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DOH investigating possible diet supplement tie to recent Hepatitis, liver failure cases

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 05:07 p.m. HST, Sep 26, 2013

The state's Department of Health is investigating at least 10 medical cases in Hawaii during a four-month period that started in May in which individuals suffered acute liver inflammation and failure.

The only common finding among all the Hepatitis cases, at this point, is the use of a dietary or nutritional supplement for the purpose of weight loss and/or muscle gain in the past six months. Cases have been reported from every county in the state. So far, the cases involve patients with no tie to infectious causes, no history of engaging in high-risk social activities, and no identified commonly expected risk factors for liver failure. 

 In a news release issued by the Department of Health, state epidemiologist Sarah Park said, "We are still in the early stages of this investigation and we have not identified the exact source of this condition."  She added, "However, we want to alert the public because of our concern that more people could potentially become ill." 

The department urges all persons who use dietary or nutritional supplements for weight loss and/or muscle gain to do so with caution and under their health care providers' guidance and monitoring. Persons who develop symptoms, such as abdominal pain or discomfort, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and/or vomiting, and yellow skin or eyes, should consult their health care provider immediately.

DOH has issued a statewide Medical Advisory to clinicians, clinics, and emergency departments to facilitate identifying more possible cases. DOH is collaborating closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as the investigation may involve a federally regulated supplement with national distribution.

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rytsuru wrote:
on September 26,2013 | 06:11PM
Who cares what supplement it is. I wouldn't trust any type of dietary supplement or fat reducer. Come on people, get off the meds and get some excercise to get rid of your fat accumlations. Come on people-get off your okole's and do something constructive, excercise, do something nice for your neighbor, freinds or even help some homeless. Lets live right-you'll feel better for it!
on September 27,2013 | 09:36AM
palani wrote:
Am I missing something, or is name of the "dietary or nutritional supplement" NOT mentioned?

Dietary Supplements to Avoid

on September 26,2013 | 06:17PM
Skyler wrote:
Pretty bad - but why make a story out of it if you're not even gonna say what's causing it, huh? Duh!
on September 26,2013 | 06:20PM
localguy wrote:
The SA Cub Reporters were given a last minute tasking for a "filler" Lacking any real journalism skills, they just whipped this up. No references, no facts, just hearsay so no one could be held accountable for such sloppy journalism. Standard for the SA.
on September 26,2013 | 08:56PM
BRock wrote:
What a bunch of whiners.
on September 26,2013 | 09:30PM
kuewa wrote:
In other news, DOH has identified several cases of coughing and possible pneumonia in people who breath air around Honolulu. The DOH has asked local physicians and the public to help identify additional cases and is warning everyone to be careful of the air they breathe.
on September 27,2013 | 12:36AM
Sunny wrote:
on September 27,2013 | 11:21AM
irwincathy wrote:
on September 27,2013 | 02:49PM
Bully wrote:
If you dont have anything to tell us then why tell us anything at all?
on September 27,2013 | 12:57PM
goodvibrations wrote:
Huh? What diet aid? Why even add that article? To take up space? And thats a nice picture of a cupcake next to the article....
on September 27,2013 | 01:00PM
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