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Hep C Revisited: The Long Term Effects of Hepatitis C

It has come to my attention, in talking to people who are mostly like me (aging hep C survivors), that things may not be going as well as we hoped after the cure. I am not being a downer or someone who says that any of us should not have treated, but the reality is that not everyone will feel great after curing hep X.

What causes long-term health issues

The reasons are as varied as the people are, and the issues vary as well. There are those who have more advanced liver disease from the ravages of hep C, and they have some challenges that are typical with cirrhosis, but even people with cirrhosis have varying types and degrees of health issues. Some will need more monitoring than others. As I have said many times before, we are all different and that is reflected in our condition and outcome.

Old versus new treatments

There are those of us who treated with the old treatment prior to the new DAAs used now; These old treatments had their own set of side effects that, in many cases, ended up causing long-term chronic conditions. The thing is that sometimes, it’s hard to parse out the things caused by hep C, versus and the long-term effects of drugs, if any.

Should I start treatment?

I have no firm answers to share about this except to say that I believe that chronic hep C, over time, has an impact on our health, in degrees of severity. From the mildest to the harshest, there is no question in my view. This should be a great impetus for people to seek out treatment, would it not? One would think so, but I am hearing that many are having doubts not only about their own past treatment, but some are questioning whether they should treat at all.

In my peer support work, I never try to talk somebody into doing anything, but instead tell them to stand up for themselves and advocate for the things they feel they need. To inform without opinion or judgement has always been the goal so that people can make informed decisions about their own health. Who are we to tell others what is best for them, even if we believe we would make an entirely different decision or took a different path altogether?!

Treatment regret

Whether we have any regrets or not is up to us. Personally, I do not have any regrets about the choices I made with respect to treatment or in a clinical trial with DAA’s. Am I dealing with issues after cure? Yes, but is it related to hep C and cure? I don’t know for sure. The fact is that even if it is there is nothing I can change now except my attitude about it, and I am choosing to put that behind me and move on without regrets. I suspect that if I had not been diagnosed when I was and treated when I did, I would be dealing with more health issues now. But, that is my decision and in no way should change your mind, because it is merely my decision, not yours.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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