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My Gut Feeling: Nausea & Digestive Issues with Hepatitis C

Have you suffered from nausea and other digestive issues connected to your hep C? I am one of the unlucky ones myself, and it was bad for years before I was finally diagnosed. Sound familiar, anyone?

How many people with hep C experience digestive issues?

I have heard this complaint from a lot of people in the hep C community… It’s not at all rare. Has your hep C care professional helped you to better deal with these things? There are some things that we can do, and while I am not prepared to give medical advice, I believe that stomach troubles can be (at least in part) an issue that is made worse by the things we eat.

What can you do for digestive issues?

What we use to combat nausea and gut pain is, once again, dependent on what we find useful, whether prescribed or otherwise. What worked for me may not help you.

For years, I have tried to eat well, and have read about nutrition, but I will leave the diet suggestions to the experts and those who are better versed in the area.

One thing that I have used as a general rule is to monitor how certain foods, and that includes snack and drinks of any kind, effect how I feel. If it makes me feel sick or make the nausea or gut pain worse, I try to avoid. However, I understand that even some foods that are good for us may in fact cause us grief and I have an example to share. This past year, I have had some recurring and chronic bouts with severe abdominal pain that is related to pancreatic woes. It may be connected to living with hep C for years, I am unsure to be honest, and my GI doctor says it is a medical mystery… hmmmm, not all that great, but it is what it is.

What my doctor told me

At last visit, she suggested I avoid fiber… Yes, fiber. Is that counterintuitive or what? She also suggested I avoid raw vegetables like salads and uncooked vegies. Weird or what? I thought so, but she says that my condition makes those foods unhelpful to my digestive health and comfort. You are not me, and vice versa, so what you experience may be entirely different, and we know how different doctors have different opinions just like the rest of us.

Your doctor may be able to help

In talking to people who have lived experience with hep c, digestive issues are one of the top complaints that they have. There is a whole range of conditions and health concerns that some of us endure, and in no way am I suggesting you will have even one of them, because you may have none of them, and that is great! If you have persistent pain, nausea, or any other gut-like problems, make sure you talk to your care professional, they may well be able to help you.

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


  • valeriemadill
    9 months ago

    I had bad gut issues w my hep c!
    I vommited daily, used lowest dose gravol to help.
    By the time I recieved the treatment, 21 years later, I only ate bland diet , chicken was only meat my body could digest.
    It made my pancréas even react badly.
    Every part of my body seemed to be affected..
    I caught Auto Immune Deficancy from Hep C, which I thought was aids !
    Its not!!
    All I can say is a study should of been done on me, hence Harvoni,
    I got up and out , of 21 years being house bound, down to 89 pounds and ready to go into hospice ! care.
    Now I go to the gym , I have gotten off life time use of benzodiazépines, its like it kicked my brain back into gear.
    All my muscle came back with a bit of work❤
    I have made it a goal/mission to help as many with hep c to. treatment

  • Daryl Luster author
    9 months ago

    valeriemadill, your story sounds familiar to me, and in fact it is not dissimilar to my own experience with a few differences. After a number of bouts with acute pancreatitis last year I had several months of the same pain and nausea, and lost a lot of weight as well. It was without a doubt the hardest thing I have dealt with so far, including the fatigue and nausea I felt before my diagnosis with hep c and treatment. Fortunately I was able to find some solutions late last year and now my gut issues are mostly down to lighter nausea and far less severe pain thanks to improved motility, but recently had an MRI to take another look at my liver and pancreas to make sure things haven’t worsened.I am waiting for results but remain hopeful.
    It is great to hear you are doing so much better, and that you want to help others. It is something i think helps us too. Thanks for your comments and for sharing your story with me! I am so happy for you.

  • susansmith
    9 months ago

    I have been Hep-c free since 2017 but still have nausea and stomach problems ?

  • Daryl Luster author
    9 months ago

    susansmith, I am sorry to hear you are still dealing with digestive problems since being cured. Any thoughts from your doctor on why, or what the cause is? Did you have these same issues before treatment or is it just since treatment? I found out this last year that I have motility problems which means that food does not move fast enough through my digestive system, and that can cause pain and nausea. Ask your GI doctor if you have one, and with some investigation they will help to nail down what is causing your problems, and I sure hope so because it is hard to live with nausea and stomach problems. If a good diagnosis is achieved there are things we can look at to remedy the symptoms.This has been an ongoing problem for me too, so I understand how it can impact our general feelings of good health. Good luck!

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