Dealing with Stress and Hepatitis C
Stress can stem from many sources: relationships, work, finances, medical insurance, worry, anger, or fear of the unknown with dealing with hepatitis C. Stress can lead to a firestorm of emotions, which can suppress your immune system and how well your body is fighting hepatitis C.
The importance of mental health
Taking care of yourself emotionally and mentally is just as important as taking care of yourself physically with hepatitis C and liver disease. Learning proactive steps to reduced stress helps your body help your liver.
Tips for reducing stress
Here are some tips for reducing stress:
- Take a physical break when you feel stressed or worried. Get your mind on something you enjoy. A brief time to read a book, call a friend, or take a walk.
- Avoid things that are harmful to your liver, like alcohol, smoking, harmful drugs, and toxic chemicals.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep at night. A regular bedtime routine helps you with good sleeping habits. Sleep is a time for your body to recharge.
- Eating nutritious, balanced meals 3 times per day with a healthy snack helps fuel your body and keep your blood sugar level. Eliminating processed foods with chemicals and additives will also help your liver and help to make you feel better.
- Drink at least 64 ounces of pure water or infused water with citrus. This is a great refresher and helps clear your mind while helping flush your body of toxins.
- Physical exercise, like walking, yoga, or stretching exercises, boost the endorphins and are a proven stress reducer.
- Prayer and meditation offer excellent stress-relieving benefits.
- Support groups for hepatitis C and liver disease offer understanding and help. Sharing our experience and issues with others who understand is a great stress reducer.
- Talking to your physician and healthcare team about the concerns you have with hepatitis C can bring answers to questions and help relieve stress.
- Talking to a professional counselor and/or pastor also offers great help with stress.
The importance of managing stress
Don’t allow stress to mound up without taking action. Hepatitis C and liver disease doesn’t just affect the body, but can affect all areas of your life. Being diagnosed with a chronic condition can make a person feel like they don’t have control over their health. Taking action to reduce stress and taking care of yourself equips you with healthy choices and helps you feel more in control. These work together to help your body fight hepatitis C.
What dietary changes have you made to better manage hep C symptoms? (Select all that apply)