Hepatitis C Symptoms

Only a small fraction of people in the acute phase of Hepatitis C, about 25%, really feel any of the symptoms of infection like fatigue, decrease in appetite, nausea, jaundice (skin and eye turning yellow).

A lot of people with chronic Hepatitis C do not have any of the symptoms of liver disease. In other words, they don’t look sick or unwell. The symptoms, if any, are mild and not specific. It includes fatigue, muscle and joint pains, decreased appetite etc. There is no relation between the degree of symptoms and the liver damage. In other words, someone with a minimal damage to the liver could have severe symptoms and vice versa.

The symptoms can be more prominent if there is cirrhosis. Apart from the above symptoms, there could also be bruising, itchy skin, gray-coloured stool, cola coloured urine etc. Advanced symptoms also include bloated belly, bleeding from the digestive tracts and confusion.


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Managing common symptoms:

Please do discuss with your medical practitioner if you experience appetite loss, as this is not a common symptom. Some tips to manage the same are given:

  • Eat small frequent meals rich in calorie like avocados, peanut butter etc.
  • Let the food that you eat be varied in colour, size, texture and temperature.
  • Try new spices and seasonings.
  • Opt for food high in protein and calories.
  • Add milk or protein powder to soups, eggs, casseroles, pasta etc. Moreover, try to add boiled beans and eggs to meals as far as possible.
  • You should also try the nutritional supplements that help you gain weight.

Brain fog occurs when patients find it difficult to remain alert and make decisions. The mind feels as if it is covered with fog. Though not common, if you do experience it please talk to your doctor so that other cognitive dysfunctions can be ruled out. Tips to manage brain fog:

  • Engaging in physical activity.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Follow a nutritional and wholesome diet and take care not to skip meals.
  • Drink sufficient quantity of water.
  • Practice meditation and relaxation to avoid stress.
  • Avoid alcohol and other such substances as far as possible.
  • Set reminders and alerts on electronic devices to ensure that you take medicines on time.
  • Create daily routines and habits and try to follow that.
  • Note down things and maintain lists.
  • Do not multi task if there are chances of a brain fog.

Fatigue is a very common symptom of Hepatitis C. There are many causes for fatigue; it is important that your doctor rules out other conditions. Some of the causes are sleep apnoea, insomnia, pain, thyroid problems etc. Some tips to manage fatigue:

  • Get enough sleep; the suggested 7-9 hour sleep is essential for adults.
  • Light exercise helps in combating fatigue.
  • Do not sit or stand for too long.
  • Drink a lot of water. A pale yellow or colourless urine indicates that the intake of water is sufficient.
  • Relaxation keeps stress at bay.
  • Take power naps of about twenty minutes in the day.
  • Take tea or coffee to give you a boost up but not nearing your bedtime.
    Gastrointestinal Complaints:
    Some patients complain of a discomfort in the right upper part of the abdomen. Please consult your doctor if it persists.
    Abdominal discomforts may occur with Hepatitis C, if the pain is chronic, do discuss with your medical practitioner. Small and frequent meals help you to overcome such discomforts caused due to hunger.
    Nausea is not common but does occur, and is worsened due to hunger. Ginger, peppermint, chamomile etc can alleviate nausea. Acupressure may help too.
    Muscle and joint aches are very common in Hepatitis C. Hot baths, stretching, massages do provide relief. Try not to sit or reclining for a long time. Please talk to your doctor before you consume any pain killers.
    Discuss with your practitioner if you have symptoms related to cirrhosis. You can develop a plan to manage this and do take care not to tackle these on your own.

HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO CURE HEPATITIS C?

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Call 928-328-8909 to get helpful information, a Hep C guide, and facts about managing Hep C.

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