Help for Dehydration with Hep C
During the winter months, it’s easy to become dehydrated. Maybe your dry skin can feel scaly. Sometimes that is part of liver disease, like cirrhosis. You put on lotions, but sometimes the dry skin can be more than just the weather. It can be a signal that you are dehydrated. It can come on really quickly, so it’s important to be sure and watch out for signs of dehydration and be prepared to treat it fast. If you can determine the cause, you may be able to prevent dehydration in the future. Do you need help for dehydration with hepatitis C?
Signs of dehydration
- Small amounts of urine
- Dry mouth
- Dark circles around eyes
- Dry eyes
- Dizziness or confusion
Some of these symptoms are related to other things. If you are unsure, ask your doctor to help you. You can do a little test at home. One way to check is to pinch up a fold of skin on the back of your hand and hold it for a few seconds. It should bounce back when you let go. If not, you may be dehydrated.
Causes of dehydration
- Not drinking enough water
- Not thirsty
- Poor kidney function
- Other things, like the flu
- Medications like diuretics
It’s important to talk with your doctor about the type of medications you are on. If you’re taking diuretics for ascites, it can cause dehydration. Your doctor or pharmacist will know if some of your other meds can dry you out. If you don’t feel good enough to eat due to nausea, look for ways to boost your hydration in the next section.
Considerations and tips for people with hep C or liver disease
Drinking 64 ounces of water a day can help. One easy way to do this is to get a pitcher or bottle that will hold 32 ounces. By filling it twice a day, you can be certain that you’re getting the liquids your body needs.
In addition to drinking water, you can count all of the fruits and vegetables you eat too. Soup or low sodium broth is a great food to prevent dehydration when you are on hepatitis C treatment and aren’t very hungry. Protein powder drinks can help also.
Consider drinking something other than water. Choose a drink that doesn’t contain caffeine because it acts as a diuretic. Many teas can add some flavor to your water and help you drink more. Be on the lookout when you substitute juices for water. Too much sugar can cause problems for your liver.
Watch for patterns in your weight. If you are feeling dry and don’t pass the “pinch” test, see if your weight has gone down. Talk with a medical provider if you have too much weight loss that is due to dehydration.
If you are showing more than one of the signs of being dehydrated, begin to take action. By using some of the tips provided here, you may be able to reverse it quickly at home. It is dangerous to become dehydrated, and if you suspect that there is a bigger problem than you can take care of at home, call your medical provider and ask for help.
What dietary changes have you made to better manage hep C symptoms? (Select all that apply)