Common Questions from Those Newly Diagnosed with Hepatitis C
It’s natural to have questions concerning hepatitis C. Here are common questions (and answers!) of those newly diagnosed with hepatitis C.
Is there a vaccine for hepatitis C?
No. There is not a vaccine for hepatitis C, but there is a vaccine for hepatitis A and B, which most patients need to receive.
Why should I take the vaccine for hepatitis A & B while I have hepatitis C? Will it be effective?
Most doctors say that it’s important to take the vaccines for hepatitis A and B because even though you have hepatitis C, you can still contract hepatitis A & B. This would increase damage to your liver if you contracted these while having hepatitis C.
Can I drink alcohol?
It is best not to drink any alcohol - including beer or wine - while you have hepatitis C. Alcohol can be damaging to the liver and accelerate liver damage.
Is there a special diet I need to follow?
Avoid processed foods, high sodium, high sugar, and unhealthy fats in your diet. Eat plenty of fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits. Eat whole grains, nuts, and seeds along with quality protein like dairy, poultry, and fish, which is easier for your liver to process. You can eat beef, but try to eliminate how often due to beef takes longer to digest.
If you have cirrhosis (severe scarring), or NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), you will need to be on a special diet designed for your liver condition. Drink plenty of pure or citrus-infused water while you have hepatitis C and during treatment. Try to drink at least 64 ounces a day; This helps your liver and keeps you hydrated while helping flush toxins out of your body.
What do I need to avoid?
Along with alcohol and the unhealthy foods mentioned above, avoid smoking, drugs, and environmental chemicals. A good rule of thumb to remember: Everything you breathe, eat, and expose your body to affects your liver.
Talk to your physician about what over the counter meds and prescription medications are safe for your liver condition. Everything must be broken down and processed by your liver. Avoiding what is unhealthy for your liver helps to reduce extra stress and damage to your liver.
Is there treatment and a cure?
Yes! There are a variety of treatments for hepatitis C with the average cure rate of 95% and over. Talk to your physician and healthcare team about your concerns and questions. Good information helps ease anxiety and helps you be informed about how to take better care of yourself with hepatitis C.
Do you have a question or concern about hepatitis C? Comment below!
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