How Common Is Hepatitis C In The United States
In the United States, hepatitis C is the most common chronic viral infection found in blood and spread through contact with blood.14
Researchers estimate that about 2.7 million to 3.9 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C.13 Many people who have hepatitis C dont have symptoms and dont know they have this infection.
New screening efforts and more effective hepatitis C treatments are helping doctors identify and cure more people with the disease. With more screening and treatment, hepatitis C may become less common in the future. Researchers estimate that hepatitis C could be a rare disease in the United States by 2036.17
Hepatitis Diet: Foods To Avoid
It is equally important to avoid certain foods during Hepatitis as they can be harmful to the liver. Excessive consumption of these can aggravate the disease and even lead to permanent liver damage.
- Processed food items are best avoided when recovering from Hepatitis. Processed food items include processed ingredients that are harder on the liver and relatively devoid of nutrients. Processed breads, cheese and almost all fast -food items are also best avoided during Hepatitis, as they can worsen recovery times.
- Hydrogenated oils must be replaced with healthy oils. In fact for a lifelong healthy liver it is a good idea to switch to healthy oil choices. Avoid consuming foods high in saturated fats or trans-fats.
- Sugar intake should be limited for a healthy liver. This includes all artificial sweeteners as well as fruits juices. Juices have high concentrations of sugar in them, which can be difficult for the liver to digest when the body is under attack from the Hepatitis virus.
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.
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.
Is Liver Transplantation An Option For A Person With Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is the leading reason for 40% to 45% of liver transplants in the U.S. Hepatitis C usually recurs after transplantation and infects the new liver. Approximately 25% of these patients with recurrent hepatitis will develop cirrhosis within five years of transplantation. Despite this, the five-year survival rate for patients with hepatitis C is similar to that of patients who are transplanted for other types of liver disease.
Most transplant centers delay therapy until recurrent hepatitis C in the transplanted liver is confirmed. Oral, highly effective, direct-acting antivirals have shown encouraging results in patients who have undergone liver transplantation for hepatitis C infection and have recurrent hepatitis C. The choice of therapy needs to be individualized and is rapidly evolving.
Also Check: Which Hepatitis Can Be Cured
Hepatitis C Hero: Whole Grains
Like fruits and vegetables, whole grains are excellent sources of fiber and nutrients, and they should be eaten daily, says Graham. Tasty options include barley, brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta and bread, and oats, which make a great breakfast. Whole grains keep the high-fiber, nutritious parts of the kernel, the bran and the germ, which are mostly removed from white bread, white flour, and white pasta, so avoid these options.
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
Text box 4
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.
Also Check: Where Do You Get Hepatitis B
A Nutrition Plan For People Living With Hepatitis C
Some dietary changes will make life easier on your liver
Hepatitis C is a disease that negatively impacts health through inflammation of the liver. The liver is the bodily organ that processes everything we put into our bodies, so its vital we learn to keep it in the best condition possible, especially if its struggling through hep C. Although most medical professionals agree there is no specific miracle diet to help remedy hepatitis C symptoms, there are certainly dietary changes you can implement to make life a bit easier for your liver.
No specific diet is better or worse than another, according to Shuvo Ghosh, M.D., but the idea is to make choices for a diet that is liver-healthy overall.
What does that mean, really? It means being aware of what kinds of foods or products will potentially tax your liver, or make it work harder, as opposed to those foods that are processed more easily in our routine metabolism, Dr. Ghosh says. Drinking alcohol, taking recreational drugs or medicines that are mainly metabolized through the liver are not recommended for those with hepatitis C. Certain teas or fruits that could affect metabolism are less recommended.
Other than that, there are no particular recommendations of major importance, but a general healthy, balanced and vitamin-rich diet full of easy to digest foods is preferred over a harder to digest diet .
For more information, check out the following:
What The Cdc Recommends
Were you born between 1945 and 1965? If so, then youre a member of the Hepatitis C generation. The CDC recently recommended that all people born between during this time have a 1-time screening test for Hepatitis C. We now have new drugs that can treat and cure Hepatitis C so you should go get tested today.
The life you save may be your own! Please contact your local healthcare provider.
Recommended Reading: Hepatitis C Ab W Reflex Hcv Rna Quant Rt Pcr
Who Is Most At Risk Of Contracting Hepatitis C
You have a high risk of contracting hepatitis C if you:
- use or have used injection drugs even if it was just once or many years ago
- have received blood or blood products or an organ transplant before July 1990 in Canada
- have been in jail or
- have been injected or scratched during vaccination, surgery, blood transfusion or a religious/ceremonial ritual in regions where hepatitis C is common.
You have a high moderate risk of contracting hepatitis C if you:
- have tattoos or body piercing
- have multiple sexual partners
- have a sexually transmitted infection , including HIV or lymphogranuloma venereum
- have experienced traumatic sex or rough sex or have used sex toys or fisting that can tear body tissue
- have vaginal sex during menstruation
- have received a kidney treatment
- have received an accidental injury from a needle or syringe
- have another infectious disease
- were born to a hepatitis C infected mother or
- have a sexual partner infected with hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C is NOT passed from person to person by:
- coughing, sneezing
- breastfeeding unless your nipples are cracked and bleeding or
- oral sex, unless blood is present.
Can Hepatitis B Be Controlled By Eating Right And Exercising
It is important that people with liver disease follow a healthy, nutritious diet as outlined by Health Canada in Eating Well with Canadas Food Guide.
Alcohol can also damage the liver so it is best that people with hepatitis B do not drink. Following a healthy lifestyle may also prevent fatty liver disease, another liver disease highly prevalent in Canada.
However, hepatitis B cannot be controlled by healthy eating and exercise alone. Hepatitis B can only be controlled by currently available treatment as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will need to do regular blood tests to know how much of the active virus is in your blood . The viral load test is used to monitor and manage hepatitis B patients. Viral load can tell your doctor if you need treatment for hepatitis B and how well you are responding to treatment.
Also Check: Can You Get Rid Of Hepatitis C For Good
Find Out Which Foods You Should Eat With Hepatitis C
Your liver helps your body in a variety of ways, such as detoxifying your system and turning food into energy and nutrients. But, if you have hepatitis C, your liver may be damaged and may need some extra help doing its job.
Being mindful about what you eat is critical to having a healthy liver. A nutritious diet during hep C treatment will encourage your immune system to fight off the hepatitis virus, boost your liver function and cut your risk of cirrhosis. Some foods, however, can actually damage your liver.
Heres what to eatand what to avoidfor a successful hepatitis C treatment.
Step away from the sushi bar! Raw seafood and shellfish, such as oysters and mussels, can carry bacteria and viruses that can be life threatening for people with hep C or liver disease. Plus, oysters are high in iron, which those living with hep C should avoid both the virus and fatty liver disease can cause excessive iron to build in the body, potentially leading to several health issues such as joint pain, hair loss and heart attack.
Keep sipping on that cup of joe! Some studies have shown that coffee can slow the progression of hep C and prevent liver cancer and cirrhosis. Make sure to drink the strong stuff thoughdecaf coffee doesn’t seem to deliver the same benefits.
Enjoy: Whole Grains
Enjoy: Fruits and Veggies
Could Anything I Do Make Hepatitis C Worse
Drinking alcohol can increase the damage to your liver. If you have hepatitis C, you should try to cut out alcohol or limit your intake. If you need advice about this, ask your doctor or contact an alcohol self-help organisation.
If you’re concerned that you’re addicted to alcohol and are unable to stop drinking, contact your GP. Treatments are available to help you quit.
Read more about treating alcohol misuse.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Cure Hepatitis
What Your Diet Should Include If You Have Hepatitis C
Getting the right diet and nutrients is essential to your overall health. Not only it helps to keep the healthy immune system, but it also has a direct effect on maintaining a healthy weight. It is important to include essential nutrients to your diet and if you have serious ailments like hepatitis C, then you must try to add healthy foods on your diet. Everything you eat and drink passes through the liver and a bad diet can lead you to liver problems. Hepatitis C is a chronic liver disease that causes inflammation. So, if you have hepatitis C, you should know about the right foods that should include in your diet.
To find and consult with the best gastroenterologist in Lahore, you can visit Marham.pk.
How Can I Prevent Spreading Hepatitis C To Others
If you have hepatitis C, follow the steps above to avoid spreading the infection. Tell your sex partner you have hepatitis C, and talk with your doctor about safe sex practices. In addition, you can protect others from infection by telling your doctor, dentist, and other health care providers that you have hepatitis C. Dont donate blood or blood products, semen, organs, or tissue.
Recommended Reading: Hepatitis C Blood Test Results
Don’t Miss: Is Hepatitis The Same As Hiv
Can The Results Of Liver Panel Tests Point To The Presence Of Hepatitis C
A liver panel usually includes tests called AST, ALT, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and some others. Abnormal results could show up in many different conditions, not just hepatitis C. And even if the results of a liver panel are normal, you might still have hepatitis C. So, the liver panel alone cannot tell your provider the answer.
Hepatitis C can be diagnosed only by blood tests that are specific to hepatitis C:
In short, if the results of one or more tests on a liver panel are abnormal, generally speaking, the tests should be repeated and confirmed. If the results remain abnormal, your provider should be prompted to look for the cause.
More important than using the liver panel, if you have risks of having been infected with hepatitis C then you should have the specific hepatitis C antibody test to determine if you have hepatitis C infection.
Illegal Drugs And Cigarettes
Recreational drugs in general are no good for your liver. For example, may lead to faster liver scarring. And using a needle to inject substances can raise your odds of getting reinfected with hep C.
If you’re a smoker, you need to quit. It can make you more likely to get liver cancer. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
You May Like: Hepatitis C Viral Rna Genotype Lipa
Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Hepatitis
An unhealthy diet consisting of too much high-calorie greasy, fatty, or sugary food will make you gain weight and cause excess fat to build up in your liver. This can contribute to developing cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver. Excess fat in the liver can also reduce the effect of drugs that target the hepatitis virus. So, if you have hepatitis, avoid saturated fats , sugary treats and foods high in salt.
According to dietitians, people with hepatitis should limit salt intake to less than 2,000 milligrams per day. This will help reduce fluid retention. Avoid canned soups, pickled meat, cheese, and processed foods that are high in salt. Before buying, read the food label for sodium content. A food is considered high in salt if it has more than 300 mg of sodium per serving.
If you drink, quit it. Alcohol in any form can prevent damaged liver cells from recovering. Alcohol could also lead to severe liver failure when combined with acetaminophen, the popular pain-relieving ingredient in over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol. Hepatitis patients are also advised to avoid raw or undercooked shellfish, which can harbor viruses and bacteria.
What Does It Mean When Different Types Of Blood Tests For Hepatitis C Give Different Results
The first test your provider probably will perform is called an antibody test. A positive result means that you were exposed to the hepatitis C virus at some point in your life.
If the result is positive, your provider will perform a second test called hepatitis C virus RNA to see if the virus is still in your body. If the RNA test result is positive, then you have chronic hepatitis C infection.
So what does it mean if you have a positive result for the first test but a negative result for the second?
Don’t Miss: Hepatitis C Flu Like Symptoms
How You Get Hepatitis C
The most common way to get the disease is to share needles or other equipment used to inject illegal drugs. A health care worker might accidentally be stuck with a needle used on an infected patient. It’s rare, but you can get it at a tattoo parlor if the equipment isn’t clean. You can’t get it by kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils.