Five Other Reasons to Get Cured
Many people with hepatitis C think that the main reason to get cured is to clear the virus. While this is true, there are other benefits to treating as well. Recently, we conducted our Hepatitis C In America survey to get a better idea of life with hepatitis C. Through this survey, we were able to learn more about the ways life can change after treatment:
Increase energy levels
When we asked individuals with active hepatitis C about what symptoms they had experienced in the last month, 80% said fatigue. However, when we asked those who had been cured what their symptoms were, only 54% said fatigue. In addition, 65% of those who had active hepatitis C said they regularly feel like they have a lack of energy. This number dropped 20% for those who had been cured. In order words, curing your hepatitis C (“reaching SVR“) may given you more energy.
Decrease muscle and/or joint pain
Other top symptoms experienced by individuals with the active virus were muscle aches and/or joint pain. Over 60% of participants said they had experienced these in the last month. However, this number decreased by over 20% for those who had treated the virus. Those who had been cured experienced muscle and/or joint pain a significant amount less than those with the virus. Curing your hepatitis C may reduce the muscle and/or joint pain you experience.
Reduce depression and anxiety
There was almost a 25% decrease in depression and anxiety between those who had active virus and those who had been cured. Specifically, those who had been cured had experienced less depression and anxiety over the last month compared to those who hadn’t treated. Also, individuals who had not treated the virus yet felt sad, nervous, or like they were losing hope more often than those who had treated. Curing your hep C may help improve your mental health.
Help control other symptoms
In addition to the symptoms already listed, there were other symptoms that improved after getting treated, according to survey participants. Overall, those who had been cured had higher physical well-being scores than those who hadn’t treated. Some of the additional symptoms that improved after treatment included:
- Trouble sleeping
- Brain fog
- Itching or other skin issues
- Abdominal pain
- Mood swings
- Nausea, vomiting, or digestive problems
Increase emotional and social well-being
Just like physical well-being, emotional and social well-being were higher for those who had been cured when compared to those who still had the hep C virus. Those who had cured had higher self-esteem and felt less embarrassment than those who had not cured. As mentioned, patients who had yet to cure were more likely to feel sad, nervous, or like they were losing hope. Individuals who had cured the virus reported these feelings less often. Those who had been cured also said they felt better support and communication from their families.
Need help getting treatment?
Everyone’s experience with hepatitis C treatment can be different, however, treatment can have many benefits. If you have hepatitis C and are having a hard time treating the virus due to treatment concerns like cost or insurance coverage, contact your doctor or healthcare provider for assistance. They may be able to explain any treatment concerns or recommend financial assistance programs to help with treatment.