This question is for those who are living with hep c and not doing any treatments....Do you feel like the virus is aging you faster? I feel that way and was curious if anyone else felt the same. Thanks
I think just knowing you have the virus inside you makes you constantly think about it and that stress alone can age you. When I was dx'd back in 2006 I was totally consumed with this virus. I knew nothing about HCV. It was on my mind 24-7. Obsessing with everything, looking at peoples hands to see if their palms were redder then mine, examining my body for spider angioma, driving 600 miles to visit Hepatologists, etc,etc. Then I found out I only had stage 1 fibrosis. I was going to wait for this "new" drug called Telaprevir. I figured the wait was going to be about 3 yrs. I lasted about 6 months and was worrying myself to death. I think I aged 5 yrs in that 6 months,lol.
Out of the clear blue my doctor called and asked if I wanted to participate in a Telaprevir trial. I said no until he told me it was an open label trial where everyone got the real drug. I jumped at it and the rest is history.
Sorry for being so long with this post. The point I was trying to make is I do believe the virus can make you feel and look old, but also believe just knowing you have it can age you from the stress.
I treated in 2005. I am SVR. I look and feel much older even though I am virus free for many years. However, I AM older so.........when I had the virus and was not treating - I was younger, looked younger and felt younger.
I think it's all a state of mind because I didn't know I had the virus for 20 - 25 years and always felt great.
I do not believe you can generalize that HepC makes you age faster.
Many people get diagnosed at a time in their lives (mid40s-50s) when
signs of aging become more visible. There are also hormonal changes
going on at that age. However HCV is a disease and as with any disease
it can make you very ill and therefore older looking but that is different
from person to person as we know. My father will be 86 this year and is geno1.
He never looked or felt older than he is if anything he looked youger at times.
I think that it makes sense if we have had the virus for over 20 years and given that liver damage is accelerated with HCV as we age, we will look and feel older as a result of both.
There are of course people who feel and look pretty good no matter what their body goes through but for most of us we will experience the detrimental effects of the virus more intensely as we age.
It's weird, cause I feel like my appearance is older. Like NYgirl said, I am older. But now that I'm virus free I feel better than I did at 40! That was 15 years ago. I think the gratitude for each day of life gives us a spring in our step. xoxo Karen:)
I felt okay for the first 20 yrs, Summer, but around the time I went into menopause, I also started feeling like my immune system was getting weaker, from the Hep C. So I went and got a bunch of blood tests, and my instinct was right, because my platelets were lower than normal, for the first time in my life, and my liver enzymes were much higher then they had been, from the previous 20 yrs: they used to be twice as high as normal, and then became 10 times higher.
My fibrosure test showed me to have cirrhosis, so I ran and got my first biopsy, which had me as a stage 2, but with grade 3 inflammation. Because of the inflammation, low platelets, and a few other things out of whack, with my blood-work (stuff that indicated liver damage), I decided to Treat.
There are many new drugs, coming down the pipe-line, to cure
Hep C, in the near future. Until then, you can try drinking alot of loose-
leaf green tea, healthy fruits and veggies, and try to get some decent sleep, plus extra water, and moderate daily exercise, to feel younger.
Last year I thought all my wrinkles and dark circles were the result of
my Hep C, but alas, I am 12 weeks post, and with Undetectable virus, and still have these problems. Also, going thru the Treatment has made me grow up a bit, so I am more serious now, and value life more also
I am hoping that it's my Hep C that makes me feel like I'm 80 years old! I'm always tired and my muscles and joints ache. I went to my Dr. three years ago because I thought I had fibromyalgia, and since I had high very high liver enzymes, he did a Hep C test. I am 3a, grade 2 and stage 3. I take my first interferon shot on Friday. If everything goes as planned I will treat for 24 weeks.
I've read on this forum that many people feel 20 years younger after treatment. I'm hoping that's the case with me. I'm only 55 years old and I could have a lot of years ahead of me. I hope I'm feeling a lot better than the last few!
Nee don't think it had any impact on me. I have always been told that I look younger than my age. But then I mastered the secret: I never use moisturizer :))))
Just joking!!! I do not smoke, I do not drink, doing lots of juicing and flax seed oil so I guess the skin preserved itself
As for energy, well that is a different story. Untill one year ago I enjoyed weight training but than I started to be too tired for that. Hoping that I will get back into it in one year time after, fingers crossed, curing both the HCV and the cancer.
I never ran in my life but here we are I am seriously considering for Jan 2015 doing at least a half of Iron woman (swimming, cycling and running)
i felt the hep years before i treated....in fact years before i knew i had hep...use to give blood ...they never said anything...although that was a while ago..... i had a drinking time where most nights i had 2 or 3 drinks...did too much drinking in my forties.....i would go to the doctors with issues about every two years....getting blood sugar tests...i was getting intense exercise too back in those days... they said i was fine.....i would fall asleep at times just like that....now...post tx i almost never even take a nap....i'm much stronger...so hep did affect me for quite a while........billy
I think I've had the virus for close to 40 years. I've always been told I look younger than my age. I think part of that is genetic - my mom always looked younger than she was.
Although lately, I think I look older and I'm sure that's due to the stress of dealing with the disease and the treatment. I found out I had HepC less than two years ago. At least the dark circles I had during treatment are gone. Well, they are back to where they were before treatment anyway, which is way better than treatment.
Hey - sign me up for part of that triathalon! I'm thinking of buying a road bike this summer. I think my knees are about done for running.
Apparently I do look younger than my age. For at least the last 12 years I've always had to have nanna/power naps. Especially nowadays. Sometimes I am so sleepy I can hardly keep my eyes open so I have to lie down. Just for 15-20 mins then I'm good again. I did mention it to my doctor once a few years ago and all he said was "it was just me" and not to worry about it.
So yes, on the outside I Iook younger but not on the inside.
I don't feel like my appearance looks older due to hep c. I'm 35 and I don't smoke or drink. I eat extremly healthy, sleep well and try to exercise. I don't think I look old from the outside. I feel like this virus is aging me quickly from the inside. I have lots of aches and pains, low energy, my body feels and moves like someone a lot older than 35. And it keeps getting worse. I just worry how bad it will get, since Ive decided for now, to skip treatment and just live with this.
Yes, there are extra hepatic symptoms that come along with having Hep C, that can cause things like dry skin, aging skin, joint and muscle aches, vascular problems, fatigue, etc. You can search extrahepatic symptoms on this forum or google it and I think you will come up with quite a bit. There is no way to predict how bad it will get or how quickly it will worsen or how many of those extra hepatic symptoms will reverse or improve if/when you decide to treat and if/when you clear the virus.
Some other extra hepatic symptoms that can present with Hep C are itching, neuropathy, cryoglobulinemia, brain fog, autoimmune problems, dry mouth/eyes, thrombocytopenia, diabetes, kidney problems, thyroid problems, retinopathy, porphyria, skin ulceratons, and arthritis.
"I have lots of aches and pains, low energy, my body feels and moves like someone a lot older than 35. And it keeps getting worse. I just worry how bad it will get, since Ive decided for now, to skip treatment and just live with this."
Let me get this straight. You are 35 already F2 on biopsy, have beginning symptoms and have treatment available with up to 80% cure rates yet
you decided to wait ?
You are playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded revolver........
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