Hi, I'm new to this group and have some questions. I had a hep test done because i have been showing symptoms for quite awhile but didnt know, i didnt put it all together. I was in emergency and found out i had ecoli in my blood and bilirubin in my urine. So my dr sent me for a hep test and it came back as hep c being very high. Now my dr is getting an HCV test done, what does that mean? I had a blood transfusion 21 years ago pre 92...... does it mean I have full blown hep c, I'm scared because I don't know what the hcv test is for or what it means. Could someone explain all of this to me? Thanks so much for any help I can get here.....
First for the majority people that are infected with hepatitis C they have no symptoms until decades after they are infected. The symptoms are from liver disease that develops.
It takes a series of blood tests to diagnose if you have the hepatitis C infection.
* Hepatitis C Antibody Test
When the hepatitis C virus (HCV or Hep C for short) enters your body, your immune system releases chemicals into your bloodstream to help fight off the Hep C virus. These are called antibodies.
If you have HCV antibodies it means that you have been infected with HCV, but it does NOT mean that you have active HCV. For some people (2 to 4 out of 10) the body’s natural defenses can get rid of the virus, but for the other 6 to 8 people the body cannot kill off the virus.
In order to find out if the hepatitis C virus is in your body you will need to have another blood test called a viral load test. Maybe this is what your doctor is testing for now?
* The viral load will tell you if you have the virus in your body.
* Not everyone with hepatitis C (HCV or Hep C for short) has the same kind. In fact, there are six different kinds of HCV. These different kinds
are called genotypes and are numbered from 1 to 6. Genotype information
is important because it predicts how well treatment will work, and how long someone will need to be treated.
Try not to worry. You may not even be infected. Even if you are infected there is effective treatments now the can cure your infection.
Good luck with your test. Let us know what the results are. Write down what the doctor says if you are infected because that information will determine your treatment.
The tests you will have done will tell you if you have chronic Hepatitis C. Hopefully they will come back negative.
As far as your symptoms, they could be due to many different medical problems. Further testing is needed to know which medical problem is causing your symptoms.
Hepatitis C can cause a large number of medical conditions/problems and symptoms. Because many Hep C symptoms are the same as the symptoms for other diseases/problem, people can often go undiagnosed for years. Here is a link to a site which tells you about the many medical problems and symptoms which Hep C can cause. These symptoms and problems may appear long before a person is ever diagnosed with Hep C and do not necessarily take decades to appear.
Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it! As far as the tests go, I have already gone through a battery of blood tests. At my last appointment (my dr got the test in the am and wanted me there that day) this is what he said, "your test came back and it is hep c",he went on to say as he was reading "the last tests we did should have come back, or we had hoped would come back as negative, but it is positive" so does that mean that I am infected with the virus and now need to see what genotype it is?
'your test came back and it is hep c",he went on to say as he was reading "the last tests we did should have come back, or we had hoped would come back as negative, but it is positive" '
I assume that was the viral load test? Who knows? This is a guessing game.
The problem is your doctor.
This doctor is wasting your time and money. If he is a primary doctor he probably knows little to nothing about hepatitis C anyway.
You need to see a gastrenterologist or hepatologist who is experienced treating patients with hepatitis C and cares about your health instead of leaving you to fend for yourself.
Call your doctor's office and get a referral to see a gastro. Then start getting copies of all of your tests so you know the names, numbers and results of the tests.
Any competent doctor can test and diagnose hep C within two visits. Further testing after that will need to be done to assess any liver damage you have and determine what the best treatment is for your case. This is not rocket science.
Let us know if you need help finding a doctor. You need to tell us where you are located if you want help from us.
Thanks, I am located in Lethbridge, AB Canada, and my dr did say I will need to see a specialist, but didn't say what kind.....I also wanted to ask, my cousin just went through the hep c treatment, and she lost all of her hair, is this a common side effect? I know this isn't an important question considering what you all have been through with everything else, but I was just curious......
Hair loss can be a side effect of Hep C treatment but most people do not lose all of their hair. Many people have a thinning of the hair, but not total loss. Mine thinned some, but only I could tell. It looked normal to everyone else.
I did, however, check out scarves and hats in case I did lose my hair. I never bought any, but I had one picked out in case I needed it. It was from a place that sold scarves and hats to people who had lost their hair to chemo. They said let them know if I started losing a lot of hair and they could have the color and style I wanted within a week. Luck me, I never needed it.
One thing I did to help my hair was to cut it short, in a pixie style, so the shear weight of the hair (due to length) would not pull on it. I also used a wide toothed comb. I avoided coloring or highlighting. I used very gentle organic shampoos. I avoided getting the hair in knots or tangles. I did not pull on my hair. I slept with my head on a very soft all cotton pillowcase. Satin is good too for a nice soft pillowcase.
Thanks for the info, cutting my hair has never been something I have been able to bring myself to do as it has taken me 25 years to grow it, its slow growing and is now just above my waist.....I have also never dyed my hair, I used to hate the color (strawberry blonde) but as I grew up, realized it wasn't a common color so I grew to like it.....I know this is a small thing to think about, or be sad about, and I'm sorry if I have offended anyone with my stupid questions about hair when you all are dealing with so many more serious things, things that I too may have to face........
I am trying to process all of this and what it all means......and I'm scared.......scared of what it will or could do to me, scared of the treatment and how I will feel, scared of the side effects, I was in a car accident 7 years ago so I am already on permanent disability and because of that, i go through fatigue, low energy, trouble sleeping, headaches, anemia, back and joint pain, no appetite which has lead to weight loss ( now at 95 pounds and seem to be losing more) I also have hypothyroidism already, and have had it for years.......so I don't know what is related to the hep c and what is related to the condition I have already.......I am terrified at the thought of losing more weight, because me and food already don't get along......but I can't afford to lose anymore, I'm already skin and bones already........I'm also already on a lot of meds for everything I'm dealing with from the accident so what will the hep c drugs do,or will what I'm on now interfere with them.......sorry for the long post and all the questions, but I'm scared and don't know if I can handle one more thing......I've been through so much in the last 7 years, have lost a lot so I deal with depression which also makes me worry since that is also a side effect of the hep c treatment......I try hard everyday to stay positive and rise above the depression, but sometimes its hard.......in a nutshell, I'm scared and don't know what to do or how to feel.......has anyone else been through any of what I've been through then added hep c to the mix? Thanks for the help.....
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