Stomach Issues with Hepatitis C
From the very start, before being diagnosed with hepatitis C, I was having all sorts of abdominal stomach issues. First I was diagnosed with a gallbladder that needed to be removed and then several rounds of pancreatitis. I was nauseated all the time. I felt like to matter what I ate, it was always hurting my stomach.
How hepatitis C can affect the stomach
After looking into hepatitis C more, I confirmed with my doctor that indeed hepatitis can cause numerous other issues pertaining to the gastrointestinal system. Hepatitis C can cause varices (also known as swollen blood vessels) in the stomach and esophagus. These varices can be caused by high blood pressure in the portal veins, which connect the liver to the stomach, esophagus, and other parts of the digestive tract.
Changing my diet
My diet was the main issue my liver changed in my treatment. From day 1, I changed and eliminated all fried foods. That can be hard to do, so I have a strict limit on fried items to this day. I feel yucky, usually when I have eaten large amounts of fried foods. My doctor also suggested I remove out a lot of the heavy spiced-up items, such as hot sauce and acidic things like spaghetti sauce or chilis. Red meat was also something he urged me to be cautious on. Our livers are sensitive to being able to digest high levels of protein and therefore all this excess protein was setting on my brain, giving brain fog symptoms.
The diet also eliminated all alcohol. I did not have a big issue there, as I was never a big drinker. Water was always my doctor's go-to for me to drink. He said if I was thirsty, drink water. Morning instead of juice, drink water. Me being me, I like to challenge him with funny comebacks. I would say that my coffee was made with water etc., but he would always give me that smirk grin and say “Now Kim”.
Bottom line here: Our livers are fragile and fighting to survive fighting hep C. We need to be as kind to it as we possibly can. If in doubt and need advise, speak to you doctor about suggestions on a good diet to be following.
What stomach issues have you experienced as a result of hep C?
Where are you in your treatment journey?