How to Monitor Your Hepatitis C
Throughout your diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, it is important to monitor your hepatitis C and liver condition. There are several ways to monitor your hepatitis C and liver condition.
Common hepatitis C tests
Your may want to consider asking your doctor and nurse about your tests and results to help gain understanding on monitoring your liver condition. Your doctor may recommend:
- Blood work
- Traditional liver biopsy
- MRI or CAT scan
- Other tests your doctor my order
- Physical exams with your liver disease doctor
Common symptoms of hep C
Hepatitis C is known as a "silent disease" because many people do know have symptoms. Do not rely totally on how you feel to monitor your liver condition. Inflammation and liver damage can occur without outward symptoms. The most common symptoms throughout diagnosis, treatment, and recovery are fatigue and a general unwell feeling.
Other hep C symptoms may include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Loss of appetite and/or nausea
- Weight loss or gain
- Swelling in the abdomen or legs
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Dark/discolored urine or stools
- Itchy skin
- Muscle and joint pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of eyes or skin)
Tips for managing symptoms
In my journey with hepatitis C, I kept notes of my symptoms and questions I needed to discuss with my doctor. This served as a monitoring tool to help me get the most out of my appointment time and remember what needed to be discussed. Being alert to your symptoms before, during, and after treatment and in recovery will help you to have good communication with your doctor.
You may also consider:
- Paying attention to your body and how you feel.
- Writing down your symptoms and questions for your doctor.
- Talking to your doctor and healthcare team about your symptoms, tests, and what you can do for relief.
- Talking to your doctor about test results and what they mean.
- Taking a family member or friend with you to your appointment.
- Getting copies of all your test reports.
Paying attention to your symptoms, taking care of yourself, and working with your healthcare team with tests and exams are proactive steps you can take to help your liver.
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