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Ask the Advocate: Cryoglobulinemia

“Cryoglobulinemia” is a condition where abnormal proteins in the blood clump together. These proteins thicken in colder temperature, which can cause joint and muscle pain, as well as other symptoms. Many people who have been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C also experience cryoglobulinemia, typically before they begin hep C treatment. You can learn more about cryoglobulinemia here.

To better understand the symptoms and impact of cryoglobulinemia within the hepatitis C community, we asked advocates Connie and Kim to share their own experiences. Check-them out, or comment below to share your own story!

From Connie

During my hepatitis C journey, I have experienced episodes of joint pain along with some numbness and tingling in my feet, but the symptoms resolved after my recovery from hepatitis C treatment. Click here to learn more about Connie

From Kim

In 2016, I was diagnosed with cryoglobulinemia. I had to undergo a bone marrow biopsy to rule out lymphoma. Having traces of B Cell, they decided to put me on 4 rounds of a chemo medication to get my good cells back in control. The treatment infusions were once a week for 4 weeks. The side effects were not bad, and I continued to work through treatments. The worst part was after the 5-hour infusions, I would be burning up inside and on the outside feel freezing cold. It was so hard to find a comfortable middle ground.

After the treatments, my levels were normal again and I actually began to feel normal again. Less tired, less painful joints and muscles, and I no longer had MS-like symptoms (which is what I was going in to be tested for when the cryoglobulinemia was found). A minor detour ended up helping me beyond anything. Click here to learn more about Kim.