Stomach Trouble with Hepatitis C

By now, you have probably learned that hepatitis C is usually treated by a gastroenterologist. That is because your liver is part of your gastrointestinal system. It regulates the way your food is absorbed by your body. Hepatitis C can cause stomach trouble, either as a symptom of the virus, or from associated liver disease.

Symptoms of stomach trouble

Maybe you have one or more of the symptoms listed here:

Ulcers

These sores in your stomach can be quite painful. They may be caused by an acid condition, allergies, or from a bacteria. Sometimes your body makes too much acid. This can be the result of stress, or from a bacteria in your stomach. Your doctor can do tests to find out for sure. Treatment may include an acid reducer and dietary changes.

Allergies

The treatment for stomach problems may be a change in your diet. If your doctor recommends it, consider trying an elimination diet- cut out certain foods for about 10 days (such as dairy or gluten) and see if you feel better. I recommend cutting out 1 food at a time to narrow down the one that is causing trouble.

Varices

These are swollen blood vessels that produce an aneurysm in your stomach or esophagus. Food can get caught on them as it goes down toward your stomach, creating heartburn or acid reflux. They are treated with acid reducers, beta blockers, and a soft diet.

High fiber

One of the things you may notice when eating a higher fiber diet is increased bloating. High fiber foods absorb a lot of water in your intestines. They move more quickly through your system and can caused slight pressure. It is harmless. If you have discomfort, drink more water.

Stress and stomach aches

Diagnosis is done with blood work, an endoscope, colonoscopy, CAT scan, or MRI. Be sure and tell your doctor about all of your symptoms. Let them know what you are doing at home to help to prevent and treat stomach troubles. Follow your doctor’s advice regarding diet, testing, and medication.

When I have a stomach ache, it makes me feel kind of sad. I think that is because stress can bring on a stomach ache. I relate stomach pain to stress. When I am stressed, my stomach aches and produces more acid, which causes more pain. Then my acid production increases, and I get stuck in a rut.

Taking slow, calming breaths can help. I find that chewing on an antacid can bring immediate relief also. Choosing food carefully and chewing thoroughly is also helpful, since gobbling food down without chewing makes it harder for our stomach to digest. The food will sit in your stomach and wait for enzymes to “chew” your food. Help it out by eating slowly.

There are many reasons for stomach issues when you have hepatitis C. Some can be severe and others may be mild. Your doctor can do tests to determine the cause, and hopefully, a treatment will be prescribed to bring you some relief.

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

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