A man looking quizzically at his doctor

Life After Hep C: 5 Questions For Your Doctor After Being Cured

The medical community is optimistic that once cured, that the hepatitis C (Hep C) virus is eradicated and no longer in one’s system. Short-term results support this, as repeated testing can find no evidence of the illness. The long-term effects of the medicine are also not known. So, while the known effects of both the cure and long-lasting side effects seem positive, there are some questions that a person might want to pose to their doctor following successful treatment about life after hep C.

5 Questions about life after hep C

Can I give blood?

When diagnosed with hepatitis, one is prevented from giving blood to curb the spread of the illness during blood transfusions. If after treatment, there are no detectable levels of the diseasex, can I give blood? The same question can be broadened to address the shared use of things like razors or other objects that could come in contact with blood.

Can I drink?

Because hep C directly affects the liver, most patients are cautioned about drinking alcohol while hep C positive. Once cured, will drinking alcohol still cause damage to my liver more than if I had not had the disease? For many patients the liver is damaged (in some case quite badly) and drinking alcohol could have detrimental results. Therefore, simply being cured may not be a clean bill of health, and for some patients, a doctor might recommend continuing abstinence from alcohol.

Do I still need a liver transplant?

For those who have gone through treatment but have been on a waiting list for a liver transplant, the idea of “cured” may not be so clear. One could be cleared of the illness, the level of liver failure might still be life-threatening. For some, doctors could still recommend a transplant after treatment, so this might be a question to ask your doctor.

Will my liver heal naturally?

An additional question to ask your doctor is if any damage to the liver might be naturally repaired over time, once treatment is completed. For those with less serious liver conditions, this may offer some hope that in time, risks associated with liver damage may be minimized. In addition, you might consider asking if any lifestyle changes initiated after diagnosis should be continued to ensure improved health to the liver, other organs, or other physiological conditions.

Will I experience long-term side effects after hep C treatment?

With some treatments, the side effects of the treatment can be quite damaging, chemotherapy being one example. The phrase “I won the war, but lost the battle” can apply, and while the current treatments that are being used have shown few long-term side effects, as patients live longer following treatment, some known side effects may emerge. Therefore, this might be a question that you bring up with your doctor.

These are just a few suggestions; Your condition, degree of treatment success, and relationship with your doctor and medical team may open up other questions and discussions about life after hep C.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

Do you experience long-term side effects from hep C treatment?