Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Can Hepatitis C Come Back

Hep C Virus Rna Assays

Will my Liver Disease come back after Liver Transplantation? – Dr. Sumana Kolar Ramachandran

An HCV RNA test shows whether people have an active hepatitis C infection or not. An HCV RNA test checks for the viral load to indicate the amount of the virus in the blood.

An HCV RNA test can also show how a person with a hepatitis C infection responds to treatment to see if medication is helping lower the viral load.

I Have Hepatitis C And I’m Thinking About Having Children What Should I Know

Hepatitis C does not prevent a man or woman from having children.

The hepatitis C virus infection does not cause infertility in either sex–it does not affect a woman’s ovarian or uterine function, or a man’s sperm production or sperm characteristics.

If you are a woman with hepatitis C, talk to your provider about treatment before pregnancy. Treatment before pregnancy can help reduce the risk of hepatitis C transmission to your baby. If you are already pregnant, treatment will usually take place after pregnancy and you may need to be tested for hepatitis C again prior to starting treatment.

If you are a man with hepatitis C, talk to your provider about being treated prior to conceiving. Although the risk of transmission during sex is low, it is still important to treat hepatitis C for your personal health.

You May Not Feel Any Different

If you experience symptoms of hepatitis C , it may take a few weeks or months after you finish your treatment to feel better if you notice any changes at all.

There arent many symptoms directly related to hepatitis C, says K. V. Narayanan Menon, MD, a hepatologist and the medical director of liver transplantation at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. Fatigue is one that seems to be fairly common. its not like with an ear infection, where you take antibiotics and it gets better. You may not see the change.

How can you be sure that youve been cured? Before your treatment, doctors test your blood for active hepatitis C. Theyll then test you again at the end of your treatment and often one more time a month later to be sure youre cured. Somewhere between 95 to 99 percent of people are considered cured after just one round of treatment, says Dr. Menon.

Read Also: Common Symptoms Of Hepatitis B And C

Recurrence Of Hepatitis C After Treatment Studied

A multi-study analysis shows that a majority of patients with hepatitis C maintained sustained virological response five years after they were treated but researchers found higher risk of reinfection among patients in two subgroups.

A multi-study analysis shows that a majority of patients with hepatitis C maintained sustained virological response five years after they were treated but researchers found higher risk of reinfection among patients in two subgroups.

Researchers set out to systematically review evidence from a number of studies that examined the durability of treatment-induced SVR in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus and conduct a meta-analysis to provide summary estimates of the recurrence rate by risk group. The findings were published online January 19 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Hepatitis C treatment is considered successful if a patient achieves SVR, an indication that HCV RNA is no longer detectable in his or her blood 12-to-24 weeks after treatment ends. This cure marker is associated with improved prognosis compared to patients who arent treated or fail therapy, with benefits that include improved histology, reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, and improved overall survival, the authors note.

For the low risk group, researchers reviewed 43 studies and found that HCV returned in 108 of 7,969 patients and determined a pooled recurrence rate of 1.85/1000 PYFU.

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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Nafld

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  • Exercise. Being active on a regular basis can boost your metabolism, says Dr. Brown. Shoot for 20 minutes of brisk daily walking.
  • Practice moderation. No extreme dieting, no binge-eating. Moderation in meal planning and food choices is important to startingand sticking toa healthy lifestyle that will reduce your NAFLD risk.
  • Track data. Todays technology makes it easy to keep a log of your steps, weight, calories, and plate portions. The more data you have about your behavior, the more likely you are to keep on track, says Dr. Brown. You dont have to become obsessed with it.

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How Do You Treat Hepatitis C

People with acute infection do not always need treatment, because their immune system may clear hepatitis C on its own. If you test positive during the acute stage, your doctor may ask you to come back after a few months to re-test and to see if you need any treatment.

If people develop chronic infection, they will need treatment to help clear the virus. Where available, treatment with drugs called direct-acting antivirals can cure hepatitis in most cases. These are usually taken for 8-12 weeks. Your doctor will also check your liver for any damage.

If youve had hepatitis C in the past, youre not immune to future infections which means you can get it again. You can also still get other types of hepatitis, and having hepatitis C together with another type is more serious.

If youve already had hepatitis C, its advisable to have the vaccination against hepatitis A and B to protect your liver from further damage.

Whether you have symptoms or not, dont have sex until your healthcare professional says you can.

I Normally Go For Regular Liver Check

All doctors, specialists, nurses, and health staff are doing everything they can to make clinics as safe as possible at this time. We recommend calling your doctor or specialist before any appointment to check. They might do an appointment over the phone or there might be extra steps and precautions to take when you visit.

For more information on what healthcare is available through Telehealth > > >

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If You Have Hepatitis C Should You Get A Flu Shot

Yes. Having chronic hepatitis C is actually a good reason to get the flu shot. Chronic hepatitis C is a condition that can increase your risk of complications if you do get influenza. That’s why it is recommended for people with hepatitis C, and most chronic liver diseases, to be vaccinated against the flu.

To stay up to date with your influenza vaccinations, you need to be vaccinated every year–ideally, early in the flu season or as soon as the vaccine becomes available. Typically, flu season is considered to be October to March. It’s best to get vaccinated annually because the vaccine is designed differently each year to target the strains of influenza that are expected to circulate during that particular flu season.

Side Effects Of Treatment

Does hepatitis C come back after treatment?

Treatments with direct-acting antivirals have very few side effects. Most people find DAA tablets very easy to take.

You may feel a little sick and have trouble sleeping to begin with, but this should soon settle down.

Your nurse or doctor should be able to suggest things to help ease any discomfort.

You need to complete the full course of treatment to ensure you clear the hepatitis C virus from your body.

If you have any problems with your medicines, speak to your doctor or nurse straight away.

Side effects for each type of treatment can vary from person to person.

For a very small number of people, more severe side effects from hepatitis C treatments may include:

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What To Do If The Hcv Antibody Test Is Reactive

If the antibody test is reactive or positive, you need an additional test to see if you currently have hepatitis C. This test is called a nucleic acid test for HCV RNA. Another name used for this test is a PCR test.

If the NAT for HCV RNA is:

  • Negative you were infected with hepatitis C virus, but the virus is no longer in your body because you were cured or cleared the virus naturally.
  • Positive you now have the virus in your blood.

If you have a reactive antibody test and a positive NAT for HCV RNA, you will need to talk to a doctor about treatment. Treatments are available that can cure most people with hepatitis C in 8 to 12 weeks.

What If I Cant Reduce My Risk Factors

If you are struggling with an intravenous drug addiction or dependence, it is important to reach out to your local healthcare provider. They can assist you in finding treatment options that you can afford, as well as guiding you through the steps to begin treatment. For those who are not interested in ending their drug use, a local healthcare provider may be able to show you to places where you can exchange your used needles for clean needles. The options vary based on your location.

If you are struggling with alcohol addiction or dependence, it is also important to reach out to your local healthcare provider. They can assist you in assessing your individual treatment needs, as well as referring you to an inpatient or outpatient program that fits your life and your budget. Whether you are interested in quitting drinking or whether you choose to continue to consume alcohol, it is important to let your primary physician know about your alcohol use so s/he can monitor your liver and viral load levels more closely for signs of additional physical stressors that you may not be able to see without test results.

If you want to talk with someone about your sexual practices and to discuss whether there are additional actions you can incorporate into your sex life in order to best protect yourself and your partner, reach out to your local health clinic or to your primary care physician for guidance. They may be able to help you directly.

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Can I Drink Alcohol Once In A While If I Have Hepatitis C

Alcohol can clearly contribute to worsening liver disease. You must discuss with your health care provider if any amount of alcohol is safe for you.

Alcohol can cause inflammation and scarring in the liver. If you have any underlying liver condition, such as hepatitis C or hepatitis B or damage from long-term alcohol use, your liver will be more sensitive to alcohol. When you have hepatitis C virus, alcohol on top of the hepatitis C can cause the inflammation and scarring to be worse, and overall damage to the liver may happen much faster when you drink alcohol.

Here is some helpful information about alcohol and hepatitis:

  • No one knows exactly what amount of alcohol is “safe” when you have hepatitis C. Some small amounts of alcohol may be safe while you have hepatitis C and have mild damage in the liver, but if you have cirrhosis, then no amount of alcohol is safe and you should not drink at all.
  • All forms of alcohol can be damaging. In other words, beer and wine are not “safer” than whiskey.
  • If you have severe scarring , then you should not drink any alcohol at all.
  • If you are awaiting a transplant, you also cannot drink any alcohol at all.
  • Treatments For Hepatitis C

    How to Handle Worry and Anxiety in Post Hep C Treatment

    Hepatitis C can be treated with medicines that stop the virus multiplying inside the body. These usually need to be taken for several weeks.

    Until recently, most people would have taken 2 main medicines called pegylated interferon and ribavirin .

    Tablet-only treatments are now available.

    These new hepatitis C medicines have been found to make treatment more effective, are easier to tolerate, and have shorter treatment courses.

    They include sofosbuvir and daclatasvir.

    Using the latest medications, more than 90% of people with hepatitis C may be cured.

    But it’s important to be aware that you will not be immune to the infection and should take steps to reduce your risk of becoming infected again.

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    Is It Safe To Take Aspirin Or Tylenol If I Have Hepatitis C

    Tylenol is an over-the-counter pain killer. It can be harmful in high doses. If you have hepatitis or liver disease, then you can take Tylenol, but no more than 2,000 mg total over 24 hours. In general, this could be one 500 mg tablet every 6 hours, at the most. Acetaminophen is also included as an ingredient in some opiate medications and in some over-the-counter cold/flu medications, so please be aware of the dose of acetaminophen you may be taking from some combination medicines.

    Aspirin, ibuprofen , naproxen , and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , can be harmful if you have cirrhosis. They are safe in hepatitis patients who do not have cirrhosis. But, if a patient has cirrhosis, then NSAIDs cannot be taken at all. If you are not sure, always check with your provider.

    It’s Different Than Hepatitis A And B

    Each form of hepatitis has its own specific virus that spreads and is treated differently. “Hepatitis simply means inflammation of the liver, or that the virus has an affinity for hurting the liver,” Reau says.

    • Hepatitis A is an acute, short-term infection that often does not require treatment.
    • Hepatitis B hides deep in the body and, like hepatitis C, is treated in a variety of ways, from antiviral medications to liver transplants.

    “The viruses are different, but all of them should be taken very seriously since they can lead to significant liver disease and even death,” she adds.

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    What Are The Different Types Of Blood Tests How Often Should I Get These Tests Done

    There are several different blood tests, or “labs” that your provider may order for you. The tests measure the amounts of various proteins and enzymes that the liver produces. This is a way of finding out how damaged the liver is. Your provider can determine how often each test needs to be done. Please see Understanding Lab Tests for more details about the tests you may have.

    Why Is The Viral Load Test Important

    Feeling Good after Hepatitis C Treatment and Liver Problems

    Viral load testing is important because it shows whether someone has an active hepatitis C infection or not. People can have antibodies in their blood from previous exposure to hepatitis C, but they may not have an active infection.

    Viral load also shows the amount of the virus in the bloodstream. This can help indicate the effectiveness of treatments in reducing the virus by comparing viral load before, during, and after hepatitis C treatment.

    However, the viral load does not indicate the condition of the liver people will need liver function tests to assess any damage to the liver.

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    You May Still Have Liver Damage

    If you had high levels of liver damage before you started treatment, you may still have an increased risk of liver cancer after the infection has been cured, says Menon.

    To assess liver damage, your doctor will perform a biopsy or a scan either before or after treatment. If theres no scarring, you probably wont need long-term follow-up.

    If you have cirrhosis or advanced fibrosis , however, you may need to be followed over the long-term, potentially for the rest of your life. The reason: Your doctor will want to be sure your liver is functioning properly and look for signs of liver cancer. Your liver function can deteriorate to the point where you need a transplant, says Menon.

    There is some evidence that new treatments may improve scarring but its too early yet to be sure. The drugs are very new, so its hard to say one way or another, says Menon.

    I Have Hep C So Are There Extra Precautions I Need To Take Against Covid

    TAKE THE SAME PRECAUTIONS AS EVERYONE. We all need to take precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19, whether we have hep C or not, for our health and for our community as a whole.

    You should take extra precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19 if you: have an additional health condition are over 70 are over 50 and Aboriginal have a weakened immune system.

    Follow Government advice on keeping safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 > > > CLICK HERE

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    Who Should Get Tested

    You should consider getting tested for hepatitis C if you’re worried you could have been infected or you fall into one of the groups at an increased risk of being infected.

    Hepatitis C often has no symptoms, so you may still be infected if you feel healthy.

    Some groups of people are at an increased risk of hepatitis C, including:

    • ex-drug users and current drug users, particularly users of injected drugs
    • people who received blood transfusions before September 1991 or blood products before 1986 in the UK
    • UK recipients of organ or tissue transplants before 1992
    • people who have lived or had medical treatment in an area where hepatitis C is common high-risk areas include Africa, the Middle East and central Asia
    • babies and children whose mothers have hepatitis C
    • anyone accidentally exposed to the virus, such as health workers
    • people who have received a tattoo or piercing where equipment may not have been properly sterilised
    • sexual partners, family members and close contacts of people with hepatitis C

    If you continue to engage in high-risk activities, such as injecting drugs frequently, regular testing may be recommended. Your doctor will be able to advise you about this.

    Complications Of Hepatitis C

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    If the infection is left untreated for many years, some people with hepatitis C will develop scarring of the liver .

    Over time, this can cause the liver to stop working properly.

    In severe cases, life-threatening problems, such as liver failure, where the liver loses most or all of its functions, or liver cancer, can eventually develop.

    Treating hepatitis C as early as possible can help reduce the risk of these problems happening.

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