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10 Steps to Fight Hepatitis C

No matter if you are newly diagnosed, preparing for treatment, in treatment, or recovering, every step matters when fighting hepatitis C.

Here are 10 steps to fight hepatitis C:

1. Get tested

Getting tested and diagnosed is the first most important step you can take in saving your life. It’s the first step toward your goal of fighting the hepatitis C virus and being cured. One step leads to the next.

2. Be proactive

Be proactive with a can-do, positive attitude and move forward with healthy choices to help your liver. There is great hope to get beyond hepatitis C and be cured.

3. Learn the facts

Learn the facts and myths of how hepatitis C is transmitted.

4. Support your liver

Learn and practice what you can do to help your liver from credible medical resources. For example:

  • No alcohol. For someone with liver disease, alcohol can be very damaging.
  • Manage your medications properly by consulting with your physician and pharmacist about what is harmful to your liver. Talk to your physician about all over the counter, prescriptions, vitamins, and supplements you take.
  • Avoid smoking, drugs, and toxic chemicals. Everything you take in is processed by your liver, including what you ingest and inhale, and by skin contact.
  • Eat a healthy nutritious diet. Avoid processed foods as much as possible. Limit sugar, as well as unhealthy fats. Try to eat whole, healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and low-fat protein.
  • Drink lots of water. Consult with a registered dietitian and your physician about a diet that is right for your liver and health condition.

5. Build your team

Build your healthcare team. Seek care from a physician who specializes in liver diseases like a hepatologist or gastroenterologist.

6. Ask for more testing

If your doctor doesn’t order it, ask for further testing to determine your genotype (virus strain), viral load count, and liver condition.

7. Develop your treatment plan

Once tests are completed and evaluated along with your overall health, discuss with your physician which treatment is right for you.

Standard treatment length is 8 to 12 weeks or depending on your condition, 16 to 24 weeks. There are a variety of treatments offered with over 95% cure rates. Discuss treatment options with your doctor and prepare for treatment.

8. Join a support group

Join a support group prior to starting treatment. There are many online and in-person support groups available.

9. Complete treatment

Do your treatment, and be sure to continue with tests and exams with your physician during treatment.

10. Build a recovery plan

When your treatment is completed build a post-treatment recovery plan. Continue with follow up tests and appointments with your physician and healthcare team.

Standard post-treatment tests are done until you reach 12 and 24 weeks post-treatment. Once you have received SVR 12 and SVR 24 (sustained virologic response), you are considered cured. SVR means the hepatitis C virus has not been detected in your blood for 12 and 24 weeks upon completing treatment.

Make your battle plan and move forward toward the goal of being cured. What step are you on? Comment below!

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.