Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Help Myself
As well as cutting out alcohol, it can help to:
- control your weight with a healthy diet and regular exercise
- get vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B
This is because being overweight, smoking and having more than one type of hepatitis can increase the chances of your liver being damaged if you have hepatitis C.
What Laboratory Tests Diagnose Hepatitis C
Laboratory blood tests will be done to evaluate the patients liver function and to look for hepatitis C antibodies . If these tests indicate that the person has hepatitis C, a hepatitis C viral load test will be done. This looks for genetic material from the hepatitis C virus and measures the quantity of hepatitis C virus that is circulating in the patients blood. This is helpful in determining if treatment is appropriate and to monitor the success of the treatment .
Individuals who had hepatitis C in the past and cleared the virus on their own will have a positive HCV antibody test, but there will be no hepatitis C virus genetic material in the blood. If a person is immunosuppressed due to an immunological condition, cancer chemotherapy, immunotherapy or HIV/AIDS, the test results may be different and need to be evaluated accordingly.
What If I Am Too Tired To Prepare Meals
It can be hard to eat if you are too tired to make meals or are not feeling well. Aim to keep healthy snacks and easy-to-make foods available, such as:
- Whole grain bread, naan, bagels or crackers with nut or seed butter
- Whole grain crackers and cheese
- Vegetables with hummus or a yogurt-based dip such as tzatziki
- Vegetables and a hardboiled egg
- Fresh, frozen or canned fruit with yogurt or soft tofu
- Apple or pear slices with nut butter
- Fresh or frozen berries with cottage cheese
- Canned fish with whole grain crackers or toast
- Hot cereal with nuts and seeds or trail mix
- Reduced sodium canned bean or lentil soup with whole grain crackers
When you have the energy to cook, make more than you need. Put the leftovers in the freezer to have at another meal.
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Whats An Autoimmune Disease
When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system misidentifies healthy tissues and organs as being foreign. This causes the body to produce antibodies that attack your bodys own tissues.
Your symptoms might come on quickly or gradually. You may feel overwhelming fatigue, crippling pain, and debilitating weakness. Or you may feel dizzy and have brain fog.
You may feel miserable like youre on a roller coaster of good days and bad days with no end in sight. These diseases can be frustrating and isolating, but each experience is unique.
All autoimmune diseases share one common theme: an out-of-sync immune system that has turned inward, attacking parts of the body as if they were foreign invaders.
In fact, autoimmune diseases can show up in at least 80 different ways in all areas of the body.
But all autoimmune diseases share one common theme: an out-of-sync immune system that has turned inward, attacking parts of the body as if they were foreign invaders.
Your immune system is crucially important, serving the purpose of protecting your body from infections and bacteria. But when its functions are out of balance, your immune system can become dangerous.
Treatment Of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is treated with antiviral medications that aim to clear the virus from your body.
New all-tablet treatments have greatly improved the outcomes for people with hepatitis C. These treatments can cure more than 95% of individuals with chronic hepatitis C. There are several new tablets that are used in combination to treat all hepatitis C strains . They are effective for people with no liver damage and those who have more advanced liver damage or cirrhosis.
These new tablet medications are available and subsidised on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and can be prescribed by specialists, general practitioners and specialised nurse practitioners.
There are no restrictions on accessing treatment it is available for all adults with a Medicare card. People under 18 are able to access treatment and it is recommended they are referred to a pediatrician experienced in the treatment of hepatitis C.
For more information on the new medications for the treatment of hepatitis C, see our video: Hepatitis C Cure what it means for Victorians.
If your doctor does not know about the new treatments, you can call the LiverLine on for information, and to find a GP who can help you.
Talk with your doctor about treatment options and the potential for interactions with other medications, herbal preparations and other drugs. If you take prescribed medication this will be managed so you can access treatment.
In general, if you have hepatitis C you will feel better if you:
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How Do You Know If You Have Hepatitis C
The only way to know if you have hepatitis C is bya medical exam. There are several blood tests yourhealth care provider can use to diagnose hepatitis C.These tests can tell you:
- If it is acute or chronic infection
- If you have recovered from infection
- If you could benefit from vaccination for hepatitis A and B
In some cases, your health care provider may suggesta liver biopsy. A liver biopsy is a test for liver damage. Aneedle is used to remove a tiny piece of liver, which isthen sent for tests.
Who Gets Hepatitis C
Baby boomers are most likely to have the infection, but we’re not sure why. Some boomers were infected before blood screening methods changed in 1992. Others got it from injecting drugs, even if it was only once. If you were born between 1945 and 1965, the CDC suggests you get tested for hepatitis C.
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You Can Choose Not To Have Sex
You might not be ready to have sex if:
- you arent sure about it
- you feel pressured, scared or uncomfortable
- you need to get drunk or high to do it.
- your partner is not ready
- you cant talk to your partner about safer sex, birth control or STI
- you or your partner could get pregnant but dont want a baby and dont use birth control
- you dont have condoms or dental dams to protect yourself and your partner
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STI rates are the highest among Canadians 25 years or younger. If you choose to have sex, remember to always use condoms and/or dental dams.
Foods You Should Avoid
Alcohol No brainer. The most important change for anyone diagnosed with hepatitis is the complete elimination of alcohol from his or her life.
Wheat and Gluten Gluten can be highly inflammatory thus adopting a gluten-free diet can be beneficial to your liver. The inability to properly digest and process gluten creates a chronic state of inflammation which leads to leaky gut syndrome. This allows toxins and pathogenic organisms to infiltrate your blood, presenting a chronic toxic overload to your liver. The long-term outcome of this is often non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the gateway disorder that can progress to other more serious liver diseases. At this point, liver enzyme levels will be elevated.
Tap Water Your tap water may contain more than you bargained for, including heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, inorganic chemicals and compounds that the liver is not able to process. Even the shower you take every day has toxins in it which are absorbed through the skin and inhaled through the lungs. Filtered water is of course better than tap water. Consider having your water tested to decide what is most appropriate for you and your family. For greater safety, you may want to consider drinking bottled water. Distilled water is another possibility, but there is some controversy over its benefits therefore you may wish to take distilled water in moderation.
Updating and recharging your diet is both a mental and physical commitment and you can do it!
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Spread Of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is spread through blood-to-blood contact when blood from a person with hepatitis C enters another persons bloodstream.
The most common way people become infected with hepatitis C in Australia is by sharing injecting equipment such as needles, syringes, spoons and tourniquets. It is possible to be infected with hepatitis C after only one risk event.
Hepatitis C may also be spread through:
- tattooing and body piercing with equipment that has not been properly cleaned, disinfected or sterilised such as backyard tattoos’. Registered parlours with appropriate infection control procedures are not a risk
- needlestick injuries in a healthcare setting
- receiving blood transfusions in Australia prior to 1990 before hepatitis C virus testing of blood donations was introduced
- medical procedures, blood transfusions or blood products and mass immunisation programs provided in a country other than Australia
- pregnancy or childbirth there is a 5% chance of a mother with chronic hepatitis C infection passing on the virus to her baby during pregnancy or childbirth.
Breastfeeding is safe, however if nipples are cracked or bleeding cease breastfeeding until they have healed.
Less likely possible routes of transmission of hepatitis C include:
Hepatitis C cannot be transmitted by:
- sharing food, cups or cutlery
- shaking hands or day-to-day physical contact.
Who Is At Risk Of Hepatitis C
Anyone can get hepatitis C. It is important for peopleat high risk of infection to be tested and treated forhepatitis C. In the U.S., you are at a higher risk if you:
- Have ever used a needle to inject drugs, even if once and long ago
- Had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
- Are a health care worker who had blood exposure to mucous membranes or to non-intact skin, or a needlestick injury
- Have ever been on kidney dialysis
- Were born of a mother who had hepatitis C at the time
- Are a Vietnam-era Veteran
- Had contact with hepatitis-C-positive blood to nonintact skin or to mucous membranes
- Received tattoos or body piercings in non-regulated settings
- Have ever snorted drugs or shared drug equipment
- Have liver disease
- Have a history of alcohol abuse
- Have hemophilia and received clotting factor before 1987
- Have had a sexual partner with hepatitis C, now or in the past
- Have had 10 or more lifetime sexual partners
- Have HIV infection
The only way to know if you haveHepatitis C is to be tested. VA offershepatitis C testing and treatment toenrolled Veterans.
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How To Start Your Liver
Eating a healthy diet is the crucial component of your liver health care, and especially if you have been diagnosed with hepatitis C. In fact, 97% of physicians believe that nutrition is the number one defining factor for liver health followed by lifestyle, according to a survey. Lack of quality nutrition which includes a high intake of vitamins, minerals, fiber and lean protein will only weaken your liver function, whereas following a liver-healthy diet and lifestyle can help support your liver health.
As the first company in the U.S. to provide nutritional solutions for liver health, it is our mission to support you on your journey towards liver health. A great way of improving your liver diet is to start incorporating liver-healthy recipes into your diet. We have a huge selection of liver-healthy recipes.
To find out whether you are leading a liver-healthy lifestyle and what changes you are yet to make, take the Liver Health Score. Keep track of your Liver Health Score on a regular basis to be aware of how your daily habits impact your liver health.
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.
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Nutrition Tips For Patients With Hepatitis
Broadly speaking, the diet for this disease is based on vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and lean proteins. This may vary depending on the patients initial condition and subsequent evolution, but general guidelines can be established that are recommended to follow.
- Eat adequate protein to avoid excesses and deficiencies. These are necessary to restore damaged cells and to avoid malnutrition of the patient. If the liver doesnt process them properly, toxic waste can accumulate. The best sources are lean meat and fish, legumes, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.
- In general, its advisable to increase the presence of carbohydrates over protein. If possible, opt for whole grains such as rice, quinoa, oats, or couscous.
- Consume fats in moderate amounts. It isnt good to eliminate them from the diet because they have important functions in the body. However, it is essential to choose healthy sources such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, or oily fish.
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Symptoms Of Hepatitis C
It is very important to know that not everyone with hepatitis C has symptoms. The only way to know if you have hepatitis is by talking to your doctor and getting a blood test.
Many people living with hepatitis C feel well and only have symptoms once the disease has progressed and there is serious liver damage.
If you do not have symptoms this does not mean that the virus isnt causing damage.
When first infected, some people may find:
- their urine becomes dark
- their eyes and skin turn yellow
- they experience a minor flu-like illness.
These symptoms may disappear within a few weeks, but this does not necessarily mean that the infection has been cleared.
Over time, symptoms that may develop include:
- tiredness and fatigue
- flu-like symptoms
- pain in the abdomen where the liver is located
- not feeling hungry and indigestion.
Around 30% of people who have been infected may clear the virus from their blood naturally, with no treatment, within 6 months. These people no longer have the hepatitis C virus and are not infectious, but will always have hepatitis C antibodies in their blood. The presence of hepatitis C antibodies shows that someone has been exposed to the virus, but does not offer any immunity against hepatitis C. People can become reinfected after clearing the virus naturally, or after treatment.
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Getting Tested For Hepatitis C
A blood test, called an HCV antibody test, is used to find out if someone has ever been infected with the hepatitis C virus. The HCV antibody test, sometimes called the anti-HCV test, looks for antibodies to the hepatitis C virus in blood. Antibodies are chemicals released into the bloodstream when someone gets infected.
Test results can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to come back. Rapid anti-HCV tests are available in some health clinics and the results of these tests are available in 20 to 30 minutes.
How Can You Avoid Hepatitis C
Right now there is no vaccination to protect you againsthepatitis C. However, you can take steps to protectyourself from becoming infected:
- Don’t use injectable drugs.
- If you use drugs, get vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B and enter a treatment program.
- Never share needles, syringes, water, or “works” for intravenous drug use, to inject steroids, or cosmetic substances.
- Handle needles and other sharp objects safely.
- Do not use personal items that may have come into contact with an infected person’s blood.
- Do not get tattoos or body piercings from an unlicensed facility or in an informal setting.
- Wear gloves if you have to touch another person’s blood. Always clean hands after removing gloves.
- Have safer sex. Each time you have sex use a condom.
For more information, see Safer Sex.
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How Can I Cover Medication Costs
New therapies called direct-acting antivirals are effective and can achieve cures of over 90%. Because these new therapies are very new, they remain very expensive. As such, drug coverage from both government and private companies may require that your liver disease has progressed to a certain stage before they are willing to cover the cost of these drugs.
Talk with your healthcare provider about financial support that may be available.
Below are useful resources when looking for financial assistance:Private health insurance or drug plansIf you have private health insurance or a drug plan at work, you may be able to have the medication paid through your plan. Please consult your private health insurance or drug plan provider to see if your drug is covered.
Publicly funded plansEach provincial and territorial government offers a drug benefit plan for eligible groups. Some are income-based universal programs. Most have specific programs for population groups that may require more enhanced coverage for high drug costs. These groups include seniors, recipients of social assistance, and individuals with diseases or conditions that are associated with high drug costs. For more details, please contact your provincial or territorial health care ministry, or click on the appropriate link below.
Available Patient Assistance Programs for Hepatitis C treatment Holkira Pak Maviret
MerckCare Hepatitis C Program 1 872-5773 Zepatier
How Hepatitis A Gets Transmitted Through Food
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. It is a foodborne or waterborne illness that can be prevented by vaccination.
It spreads through food or water contaminated by an infected persons stool or handling of contaminated fruits, fish, or vegetables. To avoid being infected with hepatitis A, you should avoid consuming raw or undercooked shellfish from contaminated water.
The hepatitis A diet should eliminate foods that make the liver work harder. The main function of the liver is to break down the fats in food. So, avoid fatty foods if you have symptoms of hepatitis A.
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