The End of Treatment: What To Expect
If you treated your hepatitis C and completed the 8-12-week protocol, you are at the end of treatment (EOT). There was certainly a feeling of relief and accomplishment when I made that milestone. Even in the new era of direct acting antivirals (DAAs), people still feel happy about this important moment. It marks a huge part of the battle to end hepatitis C. I celebrated, and although it did not include a party, it was an important step in the journey.
After treatment, are we done with hepatitis C? Well, as we know, there are still tests to come in assessing whether we have reached sustained virologic response (SVR), or cured. It does mean that we are well on our way to cure, with the advances in treatments we expect almost all people to reach SVR/cure.
"Will I feel better soon?"
The best answer I can give anyone is that it depends on a few things, and like I always say: we are all different. Did you have symptoms before you treated? Do you have moderate or advanced liver fibrosis, or virtually no fibrosis? Was treatment for you an easy time? How did you feel during treatment? There are many questions people have.
These are scenarios I hear about almost every day in the community. People will ask “Why do I not feel better now?”. Some have said, “I have not felt better in years." Every person's experience with hepatitis C and treatment can be vastly different. There is no obvious answer that works for everyone. There are some things that can contribute to a person’s experience. Some are well understood by science, while for others it appear to be commonsense.
General tips for improved well-being pre- & post-treatment
Rest and a diet of health foods can benefit all of us, not just people with hepatitis C. Similarly, so are physical exercise and social interactions. Isolation and anxiety/depression can affect our general health, and they can be rooted in all sorts of causes. Trauma, stress, other disease or conditions, all of these can stand as hurdles to feeling well and being well.
The thing is that nobody can predict how any one person will feel at the end of treatment. Some may get cured and still struggle with having an improved quality of life. For other, it may take a long time to "feel better." It is worth speaking with your healthcare professional about how you'll feel after treatment and what tests you may need.
My observations are that for most people who have reached the end of treatment, you are well on your way to being hepatitis C free and that is huge. If you are at this juncture, congratulations.
Did you experience early symptoms or warning signs of hep C?