Obviously I am a huge fan of the special water my husband drinks, but the water is not a nutrient. The water I've been recommending is a cleanser, a hydrator, and it helps to prevent cell damage. While they can greatly help a person with cirrhosis, it is not the same thing as nutrition, and good nutrition is still extremely important. (I do want to point out that one benefit of the water seems to be that it makes pills and supplements stronger, so you may need less of them).
Nutrition is the ultimate healer!
There are many different nutritional supplements on the market that sound great. I have 2 friends who are selling Purium products and I bet their protein shakes are great. Their ingredients are very natural. I have another friend selling Isagenix products and I'm guessing her shakes are just as good. I've heard of another one called Shakeology, which I haven't tried but I bet that would work also, in terms of getting your protein levels up.
The ones that Jake took (in the form of shakes and supplements) was Visalus.
Visalus vitamins worked like a miracle when Jake began to develop cirrhosis in 2011. Because they worked so well, these supplements ended up saving us money (just like the special water saves us money today). (Please note the box in the picture is what the vitamins used to look like... now they come in a green and black box). You can see them on Amazon by clicking HERE.
When Jake was hospitalized in 2011, he started taking the vitamins and drank the shakes shortly after, and he never had to go back into the hospital, for 2 years (until he got laid off in 2013 and went on a drinking binge). In my opinion, anything that can restore your health, give you lots of energy and keep you out of the doctor's office will save you money (and could even make you money)! In my opinion when you are healthy, happy and vibrant, your potential to make money goes way up. While these vitamins are on the pricier side, they are DIRT CHEAP when you consider the cost of cirrhosis.
The vitamins also come with a money back guarantee
(a 90 day money back guarantee if you're willing to register for their "challenge.") I know cirrhosis is a very personal matter so do not feel obligated to mention about liver disease or cirrhosis if you don't feel comfortable with it. Of course you can talk about cirrhosis if you feel like it, but if you have any hesitations I would recommend, for anyone who wants to take the challenge, focus on some other aspect of your health you'd like to improve (if you have cirrhosis you probably have a lot of issues to choose from). Like trying to gain weight, have more energy, etc..
You could say you want to see an improvement in your sleep, back pain, overall health, energy, mood, heart health, etc.. Visalus sometimes puts a lot of emphasis on weight loss but you do not have to "take the challenge" for that reason. I sure didn't.
You can read the details of the Visalus money back guarantee, by clicking HERE.
If you can't afford these supplements, I totally understand, and don't want you to feel bad about it. Please just be sure you are eating healthy (at least drink veggie shakes... you can inexpensively and easily do this with a NutriBullet, which you can probably also find locally at Costco or Walmart), or a Vitamix (I prefer the Nutribullet because it's cheap and SO easy to clean!)
Spinach and carrot juice shakes or juices will provide a lot of nutrition and are recommended for people with cirrhosis. Jake really liked it when I took the time to make spinach and carrot juice for him, and he NEVER fought me on drinking that. You will get the best results with a Masticating Juicer, because you will get the most nutrition out of your juice.
Make sure you are taking a really good daily multivitamin, every day.
Here's the basic story of how we discovered the vitamins, and why I recommend them:In 2011, when Jake started getting sick the first time (during the course of our relationship) a doctor (who recognized he had cirrhosis) told him he needed to go straight to the emergency room. He had developed many of the classic signs of cirrhosis (I had no clue what cirrhosis even was). He had been having indigestion and migraine headaches for about a year (I started to think this was just normal for him). He also had a large, swollen belly like a pregnant woman, edema, itching, and jaundice (yellow skin). He was having so much trouble with his heart (he has atrial fibrillation, partly from genetics and partly from drinking too much) he could barely walk. I remember watching him walk from the car to the front door and it took him forever... he had to take slow, small steps. It reminded me of my neighbor's father, who was walking just like that, shortly before he died of heart failure.
Jake really looked like he was going to die
Jake was extremely weak and thin. The very worst thing was that his breath was starting to smell like death. You know how, when you meet someone who is in their 90's and their breath smells bad, and you wonder if it's because their internal organs are starting to die? Well that is the smell Jake had, and it scared me to death. I ended up bawling on the phone to a friend of mine, telling her I was really worried that Jake was going to die. She told me she's only seen me cry twice in our lifetimes - once when my Dad died, and the other time when I was worried Jake would die, too. My neighbor (who lost her Dad to heart failure) was very concerned and worried he was going to die. His ex wife also thought he was going to die.
Learning about the Viaslus VitaminsWell, thanks to some sort of miracle, a friend told me about these vitamins and shakes she had just started taking, called Visalus. She said they were amazing, they gave her lots of energy, they were very easy to absorb and they got rid of her insomnia. I ended up looking into it, and just like with the water machine, I ended up watching dozens of videos that were testimonials by people who had gotten incredible results with these supplements and shakes. I could not believe how many incredible stories there were, of people who were extremely sick, and they got better after taking these supplements and drinking the shakes.
Jake bounced back!I decided to order them (for me AND Jake) and they worked great for me (lots more energy, better memory, better eyesight) but I could not believe what an incredible turnaround Jake made. Everything seemed to go back to normal, health wise. He was taking diuretics and heart medication (though he eventually stopped), but in my strong opinion, those vitamins and shakes really helped to keep him out of the hospital.
Not only did he start getting better fairly quickly, but he seemed to be in a great mood, which was so great because nothing makes a person crabby like cirrhosis!!! When a person's liver is sick, they can start to become very angry and hostile (so kudos to all the people out there reading this blog because you are taking care of a loved one, because I know from experience that it's not easy when they're crabby!). I think he took the vitamins for maybe 9 months, and continued drinking the shakes because he liked them a lot.
Avoiding "permanent damage" (as far as I could see)One huge thing I want to mention is that Jake's eyes started to look a little "sunken in" when he got sick in 2011, and he looked like he'd suddenly aged 10 years. I was worried this could be permanent. But miraculously, his appearance seemed to go back to normal after he took the vitamins and supplements. He gained all his weight back, and he no longer looked old and frail. His eyes looked normal again - they no longer looked "sunken in" and he didn't look gaunt anymore. It's true, he hadn't been taking Proton Pump Inhibitors for 9 months like he did in 2013/2014 (which may have caused his eyes to look worse) but I can't help thinking it was the vitamins and shakes that helped him to bounce back so quickly.
What happened when Jake stopped taking Visalus supplements / shakes (and drank too much)When Jake lost his job in 2013, he started drinking like crazy, and all his symptoms returned again (by then he was no longer drinking the shakes or taking the supplements). I wanted him to start using them again so he could have another quick turnaround. But when I asked him to take the supplements again he refused, saying the pills were too big and it was difficult for him to swallow them. He eventually drank the shakes again but it took him awhile. In my opinion the vitamins are even more powerful.
His cirrhosis had definitely been worse this time because he'd done so much more damage to it from alcohol after getting laid off. This time around, he had developed an umbilical hernia, he got encephalopathy, his hair was turning white, he was starting to hunch over (we later found out the proton pump inhibitors his doctor gave cause osteoporosis), his gums looked terrible and his teeth were starting to fall out. Mind you, he was NOT doing much in terms of nutritional supplementation. If I could go back in time I would have INSISTED on it!
I don't know why he was being so damn stubborn but my guess is that he forgot how much they helped him the first time (when you're sick it's hard to think clearly). But probably a bigger thing is, he didn't like it that I used to sneak the vitamins into his shakes I was making him in 2012 (even after he asked me not to). I couldn't seem to help myself. Jake has always had a terrible diet and I wanted him to be healthy! His annoyance with me, for sneaking them into his shakes, translated into him not feeling good about the vitamins anymore.
UPDATE 8/15/15: I talked to Jake and found out a little more info on why he refused to take the pills by mouth. He said that sometimes when he took them, they were so big, he actually gagged a couple of times. One time he actually did throw up. But he did admit that this did not happen when he cut the (hard) vitamins in half, and it doesn't happen when you take them with food.
He said that despite the fact that his esophagus LOOKED good in his endoscopy pictures, that didn't mean his esophagus wasn't more sensitive than it had been. I guess cirrhosis really did damage it, but we're lucky it wasn't to the point where it was bleeding.
Proper nutrition is like a protective barrier that can possibly help keep people from getting sickIt's too bad Jake refused to take the vitamins because this time around, he did not seem to bounce back like he did the first time, and I can't help thinking things would have been different if he had just taken the vitamins and shakes ASAP, like he did the first time. Now, he has to live with the fact that his eyes look "sunken in" in photographs (and he hates this). Although his health seemed to bonce back really well and he can run a fast mile and kick my butt going up a flight of stairs, the lack of nutrition in his body definitely took a toll on his face and posture, and we know he may never "go back to normal."
Cirrhosis ages you drastically - but Visalus products might have helped Jake prevent thatAfter 4 hospitalizations, Jake looks like he's aged about 5 years. Now, mind you, this is an improvement because when he was in the hospital 3 times in 1 month (between the last 2 weeks of December 2013 and the first 2 weeks of January 2014) he looked like he was about 70 years old. I remember a nurse looking at his chart and being shocked that he was barely 50.
He still has some wrinkles and his posture is not as good because I believe he developed Osteoporosis while he was sick, especially because the Proton Pump Inhibitors are known to cause that. Of course, I'm happy that he has gotten better, and feel grateful that he's still alive.... there are many wives out there who lost their husbands to cirrhosis and would probably give anything to have them back regardless of how old they looked.
Now, Jake "only" looks like he's aged 5 years, but he is not happy about this. I can't help wondering how things could have been if he'd just taken the supplements when I asked him to! Or maybe if we'd known about the special water sooner, we could have prevented the free radical damage that wreaked havoc on his body when he was sick.
Whatever the case, I can't do anything about the past, all I can do is keep moving forward, and hopefully if I share some of this information with you, you can avoid some of the mistakes that we made!!
I think some people (including my husband) drink the special water thinking it's going to be some kind of cure-all and they can keep on eating a bunch of junk, and I want to tell you that I can see with my own two eyes that IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY. You still need to get proper nutrition, whether it's from shakes, salads, or multi vitamins.
The special water seems to be good for energizing the blood, and I personally believe it could help to reduce scar tissue because it has a property that helps to prevent cell damage (and I also saw a video where a man said his doctor could no longer tell that he had cirrhosis after he'd been drinking the water). If you want to see this video and inquire about the water, email me through the blogger contact form.
The water is a good detoxifier, and can cleanse your blood and energize you, but it can also amplify the effects of whatever is in your system, so if you are continuing to put toxins in your body, that can make them even stronger (part of the reason Jake was able to get off his prescription medications). So try to stay away from junk, and be sure to get proper nutrition, while you drink it.
Visalus is CHEAP when you look at the hefty price tag of poor health!Sometimes Jake would complain about the price of the vitamins and shakes, but while he was taking them, we saved SO much money!!! $200 per month for good nutrition (and 30 meals) is CHEAP when you compare it to hospital bills. I really think these vitamins and shakes kept him out of the doctor's office and hospital for 2 years. One shake is the nutritional equivalent to an entire meal. This was a really, really good thing for Jake because his diet has always been poor. I can't seem to get him to eat vegetables to save my (or his) life (though I did manage to get him to drink spinach juice and spinach smoothies for a while).
The Visalus "core kit" (the one we ordered) was about 1/3 the cost of what Jake would have been paying for health insurance and prescription co-pays per month (he didn't have insurance while he took these). Even with the cost of tax and shipping, these vitamins were a bargain because he got better so quickly.
You can see a video about the nutrition Visalus provides, here:
It took me a few weeks to get used to the taste of the energy drinks but once I did I was hooked. They gave me a lot of energy for just 40 mg of caffeine (they have other supplements that help the brain like DMAE, plus B and C vitamins). By ordering the core kit, it was like I was saving money and getting the energy drinks as a free bonus.
How to Order
Visalus Vi-Pak (vitamins): CLICK HERE.
These seemed to make a HUGE difference for Jake, and I still order them (and the shakes) for him as of 2016. Seems to keep his allergies under control and he just feels better in general.
1-25-17 Please note, they seem to be out of the vitamins (the Vi-pak) on Amazon right now so if they are and you can't find them and really want them, you can order from the site. This is my friend's order site. It costs more BUT they have a money back guarantee through the Visalus site (whereas with Amazon they do not). Just CLICK HERE for the link.
This is what the listing for the Vitamins (the Vi-pak) looks like. It's $150 for a 30 day supply, and $125 if you are on auto ship. I know... it's not cheap! But it is DIRT CHEAP when you consider how many things are in it that are beneficial for the liver. I still can't get over how well they worked for my husband.
1 BAG of Visalus Vi-Shape Shake Mix:
2 BAGS of Visalus Vi-Shape Shake Mix:
ViSalus Nutritional Shake Mix Sweet Cream Flavor 22 oz (2 Bags)
3 BAGS of Visalus Vi-Shape Shake Mix:
ViSalus Nutritional Shake Mix Sweet Cream Flavor 22 oz (3 Bags, 72 meals)
ViSalus Nutritional Shake Mix Sweet Cream Flavor 22 oz (4 Bags, 96 meals)
This is basically just the two items above, plus the Neuro drink, which I LOVED, but it took some getting used to (many people think it has a weird taste when they first try it). Jake never drank the Neuro. I don't think it's necessary to get this, but I'm just letting you know we used to regularly order the Visalus Core Kit (Vitamins, shake mix and energy drink).
UPDATE 1-25-17: Please note: It looks like they no longer sell the core kit on the Visalus page (so I imagine they will stop selling it on Amazon soon). Sorry! But that's ok you can buy the items separately.
Money Back Guarantee
I'm not saying these vitamins are a "cure" for cirrhosis but my husband was able to get back to work and resume a normal life again, get off diuretics, never had to get a paracentesis, never had encephalopathy, never had to band his varices. Again, I believe he was in stage 3 but his symptoms were bad enough so it really looked like he was going to die! He SMELLED like death, his skin was turning green, and could barely walk! But Visalus products seemed to help him do an about face.
but it doesn't take long)
If you can find better quality, highly-absorbable vitamins at the same Pharmaceutical grade, with the same ingredients and at just the right mixture... feel free to get them! I just haven't found anything that worked better than these.
If you have any questions about these products (or anything else), contact me any time through my blog, using the contact form on the left side of the page.