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The Bundle: Long-Term Problems with Hep C

“Bundle up, it’s cold outside!” is something your mother or father might have said on a cold day. Bundle, in recent years is more commonly used in sales as a way to make the package more appealing or in bargaining with someone. It can also be used to describe a group or bunch of things. I am using it now to describe all the things that people deal with, in the context of hep C.

There is often a bundle of things to deal with when we have hep C. This may not be true for everyone, but according to a lot of people I have heard from, there are, and they are not all liver related. When it starts varies, and it only manifests as one thing and not a bundle at all. It is nothing at all; meaning you have no symptoms that you can point to as being at all connected to hep C. Remember there are a bundle, so don’t be too surprised if it is connected.

The bundle of problems related to hep C

Imagine that we could just bundle up with some warm clothes and a hat to deal with all these things, wouldn’t it be so easy? Well, it isn’t that simple- darn it! Getting a diagnosis for some conditions can be a struggle, as I have learned. For example, having a doctor agree that your skin issues are caused by hep C may be a challenge. Some may argue that it doesn’t matter anyway. There are a few reasons it matters, and the most important is that if it is caused by your hep C, it is likely to resolve (go away) once you are cured, or in time after treatment.

Hepatitis C legacy conditions

Some things in the bundle will remain with you after a cure (SVR). I have been hep c free now nine years and I still have neuropathy caused by hep C, and treatment with interferon made it worse. Neuropathy is well documented as being caused or exacerbated by hep C, even in the absence of interferon treatment. Fortunately, that may be the worst of the hep C legacy conditions I have still, with most others long gone.

If you have more severe liver damage, it can be a bigger challenge and a whole bundle of things to monitor and be aware of. Cirrhosis presents people with a set of challenges, but is manageable provided the elasticity of the liver is not extreme and you take care to do the things that augment the functions of the liver. A good diet that is liver friendly, activity as much as we can, and some supplemental support can make a big difference and slow the progression or even assist is the regrowth of tissue over time, in some cases.

Coping

Support and community, however big or small, remains an important piece of the bundle at every step. Remember, you are not alone, there are many of us who share in common experience.

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.

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