Check mark "dos" area with water, fruits and vegetables, and running shoes next to X-mark "don'ts" area with alcohol, donuts, and donated blood bag

Do’s and Don’ts with Hepatitis C

Living with hep C can make you a little dizzy at times. There are so many things to remember. You’re talking to doctors, insurance companies, and family about the details. There are do’s and don’ts with eating, and also with drinking, and taking vitamins with hepatitis C. Getting ready to start treatment brings on a whole list of its own. And then there is life after treatment. Consider using this handy list to give you a general idea of how to chill-out after learning you have hep C.

Some of these things I didn’t know to do, like keeping my toothbrush separate or avoid taking too many herbs and supplements. My family never got Hep C. After I was diagnosed, I began to take more precautions with every little thing. I believe that’s why I’m alive today. If you’re doing or not doing any of these things: Please don’t stress about it. Click links to learn more. This is just a general FYI to help you get started taking the best care of yourself!

Do’s and don’ts with hepatitis C

Here are some do's and don't that I've learned over the years...

Do's

  • Stay connected with a caring hepatitis C community.
  • Find a good medical team.
  • Learn more about hepatitis (like you’re doing right now).
  • Get immunized against Hepatitis A and B.
  • Keep copies of your medical records.
  • Stay as physically active as you can by walking, cycling, swimming, gardening, or yoga.
  • Follow a low fat, lower sodium, high fiber diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Ask you doctor about vitamins and supplements.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
  • Work towards freedom from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.
  • Relax a little and give yourself a break from stress whenever possible.
  • Keep a list of your current medicines with your emergency contact information.
  • Notify your dentist when you go for a check up or a teeth cleaning visit.
  • Keep open wounds covered with a bandaid.
  • Be careful when disposing of sanitary products.
  • Brush and floss your teeth to keep your gums healthy.
  • Label your personal razor and toothbrush.
  • Stay active in your work, hobbies, or volunteer activities.
  • Try something new like meditation, a different hobby, a library card, or a bingo hall.
  • Enjoy life before, during, and after hep C treatment.
  • Be grateful that there is a cure.

Don'ts

  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • Don’t take a supplement, especially one with iron, until you've talked to your medical provider.
  • Don’t take acetaminophen or any over-the-counter drug without your doctor’s knowledge.
  • Don’t share anything related to injection or inhaled drugs - needles, syringes, or any supplies. These things should be kept clean.
  • Don’t donate blood.
  • Don’t allow stigma to make you feel guilty or ashamed.
  • Don’t obsess about passing HCV to others, but instead simply learn how it is transmitted.

The bottom line

Honestly, the best thing you can do is to have self-compassion. Be patient with yourself, especially while you are getting well again. You will find that there are many others like you, learning how to live with, and get treatment from hepatitis C. These are some of the do’s and dont’s with hepatitis C that I learned after I was first diagnosed. I hope they help you with your journey.

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