a movie set with people living with hepatitis C on camera

Community Views: A Day in the Life with Hepatitis C

For some people, hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a condition that is not talked about often. As a result, many people – including those who are newly diagnosed with hep C – do not fully understand what it means to live with HCV.

To find out more about what life with HCV looks like, we turned to our community members. We asked followers of our Facebook page to answer this prompt: “If I directed a commercial about living with hep C, it would include ________.”

A number of community members responded to share their thoughts.

Hep C is painful

Symptoms of chronic HCV can include muscle aches and joint pain. You may also have abdominal pain, especially in the upper-right side of the abdomen where your liver is located. Pain can impact your quality of life, so it is important to talk to your doctor about ways to relieve this symptom.

“Rolled up in a ball and rocking from the body pain.”

“Liver pain. It is a common symptom yet it is rarely talked about.”

Hep C robs you of energy

Many viruses leave the body feeling fatigued, and hep C is no exception. This level of tiredness is not something that can be cured with more sleep. It can be frustrating to feel like fatigue has robbed you of the things you could once do before your diagnosis. Saving your energy for the most important activities might help you in your daily routine.

“A person with hep C would be shown napping during the day. Chores or a to-do list for work gets left undone.”

Hep C feels itchy

Many people are unaware that HCV can cause severe itching of the skin. In some people, this itchy sensation only affects certain areas of the body, such as the hands and feet. In others, it causes an uncomfortable and unrelenting itching sensation all over the body. If you experience itching that affects your day-to-day life, talk to your doctor about treatment options.

“The itching.”

“Itching!”

A healthy diet can help

For some people living with HCV, eating a healthy diet can help manage symptoms. Because the virus causes inflammation, diets that avoid fatty foods, salt, sugar, alcohol, and fried foods may reduce symptoms like nausea and diarrhea. Drinking lots of water to stay hydrated is also a good way to help your body, especially your liver.

“I try to eat right without smoking or drinking.”

There is a cure

Several community members pointed out that it is entirely possible to live a full life with HCV. Lifestyle changes can help you manage symptoms, and the percentage of people with HCV who achieve a cure after treatment is nearly 100 percent.

“There is a cure.”

“It is not a death sentence.”

We want to say thank you to everyone who shared for this story. We are always grateful that so many people share their experiences to create our welcoming community.

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