Brain Fog from Hepatitis C
Last updated: March 2023
As I have said before, I am not a doctor. My own observations are based on input from people affected, evidence-based information, as well as my own personal experience. This is what guides my opinions and commentary. In this piece I discuss my brain fog from hepatitis C and its long-term side effects.
Some of us are familiar with the term “brain fog” and many have experienced it first-hand. What the term most often means is confusion, diminished short-term memory, and being less than optimum in our ability to grasp concepts or recall and assemble our words well when speaking. Sound familiar?
Brain fog is common from hepatitis C
You are not alone, with brain fog being a very common complaint from people who live with HCV, and were exacerbated by the former standard of care- Peg/Ribavirin, which was notorious for causing cognitive impairment issues with people who may have had no prior experience with this challenging condition. There has been research into how the mechanism that causes this dysfunction works in the body, but like most study there is disagreement. This is not something I will explore here.
My personal experience with brain fog
I can share my own experiences with this condition. As I am now in my 60’s, I wondered if it was age-related or if it was because of the virus?
I am prepared to say in my own experience with brain fog is large part a result of having hepatitis C. I am not denying that age played a part, as this has been well established as being associated with short-term memory dysfunction, but brain fog is beyond just memory challenges.
For me, the fog was worse in treatment with Sovaldi and ribavirin, and memory recall was an impairment that frustrated me to no end. I have always been blessed with good memory recall and seeing my ability to use words and construct sensible sentences erode disturbed me. My vocabulary shrunk dramatically during those years before and during treatment, and to include post-treatment.
There is hope.
Years after the fog
I am now free of HCV for nearly six years, and of course, I am six years older. My short-term memory improved vastly once I was free of the virus and recovered from treatment caused impairment. There will be some who would argue that I am even foggier now, but seriously I am much better now I am virus free. Sure I stumble for words at times, but I expect it is not so uncommon with any person who was never exposed to HCV and is my age.
I am ecstatic about this improvement and I am not suggesting that my own experience resonates with every person who has lived with or treated for HCV.
My main message is that if you do experience brain fog from hepatitis C, there is great hope that it will resolve with successful eradication of the virus. I am no purveyor of false hope, and there are conditions unrelated to HCV that can cause impairment of cognitive function, but I also know my own experience is not unique to me.
If brain fog is causing you similar frustration, it is my hope that you see rapid improvementpost-treatment.