Hi everyone, forgive me for being native, I am new. Recently my husband found out he is in stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver. He has been going to the VA with hep/c for the past 7 years and they have been telling him all along that he is remaining the same, not getting any worse. We are confused. What happened to stages 2 and 3 and how could this happen? He has never had any treatments for hep/c all of that time and now they want to give him what they claim is a new protease inhibitor. I read the side effects and got scared. He has diabetes and it can cause high blood sugar. He has a heart condition and it can cause high cholesterol. It can even make hep c worse so are they trying to get rid of him? I am scared and confused and he is leaning on me for support
Liver enzymes fluctuate all the time. They were probably looking for them to raise really high and at the times he went in his were lower, so they figured he was OK. I had hep c for 25 years and my enzymes were normal until last year.
The whole medical profession needs to become more educated about this disease. Did your husband ever have a biopsy in the past? If not, there is no way that they could tell what stage he was at when they first discovered the disease.
I went through 48 weeks of treatment. I don't have diabetes, but I do have cardio vascular issues and am on Plavix. I never had any problems. Try to remember that they have to list all of the side effects that occurred during their trials of the drug, even if it only happened to one person. I will admit that treatment is rough on a person, but it isn't nearly as rough as end stage liver disease, and that is what your husband will have to deal with if he doesn't do something to get rid of this virus now. It is a tough little critter and they have to get rid of every last one so it won't come back... he'll be going into battle inside of his body.
He'll need your support both physically and mentally.
Sounds like another typical VA hospital story. Perhaps the worst patient care in the USA.
Did he drink alcohol during the last 7 years? This can help progress HCV
Even without alcohol some people progress faster then others.
No matter what other med conditions your husband has he needs to treat now before his only option is a liver transplant. And transplant isn't a good option because most people die waiting for a liver. Find a good Hepatologist (liver specialist) and make a plan to start treatment. Now is a good time with the new drugs just coming out.
If at all possible try and find a doctor outside the VA system.
the best way to differentiate between stage 2 and 3 is a biopsy without this drs cant say whether hes remaining the same or not diabetes can hinder treatment heart conditions can become worse if he decides to treat he should be thoroughly evaluated before sarting
dont worry everyone responds differently from minimal to many sides most sides can be easily remedied treatment is nothing compared to end stage liver disease and it is the only way to prevent it from occuring
Unfortunately whoever was treating him appears to be incompetent. So they finally did a biopsy? And he was found to be stage 4? They missed how much his liver disease had progressed (stages 2-3). Going through 2 stages in 7 years is very fast. Hopefully he is not drinking or taking any meds that damage the liver? He needs to see a hepatologist ASAP and get away from the doc he has been seeing.
As others have said, he should treat soon. Treating with one of the new med cocktails will give him a good chance of successfully curing him of hepatitis C. As copyman said, he needs to treat relatively soon so that his disease doesn't progress to End Stage Liver Disease (decompensated cirrhosis) or your husband's only option will be a liver transplant which is a life and death issue and something to be avoid at all costs if possible.
Since you husband has cirrhosis he needs to be under the care of a hepatologist (liver specialist) as they are the only ones qualified to treat a patient with cirrhosis. You husband will need to be monitored possibly for the rest of his life because of the amount of liver damage he has. He will need to be scanned for liver cancer every 6 months amongst other things.
I am very glad his condition has been caught before it became too ill to treat. A hepatologist will tell him if there are any issues his diabetes and heart condition. I don't think either will prevent him from treating but if he waits and needs a liver transplant certain heart conditions can prevent him from qualifying for a transplant.
The bottom line - Do everything possible to have him see a liver specialist and get treated this year. No one can say when he could advance to the next stage. It could happen tomorrow or years from now.
Best of luck to you both. Hang in there! There is still many reason to feel hopeful.
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