Hepatitis “C” is a virus that attacks your liver and it can be fatal after years and years of having it, if you don’t take good care of yourself. There are six types of hepatitis that are harmful genotypes; 1, 2, and 3. Two and three respond better to treatment than one does. Genotype 1 is more difficult to treat; I have had Hep C for about 10 years and the doctor says I will never get rid of it. However, the doctor does say I can possibly put it in remission with treatment. The goal is to remove the virus from the blood and reduce the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer that can result from long term HCV infection.
The most common medication used is a combination of Pegylated Interferon – alfa 2a and Ribavirin, an antiviral medication. Most patients receive weekly injections of pegylated interferon alfa like I did. Ribavirin is a capsule taken twice daily. Ribavirin can cause birth defects; women should avoid getting pregnant during, and for 6 months after treatment. Treatment is given for 24-48 weeks. I was on it all for about 9 months – every time I took the shot it made me sick for about a day. Not only did I lose an excessive amount of weight during this period of time but the inner rage I was already accustomed to seemed to overflow, it was scary how much angrier I became while exposed to these medications. It was terrible and the hep c is still detectable so I it did not work for me. However, it has worked for a lot of other people I know personally. Telaprevir and boceprevir are newer drugs on the market which may be used for patients with genotype 1. These medications have a number of side effects and should be monitored carefully.
There are symptoms to Hep C, abdominal pain (right upper abdomen), abdominal swelling (due to a fluid called ascites), clay-colored or pale stools, dark urine, fatigue, fever, itching, jaundice, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. When I first found out I was infected I had jaundice skin and eyes (yellow) i was also very fatigued and had super dark urine; as a result I was sick for about two weeks. This freaked me out and I ran out and got tested for HIV and Hep C – it came back positive for (HCV) Hepatitis C.
Most people catch it from sharing needles they use during intravenous drug use like I did. However, there are other ways of catching hep C such as receiving a blood transfusion before July 1992; sex is another possible but highly unlikely way of becoming infected. Hep C only travels through blood – sharing razors or a tooth brush is possible, getting a tattoo or through acupuncture, again however the risk is very low. Therefore IV drug users are the most commonly infected group.
By living a drug and alcohol free life and staying healthy you can live with Hep C without it entirely affecting you from day to day. Eating a proper diet of non-toxic and low acidic-based foods, working out as well as drinking lots of water can assist in keeping things in check. There are little things you can take for your liver as well – Dandelion Root is good for it as well as watching out for certain supplements for working out is good to.
I am pretty healthy right now even though I am still infected, however continuing to be clean from drugs right now as well as eating properly has helped. So I am going to keep doing the right thing for myself, staying away from dope and hopefully I will live a long life and the Hep C will not affect me too much.
Filed under: Featured · Tags: Addiction, Boceprevir, HCV, HCV infection, Hep C, Hepatitis C, HIV, infected with hep C, intravenous drug use, Pegylated Interferon – alfa 2a, proper diet, shooting drugs, side effects, Telaprevir, Treatment