Can I Travel Abroad
You can travel abroad if you have hepatitis C, but you should speak to your doctor in advance.
You may need to have vaccinations and special arrangements may need to be made to ensure you’re able to transport and store your hepatitis C medication safely.
It might also be a good idea to take any documentation, such as details of blood tests or medical records, in case you need medical treatment abroad.
Mechanisms Of Liver Injury In Alcoholic Hepatitis C Infection
Although researchers do not fully understand how alcohol consumption accelerates liver injury in patients with HCV infection, it is likely that several factors are involved. The following mechanisms have been proposed:
Increased replication of HCV in the liver. As illustrated in figure 4, some research has found that greater alcohol consumption is related to higher HCV RNA blood concentrations . Moreover, as shown in figure 5, when people infected with HCV who drank more than 10 g of alcohol per day abstained from alcohol or substantially reduced their consumption for 4 months before treatment, HCV RNA levels dropped the decline in serum HCV RNA among subjects who drank less than or equal to 10 g of alcohol per day before abstaining was not statistically significant .
Figure 4 As alcohol consumption increases, mean blood HCV RNA levels also increased in patients with chronic HCV infection.
Figure 5 Reversibility of the increase in blood HCV RNA levels following a 4month alcoholfree diet. Group 1 consisted of subjects who drank less than or equal to 10 grams of alcohol per day when the study began subjects in Group 2 consumed 10 g of alcohol or more per day at the outset of the study.
Hepatitis C Hero: Coffee
Yes, you read that correctly: Coffee may be beneficial for people with hepatitis C, Dr. Muir says. A study published in the journal Gastroenterology found that people with hepatitis C who drank three or more cups of coffee a day were 2 times more likely to respond to their treatment than those who didn’t drink coffee. Exactly how coffee affects liver disease is not fully understood, Muir says. But if you like coffee, enjoy that cup of joe knowing it may be helping your liver.
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Alcohol Consumption And Outcome Of Antiviral Treatment
Since high HBV DNA levels in serum are associated with a higher risk of HCC, the primary aim of chronic hepatitis B treatment is sustained suppression of viral replication. HBV cannot be completely eradicated, due to the persistence of covalently closed circular DNA in the infected cell nucleus. Current guidelines recommend antiviral therapy with pegylated interferon- or nucleoside/nucleotide analogues, including entecavir and tenofovir, as first-line treatment.
In HBeAg-positive patients, female sex, high serum ALT level, low HBV DNA level, and genotype A were associated with an increased likelihood of sustained response to interferon- there are no strong pre-treatment predictors of viral response in HBeAg-negative patients. In patients with HCV, alcohol abuse appears to decrease responsiveness to interferon therapy, reducing both sensitivity and compliance. It was reported that increased oxidative stress from alcohol consumption can impair the cellular response to interferon- through interference with the JAK-STAT pathway. Although there are no data concerning an association between alcohol consumption and treatment outcomes in patients with HBV, probably because fewer patients receive interferon for treatment of chronic hepatitis B, excess alcohol could reduce the efficacy of interferon therapy by the same mechanisms reported for patients with HCV.
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.
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Can You Get Hepatitis From Drinking Alcohol
Drinking alcohol in small amounts has many health benefits including preventing Alzheimers disease and kidney stones. However, like with anything else, too much of it can be damaging in more ways than one. One disease heavy drinkers are at risk of developing is alcoholic hepatitis.
Alcoholic hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver caused by heavy alcohol consumption over an extended period of time. The liver is the main source of alcohol breakdown in the body causing it to experience the most damage from heavy alcohol consumption. This can cause the liver to become inflamed, scarred, and fatty. This condition is triggered by binge drinking and continued alcohol use and can result in health problems such as cirrhosis, excessive bleeding and liver failure. About 35 percent of long-time heavy drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis.
The link between Alcoholic Hepatitis and Hepatitis C
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Scientists are not sure why HCV is more common in alcohol drinkers, but they speculate that alcohol may make it easier for the virus to enter and remain inside the body.
Do Talk To Your Doctor If You Are Pregnant Or Planning To Become Pregnant
If youre taking ribavirin to treat your hepatitis C, you should be aware that the drug carries a risk for birth defects, so it shouldnt be used by pregnant people, people who plan to become pregnant, or people with partners who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, Lee says. In fact, the risk of defects is so serious that two forms of birth control are recommended while a person undergoes hepatitis C treatment and for six months after treatment is finished, according to the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Its also important to note that the safety of ribavirin in breast milk has not been tested, so women should avoid breastfeeding while taking this medication. If youre thinking about becoming pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor first.
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If I Have Hepatitis C Infection Does This Mean I Am Going To Have Other Health Problems
Hepatitis C can cause scarring of the liver leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Other conditions have also been linked to hepatitis C and are known as extra-hepatic manifestations of hepatitis C. They include diabetes mellitus, arthritis, hypothyroid, and aplastic anemia among other conditions. Talk to your provider for more information.
Steer Clear Of Sweetened Beverages
Soda, sweet tea, lemonade, and sweetened juice drinks are devoid of nutrition. These aren’t ideal beverages for anyone, including people with hepatitis C.
“Empty calories from soda or juices can put patients at risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and are an important part of dietary changes to help weight-loss efforts,” Dr. Fenkel said. “A can of regular soda usually has about 200 to 250 calories per can. Just eliminating one can per day can help patients lose nearly 20 pounds per year.”
People who frequently drink sugar-sweetened beverages may be overweight or obese, which can cause complications among those with hepatitis C.
“Obesity is an independent risk factor for liver disease, called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis ,” Dr. Yapp said. “Patients with a combination of NASH and hepatitis C have accelerated rates of liver damage and cirrhosis.”
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Life With Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a bloodborne disease, so its perfectly safeto share a drink or kiss someone you cant spread the infection that way.
To avoid infecting someone else, its recommended that youtake these steps:
- Do not share toothbrushes or razors with others.
- Do not use intravenous drugs.
- Use barrier protection during sexual intercourse.
- Avoid sex during menstruation.
If you have hepatitis C, its also important to avoid taxing the liver even more with drugs and alcohol. There is no hepatitis C-specific diet, but its good to maintain a healthy diet to keep your liver functioning as well as it can, Dr. Lindenmeyer says.
Once treatment is complete, your doctor will continue to monitor your viral load with blood tests. In some people, the virus relapses a few weeks after treatment ends. But, if it hasnt relapsed by three months, we can say confidently that the virus wont come back, Dr. Lindenmeyer says. At that point, you would have whats called a sustained virological response and be considered cured.
But once youve been cured, its not a guarantee you wontcontract the virus again, Dr. Lindenmeyer notes. There are many strains andmutations of hepatitis C, so its important to take the following steps to avoidputting yourself at risk again:
- Never share needles.
- Dont share razors or toothbrushes.
- Take precautions to avoid direct exposure toblood if you are a healthcare worker.
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.
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Side Effects After Treatment
Side effects after Epclusa treatment ends havent been reported in clinical studies.
There have been reports of people experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, muscle aches, trouble sleeping, and chills, after treatment with Epclusa. However, these side effects are likely caused by your body recovering from the hepatitis C virus.
If you have flu-like symptoms after your Epclusa treatment ends, talk to your doctor.
Eugene R Schiff Md And Nuri Ozden Md
Eugene R. Schiff, M.D., is chief of the Division of Hepatology, director of the Center for Liver Diseases, and a professor of medicine at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida.
Nuri Ozden, M.D., is a clinical fellow in hepatology at the University of Miami Center for Liver Diseases, Miami, Florida.
Patients infected with the hepatitis C virus who drink heavily are likely to suffer more severe liver injury, promoting disease progression to cirrhosis and increasing their risk for liver cancer. Some research, although not conclusive, suggests that even moderate drinking may spur liver damage in HCVinfected patients. Research areas that have the greatest potential for developing more effective treatment options include HCV virology, immunology, animal models, and the mechanisms of liver injury. Key words: hepatitis C virus alcoholic beverage chronic AODE amount of AOD use epidemiology risk factors disease course alcoholic liver cirrhosis gender differences biochemical mechanism RNA mutation apoptosis inflammation hepatocellular carcinoma regulatory proteins immune response alcoholic fatty liver treatment issues treatment outcome interferon
This article discusses the mechanisms by which alcohol may exacerbate HCVinfected patients risk of disease progression, reviews issues in the treatment of alcoholic patients with HCV infection, and addresses important areas of future research.
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Hepatitis C Hero: Fruits And Veggies
When it comes to fruits and vegetables for a hepatitis C diet, it’s the more the merrier. They’re rich in fiber, which helps you feel full for longer, as well as other nutrients that support heart health. Low in calories and fat, they make it easier to reach a healthy weight, says Camilla Graham, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. That, in turn, can reduce your chances of both fatty liver disease and diabetes. This is particularly important because those conditions can accelerate the damage of hepatitis C, she adds.
Hepatitis C Hero: Lean Proteins
Seek out healthy proteins like fish, skinless chicken and turkey, nonfat dairy, and lean cuts of meat. Maintaining a healthy weight is an important way to protect your liver and avoid fatty liver disease, and choosing lean proteins instead of fatty ones is a smart switch to reach these goals, says Andrew J. Muir, MD, professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. On the other hand, eating fatty red meats can contribute to obesity and worsen the toll on your liver.
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Alcohol And Hepatitis C
If you’ve been diagnosed with hepatitis C, your doctor has probably advised you to give up alcoholic beverages. For some people, this can be one of the most difficult lifestyle adjustments to make. But it’s also one of the most important.
Several studies have shown that among people with hepatitis C, regular drinkers have higher levels of virus than nondrinkers, according to a report in the journal Hepatology. Studies also show that when people infected with the hepatitis C virus stop drinking alcohol, levels of the virus decrease.
Researchers have found that alcohol causes the hepatitis C virus to multiply in the liver by increasing the activity of a protein that triggers the virus to make new copies of itself. These new copies speed the progress of the infection and raise the risk of liver damage.
Protecting your liver
There are other compelling reasons not to drink alcoholic beverages if you have hepatitis: One of the liver’s jobs is to process alcohol. Too much alcohol can poison liver cells and cause a form of the disease called alcoholic hepatitis. If people continue to drink excessively, the condition can lead to permanent liver damage, or cirrhosis.
If you’ve been diagnosed with hepatitis C, drinking alcohol adds to the strain on the liver, increasing the risk of damage to cells. That raises the danger of cirrhosis and liver cancer. If your liver has already been damaged by the virus, drinking can make things even worse.
How to get help
Taking the step
Questioning How Much Alcohol Is Safe
It is well acknowledged that a person with chronic hepatitis C and a history of heavy alcohol abuse has an increased chance of developing advanced liver disease, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma . Both of these conditions work together to effectively promote the development, progression, and severity of liver disease.
On its own, heavy alcohol intake can lead to a form of non-viral hepatitis called alcoholic hepatitis. When paired with viral hepatitis , the impact on the liver can be exponentially increased.
Hepatitis C has also been found to be more common in people with a history of alcohol abuse than among non-drinkers. While the reasons for this are not entirely clear, we do know two things:
- That alcohol and injecting drug use are strongly linked, and
- That injecting drug use remains the predominant mode of hepatitis C transmission in the U.S.
These associations highlight the need to address alcohol intake in all persons with chronic hepatitis C, whether symptomatic or not, as well as the need to address alcohol use whenever embarking upon a hepatitis C virus prevention strategy, particularly among injecting drug users and other high-risk groups.
Learn more about the risks associated with alcohol use and hepatitis C below.
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Even Moderate Drinking May Be Risky With Hepatitis C
By Kerry Grens, Reuters Health
5 Min Read
NEW YORK – For people with the chronic liver infection hepatitis C, heavy drinking is an obvious no-no, but a new study links even modest alcohol consumption with an increased risk of death – and not just from liver disease.
What this study shows is… truly, even what might be considered a moderate and safe amount of alcohol use in people without hepatitis C is dangerous to your health if you have hepatitis C, said Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, a hepatitis C researcher at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who was not involved in the study.
The findings support what liver specialists typically recommend – that people with hepatitis C should limit their alcohol use, said Dr. Zobair Younossi, the studys lead author and chair of medicine at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VA.
Patients with hepatitis C should not really drink, he said.
But the reality is that people with hepatitis C have higher rates of alcohol use than people without the liver disease, said Proeschold-Bell, who studies interventions to reduce drinking among people with the disease.
Doctors have known that excessive drinking can exacerbate liver disease caused by hepatitis C, but theres some debate about whether less frequent drinking would have a similar effect.
Younossi and his colleagues looked to a large national survey on health and lifestyle that tracked people for several years.
Can I Take Epclusa If I Have Hiv As Well As Hepatitis C
Yes, you can. Epclusa can be safely used to treat hepatitis C in people who are also infected with HIV.
In a clinical study involving people who had both hepatitis C and HIV, up to 95 percent of people who received Epclusa were cured of hepatitis C. Importantly, treatment with Epclusa didnt cause worsening of HIV.
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Financial And Insurance Assistance
If you need financial support to pay for Epclusa or help understanding your insurance coverage, assistance is available.
Gilead Sciences Inc., the manufacturer of Epclusa, offers a program called Epclusa Support Path. For more information and to find out if youre eligible for support, call 855-769-7284 or visit the program website.
Drinking alcohol while taking Epclusa can increase your risk of certain side effects from the drug. These side effects include:
In addition, both hepatitis C and excessive alcohol use cause inflammation and scarring in the liver. The combination increases your risk of cirrhosis and liver failure.
Alcohol may also interfere with your ability to stick to your treatment plan as directed by your doctor. For instance, it may cause you to forget to take your medication on time. Missing doses could make Epclusa less effective in treating your HCV.
For all of these reasons, you should avoid drinking alcohol when you have hepatitis C, especially when youre being treated with Epclusa. If you have trouble avoiding alcohol, talk with your doctor.