The First and Last Symptom to Leave with Hepatitis C
Last updated: June 2021
Before my diagnosis, I experienced long bouts of fatigue. No matter how much rest I got, I rarely had much energy. After I was diagnosed, I learned fatigue is the most common symptom of hepatitis C. Hepatitis C treatment can bring side effects of fatigue as well. I learned some effective ways to deal with fatigue in my journey.
Where are you in your treatment journey?
How to deal with fatigue with hep C
Here are some tips for dealing with hep C fatigue:
- Talk with your doctor about your fatigue. Tests may be necessary to determine if there are other reasons for your fatigue.
- Talk to your doctor about your liver condition and ask about liver damage such as cirrhosis that can affect low energy.
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any medications you are taking that could cause a side effect of fatigue.
- If you are doing treatment for hepatitis C, find out if your treatment can cause fatigue as a side effect.
- Talk with your doctor about taking a B-12 vitamin or injections. B vitamins help with energy and are water-soluble. B-12 is also available as a dissolvable tablet. Ask your doctor if you are low in iron.
- Drink 64 ounces of pure water daily or water infused with citrus. Water helps keep you hydrated and can help flush your system, as well as refresh you when you're tired.
- Take breaks and rest when you can throughout the day.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.
- To keep your blood sugar steady, eat a small, healthy snack every 2 hours.
- Eat a nutritious diet, especially breakfast with protein and complex carbohydrates. Avoid processed foods and simple carbohydrates high in sugar and white flour. These can contribute to making you feel tired and sluggish.
- Avoid alcohol of any type. This can contribute to making you feel tired while harmful to your liver. Learn what to avoid that harms the liver as well as what helps.
- Coffee has been reported to help the liver while helping give a person an energy boost. Tea can also offer liver and energy benefits, but hepatoprotective properties are higher in coffee.1
- Losing weight if you are overweight may help energy increase.
- Mild exercise (like walking or stretching) can stimulate and increase blood flow and help increase energy.
Does fatigue improve after treatment?
After treatment is completed, depending on what level of liver damage a person has, fatigue does improve remarkably within a few months to a year. The liver needs to have time to recover and rebuild healthy liver tissue unless there is severe scarring like cirrhosis.2
Cirrhosis patients can take a little longer to recover from treatment, but energy does increase over time. After my treatment for hepatitis C, my energy increased over time and was finally restored. Be patient in the process as your body needs time to recover from fighting hepatitis C.2
Are you dealing with fatigue?