Drinking Water with Hepatitis C
There are lots of plusses to drinking water with hepatitis C. This is especially true while you’re on medication. In fact, during hep C treatment, you should consume more water than ever. Staying hydrated also helps in many other areas such as weight control, heart health, and even your good lookingness!
Watch out for dehydration
During the summer, we spend more time outdoors and sweat off a lot of fluids. Look for signs of dehydrations which include:
- Dry mouth – if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
- Constipation – It does no good to eat fiber unless you drink water to move things along.
- Scaly skin is a sign that you need moisture from the inside out.
- Leg cramps – Cramps in the legs are nearly always a sign that your muscles need water.
- Fatigue – If you’re just tired and have very little energy, drink a couple of glasses of water for a pick me up.
- Brain fog – Believe it or not, water can boost your brain power and help with brain fog.
- Fast heart rate – Your heart needs a lot of liquid to stay strong and active. Low water intake is connected to heart attacks.
- Chills or fever can be an indication that you need more water.
- Sleepy or grogginess – While this can be a sign of other things, if you’re active and sweating with these symptoms, you may be dehydrated.
- Wrinkles – I read years ago that models always drink a lot of water before a photo shoot. That alone has caused me to drink more water!
How much is water good for you?
Take your body weight and divide by 2. A person who weighs 120 lbs should drink at least 60 ounces per day.
Does any drink count?
A drink that has caffeine only counts for 1/2. So if you drink 20 ounces of pop or tea, it counts for 10 ounces of liquid. That’s because caffeine acts like a diuretic and will cause you to lose water.
How do you know if your body needs more?
When you have the above symptoms, go ahead and drink a few glasses of water.
How much is too much?
Any time you drink more than a gallon a day, it may do more harm than good. This is especially true if you have liver disease. Your kidneys may not be able to get rid of the water fast enough. This can cause swelling or even ascites.
Tips for stay hydrated
- Drink a large glass of water 3 times a day. Morning, noon, and night.
- Keep a large container of water with you at all times.
- Put a water jug near your bedside where you can reach it in the middle of the night. (especially good for leg cramps)
Talk to your doctor or health care team and let them know you're increasing your fluid intake. You may need guidance if you have liver disease or are on diuretics. I have lived with both of those and more. I've learned that drinking the right amount of good clean water every day is a habit that is easy to keep. When you get enough liquids, your body will be in balance and you will feel healthier in general. It’s easy to drink enough water when you make it a part of your overall health goal.
What dietary changes have you made to better manage hep C symptoms? (Select all that apply)