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how long can i live with hep c without treatments?
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how long can i live with hep c without treatments?

I am 30 and i have hep c with one failed treatment, i have geno  type 3 and a viral load over 14,000,000 and its been higher. i was on pegInterferon 0.5 for 5 months and my platelets crashed to undetectable i have had it all my life passed from mother to child but just found out i had it February of "08" i also have 3 kids and its so hard to do the treatments and keep up with them . i am supposed to start a new treatment on June 2 ,09 with pegasys and there is ALOT of joint pain i have tried milk thissile and all kinds of pain relievers and nothing works at all except RX pain killers and my doc's tell me i cant take them . so what can i do????   Cristina..
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Avatar_f_tn
I think you just need to keep trying treatments.  It sounds like its difficult for you, three kids and all that pain.  But you just cant give up.  Something will eventually work.  I'm on interferon and pegasys, some of the side effects are indeed brutal.  You didnt mention if you have any symptoms of Hep. C.  They can be much worse than treatment.

Good Luck - Lynne
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Avatar_m_tn
First question – are you under the care of a hepatologist, and gastroenterologist, or a gp? The person who by far is best for working with you on HCV issues is a hepatologist. So if you are not, probably the first thing you should do is arrange an appointment. This could take months to get, but no worries. It's better to wait for expert advice to get hasty, less informed, advice.

Second question – have you had a liver biopsy? This is the test which will give you the most reliable sense of your current level of liver damage. Without this, it's very hard to know what sort of toll the virus is taking on your body. Best not to focus on the viral load. It doesn't correlate very well with disease progression.

Personally, I don't not think you should start treatment again until you have had the liver biopsy. There might be grounds for waiting until new treatments are approved. You don't explain what will be different this time in your treatment. Generally, it is not recommended that people who failed treatment simply treat the same way again. Without some alteration in some variable, it is assumed the outcome will be similar.

If your current level of liver damage is relatively high, you will likely decide to treat aggressively. But if it is not so high, you might be better off focussing on your general health, getting in great shape, and putting off treatment until you feel better able to handle its stresses. There is a lot you can do in terms of lifestyle changes that can make you feel much better – mainly increasing your exercise regimen, improving your diet, and losing weight if there is some to be lost.

Good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
If you were only diagnosed in February 2008 and have already done one course of treatment for five months of the planned six months, it makes no sense to me to jump back into treatment so soon without evaluating what didn't work for you the first time and how you can improve your odds the second time.

To do this, many things need to be weighed. Unless your doctor has told you how he intends to tweak your treatment plan so you don't run into the same wall you did the first time, I would get a second opinion from an experienced hepatologist (liver specialist).

There is little point repeating the first plan if it didn't work. You and your doctor need to learn from your first experience to improve your likelihood of success.
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You could live a natural life span with the virus, but if you believe that the virus is responsible for the joint pain, it might not be a pleasant life.  The liver biopsy tells the story.  If it comes out stage 2 or less, you have time to wait a little longer for some of the newer drugs (not yet approved by FDA, but in just a few years).

From what I read, genotype 2 & 3's as a group are so responsive to treatment that they don't bother with biopsies, but now you know you should get one and let the results guide you and your physician.  Good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn

Well the first thing I think you should know if you got it at birth, You had it along time.  You did not mention your biopsy but I assume you had one.  Type 3 is one of the easier ones to work with the treatment.  Maybe you will need to go on for a longer time.  The most important question I would ask you is there any time during the 5 months did you think you could take a break because you were testing negative?  If so this could have played a big part in your treatment.  I have been on treatment 3 time the first 2 lasting a year and the finally was going to be 2 years but because at 6 months I was not responding and side effects were so bad they took me off my viral load went down at 3 months and rose at 6 months my hep doc said no way.  As newleaf09 said you can live a natural life span with the virus, I say it might not be fun, but your type is usually pretty easy to cure.  Now the only one who can make the decision to go right back on treatment is you, but I would suggested a break with regular monitoring and maybe a year break.
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