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Beliefs and Hepatitis C

Beliefs and Hepatitis C

If you are one of the people diagnosed 15-20 years ago or even more recently, you may be familiar with the phrase “you don’t need to worry about your hepatitis c” and this one “you will probably die of something else” or “you will likely die with hep c not from it.”

I was hearing this kind of thing in the hep c forums not so many years ago and even thought it might be true.

Until I learned just how wrong this kind of thinking really was, it sounded believable. The message suggests that it is not something you need to be concerned about. Was this a case of poor understanding and knowledge by the medical community? Perhaps in at least some circles it was just simple ignorance.
Regardless of who got it wrong, it was the wrong message and fostered a belief, which as it turns out was wrong.

We are now hearing from people who were told these things, and some of them have now progressed to having advanced liver disease-cirrhosis.

There is no doubt, based on what we know now, that most people will see a very slow progression of liver disease if they have chronic hepatitis c. The problem is that not everyone is the same. Things like genes, diet and alcohol and other factors can accelerate disease progression. Some of us are going to progress faster than others, simply said.

The need for better information and understanding has created a huge uptick around hepatitis c in recent years, with many sources of good and reliable information all over the Internet and elsewhere.

Bloggers blog, forums and facebook groups abound, and there are a massive number of sites devoted to information about hepatitis c. Some are very good with trustworthy information, advice, and the advantage of shared experience.

Beliefs that are misguided still exist despite the huge amount of information available today. How does one navigate their way through the vast amount of opinions and information? Honestly there is no single answer to this question in my mind other than to practice critical thinking when assessing whether what you read or hear sounds believable. Relying on friends or peers is one way to assess whether a site or opinion sounds plausible, and there are some reliable scientific sources if you are inclined to read more deeply into the science of HCV.

There is never a shortage of opinions, and with the Internet we see an over-abundance of them. Sometimes they are sound and based on good solid evidence, while others are at best well intended. Anyone and everyone have opinions and sometimes they develop into beliefs. Beliefs are not always sound in application, although they may sound believable.

I am not trying to discourage people from believing in anything. We need to believe in all kinds of things for a number of important reasons.

All I am saying is that beliefs that are not based on solid evidence are beliefs not science. Trusting in good science may not be your personal choice, and I understand why some have come to distrust science, but recalling that science and knowledge is not a static thing is worth your consideration. What we believe is true today may be proven to be wrong tomorrow, when it is proven wrong by new or better science not beliefs.

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.