Wednesday, September 21, 2022

How To Manage Hepatitis C

Dryness Of The Skin Eyes Or Mouth

Diagnosis of Management of Hepatitis C – Steven-Huy Han, MD | UCLA Primary Care Update 2015

Dryness of the skin, eyes, or mouth can accompany HCV. It is also common to have itching or rashes on the skin. Talk to your doctor as soon as you notice these symptoms. They can help rule out other health conditions and recommend treatments.

For dryness related to HCV, some tips include:5

  • Use unscented moisturizers
  • Avoid harsh skin cleaning products
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wear sunscreen when outside
  • Wear sun protective clothing
  • Use medicines or mouthwashes specifically for dry mouth
  • Use saline nose spray

Simplified Hcv Treatment Algorithm For Treatment

The simplified HCV treatment algorithm for adults without cirrhosis applies to persons aged 18 years who have not been previously treated for their infection and do not have evidence of cirrhosis as defined by the noninvasive parameters specified in the HCV guidance. Evidence of cirrhosis includes a FIB-4 score > 3.25 or any of the following findings from a previously performed test: transient elastography indicating cirrhosis , noninvasive serologic tests that exceed proprietary cutoffs , clinical evidence of cirrhosis , and/or prior liver biopsy showing cirrhosis. This simplified treatment algorithm is not recommended for persons with HIV and/or HBV infection, prior liver transplantation, HCC, end-stage renal disease , and/or current pregnancy because they require more nuanced care. See the online HCV guidance for management and treatment recommendations for these patients.

The pretreatment evaluation should include an assessment for cirrhosis, medication reconciliation, drugdrug interactions, and patient education regarding treatment administration and the importance of adherence and transmission prevention. Recommended pretreatment laboratory testing is conducted to confirm chronic HCV infection and exclude decompensated liver disease, HBV and/or HIV coinfection, end-stage renal disease, and pregnancy prior to treatment initiation.

Start Hepatitis C Treatment And Stick To It

Starting on medication for hepatitis C can ease many of the symptoms that can contribute to your stress, anxiety, and depression especially fatigue, says Sarkar. For example, for some people with hepatitis C, the fatigue is so overwhelming that they have to file for disability benefits, he explains. But treatment can help resolve this symptom and allow you to feel in charge of your life again, which brings a large psychological boost.

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How Do Doctors Treat Hepatitis C

Doctors treat hepatitis C with antiviral medicines that attack the virus and can cure the disease in most cases.

Several newer medicines, called direct-acting antiviral medicines, have been approved to treat hepatitis C since 2013. Studies show that these medicines can cure chronic hepatitis C in most people with this disease. These medicines can also cure acute hepatitis C. In some cases, doctors recommend waiting to see if an acute infection becomes chronic before starting treatment.

Your doctor may prescribe one or more of these newer, direct-acting antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis C:

You may need to take medicines for 8 to 24 weeks to cure hepatitis C. Your doctor will prescribe medicines and recommend a length of treatment based on

  • which hepatitis C genotype you have
  • how much liver damage you have
  • whether you have been treated for hepatitis C in the past

Your doctor may order blood tests during and after your treatment. Blood tests can show whether the treatment is working. Hepatitis C medicines cure the infection in most people who complete treatment.

Hepatitis C medicines may cause side effects. Talk with your doctor about the side effects of treatment. Check with your doctor before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

For safety reasons, talk with your doctor before using dietary supplements, such as vitamins, or any complementary or alternative medicines or medical practices.

Hepatitis C In The Workplace

RACGP

The Americans with Disabilities ActThe Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, as well as in other circumstances. If you have hepatitis C virus , the ADA provides some protection in the workplace, but there are limits to what it does.

  • You cannot be terminated from employment solely because of having hepatitis C.
  • A hepatitis C diagnosis is not an automatic disability. The ADA protects qualified individuals with disabilities. A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual, and it must be permanent or long-lasting.
  • The ADA assists people who can work, especially if reasonable accommodations are made to enable them to continue at their job. For instance, you may not be disabled by hep C, but treatment for it may affect your work. Reasonable accommodations may include time off for medical appointments, paid or unpaid leave, and redistribution of responsibilities to help you keep your job while undergoing treatment. Accommodations must not cause undue hardship to the employer.
  • If you do not perform your job, even if it is because of a disability, your employment can be legally terminated.
  • The ADA does not protect people who cannot work due to a disability.
  • The ADA only applies to U.S. employers with 15 or more employees.

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Complications Of Hepatitis C

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.

Should I Be Screened For Hepatitis C

Doctors usually recommend one-time screening of all adults ages 18 to 79 for hepatitis C. Screening is testing for a disease in people who have no symptoms. Doctors use blood tests to screen for hepatitis C. Many people who have hepatitis C dont have symptoms and dont know they have hepatitis C. Screening tests can help doctors diagnose and treat hepatitis C before it causes serious health problems.

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Hepatitis C Symptoms + 8 Natural Ways To Manage Them

By Christine Ruggeri, CHHC

Hepatitis C symptoms often go overlooked because they are similar to common illnesses, like the flu. In fact, most people with hepatitis C dont experience symptoms until decades after they contract the virus after their liver is damaged. Thats the scary thing about hepatitis C it often becomes a chronic condition before people even know they have it. Its also the leading cause of liver cancer, the most common reason for liver transplants in the U.S. and a common cause of cirrhosis. Plus, studies show that the prevalence of hepatitis C is on the rise.

A very recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that cases of hepatitis C virus infection in U.S. women in their reproductive years doubled from 2006 to 2014, rising from roughly 15,000 cases to 30,000. As a result, an estimated 1,700 infants were born with hepatitis C between 2011 and 2014.

So what are the causes of hepatitis C and how do you know if youre infected? Keep reading to answer these questions. If you think youre at risk of contracting the virus, make an appointment to get tested. The sooner your doctor diagnoses you, the higher your chances of fighting the virus, even with natural remedies that support your liver and help it to function properly.

Acute Hcv Infection Treatment

Management of Hepatitis C Pre and Post Transplantation

Recommendation

  • Due to high efficacy and safety, the same regimens that are recommended for chronic HCV infection are recommended for acute infection.
  • Data are emerging regarding treatment of acute HCV infection with abbreviated courses of DAA regimens in both HCV monoinfection and HIV/HCV coinfection.- There are presently insufficient data, however, to recommend abbreviated courses of any approved DAA regimens. Until more definitive data are available, recommended treatment is as described for chronic hepatitis C infection in the online HCV guidance. Pangenotypic regimens, as recommended in the simplified HCV treatment section, represent the preferred choice for eligible patients. For patients who are ineligible for simplified HCV treatment, genotyping may be considered to guide DAA regimen selection.

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    How To Manage Hepatitis C Side Effects

    Though hepatitis C an infection of the liver can be treated and in rare cases cured, the side effects can be daunting. According to the CDC, about 3.5 million people in the U.S. have contracted the disease. And while the illness which appears in several forms mainly type 1 causes few symptoms, those plagued by them experience:

    • Jaundice
    • Stomach pain

    So who is at risk HVC infection?

    The CDC reports that the following persons are at an increased risk for HCV infection:

    • Received blood from a donor who had the disease
    • Have ever injected drugs
    • Had a blood transfusion or an organ transplant before July 1992
    • Received a blood product used to treat clotting problems before 1987
    • Were born between 1945 and 1965
    • Have been on long-term kidney dialysis
    • Persons with HIV infection
    • Children born to HCV-positive mothers

    How does one manage their symptoms?

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    Can You Get Hepatitis From Drinking Alcohol?

    Hepatitis C Virus And Alcohol

    There are high rates of HCV antibody positivity among alcoholic patients., Most antibody positive patients are also HCV RNA positive and some studies suggest higher levels of HCV RNA in this group of patients, although this remains to be confirmed. The presence of anti-HCV antibodies is associated with more severe liver disease in alcoholic patients.

    The importance of alcohol in chronic HCV infection was shown in the recent study of Poynard et al showing that daily consumption of more than 50 g of alcohol is associated with an increased rate of fibrosis progression.

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    Pay Attention To Your Sleep Schedule

    More than 30 percent of people with hepatitis C report sleep problems, according to an August 2018 article published in the journal PLOS ONE. The problem is, those sleep disruptions can increase levels of stress hormones, according to the National Sleep Foundation .

    To improve your sleep, go to bed and wake up at the same times every day and turn off all screens at least an hour before bedtime, the NSF advises. Relaxation or deep breathing techniques may also help you fall asleep.

    Try Meditation Yoga Or Deep Breathing

    (PDF) Managing Hepatitis C in Users of Illicit Drugs

    These time-tested stress-reduction techniques arent specific to hepatitis C, of course, but theres evidence that they may be commonly used by and helpful in people with liver disease.

    In a study published in May 2010 in the journal Gastroenterology Nursing, researchers found that meditation and deep breathing were used by 29 percent of people with hepatitis C to relieve tension and promote feelings of well-being.

    The studys authors concluded that healthcare providers should be aware of and discuss mind-body techniques with their patients, given the strategies widespread successful use by people. Sarkar also discusses stress-relief measures such as meditation and yoga with his patients, and many of them find these practices helpful.

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    Use Hepatitis C Medications

    Until recently, treatment for hepatitis C normally involved taking two primary medicines:

    • Ribavirin, which is an antiviral medication that prevents the virus from reproducing.
    • Pegylated interferon, which is a medication that stimulates the immune system to attack the virus.

    These medications were usually just taken together. Nowadays, however, they are normally combined with a third medication, like sofosbuvir or simeprevir. These are newer hepatitis C medications, which have been proven to make treatment more effective.

    In certain situations, you may take a combination of these newer medications without having to take ribavirin and/or pegylated interferon as well. Hepatitis C medications are normally taken as tablets 1-2 times a day, for 8-48 weeks, depending on your hepatitis C genotype, the exact medicine you are taking, as well as the severity of your condition.

    Infection with Hepatitis is among the leading causes of ill health and mortality all over the world. As such, this condition needs to be accorded proper and accurate medical attention, lest it gets worse and even results in death. Fortunately, there is treatment for hepatitis C, some of which arent as complex as you may have thought them to be. If you follow the above hepatitis management practices, youll manage to avoid the complications associated with the infection.

    Signs & Symptoms Of Hepatitis C

    For some people, it can be hard to tell if they have hepatitis C because the symptoms arent very noticeable until damage is already done to the liver. This is why its sometimes called a silent infection. In fact, 4585 percent of people who have hepatitis C dont know it. Its common to have the infection for over 15 years before ever noticing hepatitis C symptoms.

    The CDC states that 2030 percent of people newly infected by the disease experience hepatitis C symptoms, usually within 412 weeks of onset. The symptoms of hepatitis C are similar to other common illnesses, like the flu. This is why people typically dont realize that they are infected with a serious viral disease. People who have contracted hepatitis C may notice the following health issues :

    • fatigue
    • yellowed eyes and skin
    • itchy skin
    • confusion

    You can do a simple blood test to find out if you have hepatitis C. People at risk of contracting the virus should be tested because hepatitis C symptoms usually dont become noticeable until after liver damage has already begun. When a person tests positive for hepatitis C, he or she can begin treatment immediately and will take precautions to ensure that the virus wont spread to others.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that the following groups of people should be tested for hepatitis C :

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    The Development Of Guidelines: Rigour Of Development/systematic Critical Review Of The Literature

    1.2.1 Guideline development group

    The development of these clinical guidelines follows a workshop held at the Royal College of Physicians on 3 December 1997. This meeting was jointly coordinated by the NHS Executive, the Royal College of Physicians, the British Society of Gastroenterology, British Liver Trust, and the British Association for the Study of the Liver . The workshop was attended by hepatologists, gastroenterologists, histopathologists, virologists, general practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, patient representatives, health care economists, and NHS managers. Attendants were chosen to represent key professional disciplines and interest groups likely to be affected by the guidelines. The literature was reviewed by a clinician attending the workshop and the guidelines written under the guidance of a steering committee, which met regularly during the development process. The document was circulated to both clinicians and non-clinicians for comments before the final guidelines were drawn up . The guidelines were presented at the 1999 BASL meeting in London where consensus was achieved on some of the more controversial issues.

    1.2.2 Strategy

    ARCTs, meta-analyses, or systematic reviews
    Bprospective, retrospective, or cross sectional studies
    Cexpert opinion.

    1.2.3 Context and content

    1.2.4 Application and presentation

    The national guidelines will be used as a framework for local groups to develop according to local needs.

    1.2.5 Statement of intent

    How Can I Protect Myself From Hepatitis C Infection

    Managing Hepatitis C Treatment Side Effects in the Interferon Era

    If you dont have hepatitis C, you can help protect yourself from hepatitis C infection by

    • not sharing drug needles or other drug materials
    • wearing gloves if you have to touch another persons blood or open sores
    • making sure your tattoo artist or body piercer uses sterile tools and unopened ink
    • not sharing personal items such toothbrushes, razors, or nail clippers

    Hepatitis C can spread from person to person during sex, but the chances are low. People who have multiple sex partners, have HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases, or who engage in rough or anal sex have a higher chance of getting hepatitis C. Talk with your doctor about your risk of getting hepatitis C through sex and about safe sex practices, such as using a latex or polyurethane condom to help prevent the spread of hepatitis C.

    If you had hepatitis C in the past and your body fought off the infection or medicines cured the infection, you can get hepatitis C again. Follow the steps above, and talk with your doctor about how to protect yourself from another hepatitis C infection.

    If you think you may have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus, see your doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent liver damage.

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    What Causes Hepatitis C

    The hepatitis C virus causes hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus spreads through contact with an infected persons blood. Contact can occur by

    • sharing drug needles or other drug materials with an infected person
    • getting an accidental stick with a needle that was used on an infected person
    • being tattooed or pierced with tools or inks that were not kept sterilefree from all viruses and other microorganismsand were used on an infected person before they were used on you
    • having contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
    • using an infected persons razor, toothbrush, or nail clippers
    • being born to a mother with hepatitis C
    • having unprotected sex with an infected person

    You cant get hepatitis C from

    • being coughed or sneezed on by an infected person
    • drinking water or eating food
    • hugging an infected person
    • shaking hands or holding hands with an infected person
    • sharing spoons, forks, and other eating utensils
    • sitting next to an infected person

    A baby cant get hepatitis C from breast milk.18

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