How to Manage Hepatitis C
There are many aspects of managing hep C from diagnosis through treatment and recovery. When I was first diagnosed with hep C, I wanted to learn how to help my body fight and what was good and bad for my liver.
Tips to manage after diagnosis
- Seek the care of a hepatologist, gastroenterologist, or infectious disease doctor. These doctors specialize in the care and treatment of liver disease.
- Talk to your doctor about all tests regarding your liver condition, genotype (hep C virus strain), and what treatment is best suited for your liver condition.
- Get vaccinated for hep A and B. There is no vaccine for hep C.
- Get the annual flu shot. This will help keep your body healthier and protected from most strains of the flu, which in turn keeps your body stronger in fighting hep C.
- Avoid all alcohol, recreational drugs, smoking, and exposure to harsh chemicals. These are extremely harmful to your liver and can increase liver damage.
- Eat a nutritious healthy diet of fresh or frozen vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, lean protein, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Avoid processed foods that contain additives and chemicals that be hard on your liver.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Mild Exercise helps boost your immune system while providing many health benefits.
Managing during treatment
- Talk to your doctor about treatment side effects and what you can take if you experience any during your treatment.
- Prepare meals ahead for days when you may feel fatigued.
- Drink at least 64 ounces of pure water or water infused with citrus daily. This helps keep you hydrated and aids in your treatment.
- Ask friends and family for help with errands or chores if you need help.
- Listen to your body and rest. Take breaks throughout the day and evening when you need to do. Rest helps your body recharge as you fight hep C.
- Keep records of all of your doctor and lab appointments.
- Avoid being around others who are sick with a cold or the flu. Guard your immune system to stay healthy.
- Eat small healthy meals and snacks throughout the day to keep your energy up.
Managing while in recovery
- Talk to your doctor about what lab work is needed during your recovery. Schedule your tests on your calendar.
- Continue all the above tips to help strengthen your body and liver as you recover.
- Remember, recovery takes time. Your body has been fighting a serious liver disease and the body needs time to recover. Be patient in the process.
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