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A liver with a face has a vitamin on its tongue. The liver in inside a body set against a pattern of vitamins.

Vitamins and Supplements During Treatment

We are all at different stages with our liver disease, and have different needs. If you want to know about taking vitamins and supplements during treatment, please use this as a reference to take to your doctor. My story is a little scary and yours may not be so bad. If your doctor is okay with you taking vitamins and supplements during treatment, that is cool. I’ll share my experience, and invite you to think about your body’s needs as well. I’ll also list the top vitamins you may need.

First, my gastro doctor did a vitamin panel with my blood work. I was taking too many because I was so tired. He cut me off of all vitamins and supplements. When my liver calmed down, we added a multivitamin. My doctor determined what dosage was safe for me. Too many vitamins, herbs, and supplements can have the wrong effect with liver problems from hep C or any other cause.

Before and during hep C treatment I took a children’s chewable multivitamin. In addition, I took an additional D3 only for bone loss (this was years ago - during the now antiquated year-long injections of interferon). Those kind of side effects are no longer a threat while treating. For a while, my doctor gave me a few samples of milk thistle, but then discontinued it when treatment started. I played by my medical team's rules. I hope you do too!After hep C treatmentMy vitamins and suppleness are now taken just like anyone else with a low MELD score and end-stage cirrhosis. I drink a daily protein shake, and in addition, take a children’s chewable multivitamin. Since my lab scores stabilized, there is no need for any extra vitamins to make me feel better. I find it best to try to get as much nutrition as possible from vegetables, salads, grains, and fortified foods.Vitamins & supplements for special concernsHere are some vitamins and supplements that your doctor may recommend, and what they can help with:Vitamin C: When fighting colds or allergies, vitamin C can be help your immune system fight off infection.Iron: Taking extra iron can help with anemia. However, be careful, because your liver and iron have a delicate balance, and your doctor can help you with dosage.Magnesium: Magnesium is known to help with leg cramps, and if you have problems with potassium, sodium, and electrolytes, ask about supplementation.Calcium: Calcium can build healthy bones and also help your teeth stay strong.B Vitamins: If you’re low on the B vitamins, talk to your provider.Vitamin K: When you’re not processing vitamin K, you may bruise easier. This can be related to low platelets also, so supplementing may not help.Always talk to your medical providerTaking vitamins and supplements during treatment may help you gain energy and maintain health while you’re fighting the hep C Virus. If your doctor knows where your area of weakness is, they can guide you in making decisions about which ones are best for you. In the end, it’s about having a trusting relationship with your doctor, and coming into agreement about what you need to become hep C free and move into a healthy future!

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

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