What Happens After Hepatitis C Treatment?
Last updated: July 2023
Recovery after hepatitis C treatment is what I consider the third phase of treatment. Recovery is all about repairing and rebuilding your body and new life one step at a time.
During post treatment recovery:
- Treatment medications leave your system
- Your body needs time to rebuild and repair liver tissue
- Blood tests
- Physical exams with your physician
- Work on your recovery plan
Recovery time is different for each patient depending on liver damage, medications, medical condition, etc. A good recovery plan helps you progress as your body gains strength and energy.
For cirrhosis patients
It is important to note, after some time, the liver can regenerate from mild to moderate liver damage, but if you have cirrhosis (severe scarring), the liver cannot regenerate from this level of scarring. The goal of being cured of hepatitis C is to eliminate the hepatitis C virus and keep further liver damage from occurring. Hepatitis C treatment cures the virus, but not the condition of cirrhosis.
After you have completed treatment for hepatitis C, if you have cirrhosis and taking medications for this condition, do not stop your medications or alter in any way unless your physician advises. Clinical trials are finding promising help for those with cirrhosis.
Common post-treatment side effects
The most common side effect of treatment is fatigue. Fatigue commonly lingers for a time in the recovery phase. Many patients feel the day after their last treatment pill, they will wake up and feel different. It generally takes several weeks to months before normal energy resumes.
Remember, your body has been battling a serious liver disease. Treatment didn’t happen overnight and neither does recovery. Be patient in the recovery process. This is temporary compared to the rest of your life.
Make a recovery plan
You can tailor your recovery plan to include:
- Eating nutritious foods; three wholesome meals per day, and 2 healthy snacks or eating smaller meals throughout your day to keep your blood sugar and energy up.
- Drinking 64oz of water daily; infused citrus water is great for cleansing the body, hydration, and energy.
- Getting plenty of sleep per night and if necessary, naps or breaks during the day. Energy can fluctuate during recovery. Listen to your body and take rest stops when you need to.
- Mild exercise like walking, yoga or stretching exercises to build rebuild strength, energy, stamina, and balance.
- Support Group; stay connected with a support group that understands post-treatment recovery, make time with friends, family, church.
- Make time for yourself to destress, relax and recharge. Take care of yourself and don’t over commit during this time. Your body and liver need time to recover.
- Keep regular appointments for; blood tests and physical exams with your physician. Before you know it you’ll be at your 12-week post-treatment check-up and blood work.
After hepatitis C treatment, a good recovery plan helps promote healing your body and liver needs.