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recognizing symptoms
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recognizing symptoms

Since I found out I have hep C sometimes I feel so absolutely crushed when just thinking about different issues and feeling like I am hitting so many dead ends in my life all at once; then I feel faint and wind up lying down again to rest. I can't tell if this lack of energy has anything at all to do with the virus, or  if it is only a symptom of despair, and sometimes can't help wishing I didn't know I have the disease, as I felt fine - better in fact than I have for much of my adult life - (after reducing my work load as my retirement started) when I was given the bad news.

I had been tested simply because I became eligible for medicare, and then in October was told that I have this disease. (type 1 - the most common type - I was told)

Since a lack of energy as I understand it is one of the symptoms how can I chart a course to feel better, while being realistic about the disease, and how can I tell if it's the disease making me feel unwell or just the stress of trying to think clearly about it?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, and welcome to the Forum.  Lynn gave you excellent advice.

In addition, if you have copies of your blook tests, please post your AST, ALT, Hemoglobin, RNA,PCR scores, and whetheryou are shown as 1a or 1b. IF YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE doing so.

Then someone can tell you more specifically, what it all means.

Also, have you had a liver biopsy or a Fibroscan.

All of those tests will give you much information.

If you do not feel comfortable listing those things, that's okay.  Just look them up so you know what is hight or low or in normal range, etc.  

If you do not have copies of your Lab eork, plese get copies now, and start getting copies after each Lab, and keep them so you can compare them.

As Lynn said, the best way to feel better is to get treated!  The meds are expensive, but there is help to pay for what Ins doesn't cover, OR to cover it all, if you have no insurance and qualify ( below a certain income - I THINK $100,000 year, but don't quote me on that),

Stress makes it all worse, so Relax, take a deep breath, exhale and get prepared to do this one step at a time.  

THIS IS A CARING, HELPFUL COMMUNITY.  as you go through this walk, we will be here to help you understand, to answer questions, to cheer you on, as countless others have done for us!

This disease is treatable.  The treatments (Tx) are usually about 12 weeks, if you have never treated before, and it will be behind you and you will feel like anew person!  Quit dispairing!  get to a good Hepatology Dr and go from there.

by rh way, if you drink alcohol, quit.  quit or start quitting smoking.  Start drinking lots of water 1 oz for every pound of body weight up to 1/2 your body weight each day.  Eat fruits, veggies, nuts, yogurt, eggs, fish poultry.  Cut down on red meat.  These are all things you can start now, before you even see the doctor, that will help your liver.

Good luck, good treating, now prepare yourself to 'do battle with the Dragon' (hepC) and WIN.

Pat

12 Comments Post a Comment
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683231_tn?1415953923
Hi Hank

Welcome.

Yes tiredness is often reported as a symptom of hep c.

The best way to feel better is to get treated and get cured with the new meds that have been approved in the last year.

Are you under the care of a hepatologist or at least a gastroenterologist familiar with treating patients with hep c? Have you been evaluated as to the extent of your liver damage? Do you have cirrhosis or extensive fibrosis or just minimal damage?

Having cirrhosis can also cause more symptoms.

Has your doctor discussed treatment? Look up Harvoni and also Viekira Pak those may be suggested treatments for you as you are genotype 1. Do you know if you are genotype 1a or 1b?

Good luck
Lynn
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, and welcome to the Forum.  Lynn gave you excellent advice.

In addition, if you have copies of your blook tests, please post your AST, ALT, Hemoglobin, RNA,PCR scores, and whetheryou are shown as 1a or 1b. IF YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE doing so.

Then someone can tell you more specifically, what it all means.

Also, have you had a liver biopsy or a Fibroscan.

All of those tests will give you much information.

If you do not feel comfortable listing those things, that's okay.  Just look them up so you know what is hight or low or in normal range, etc.  

If you do not have copies of your Lab eork, plese get copies now, and start getting copies after each Lab, and keep them so you can compare them.

As Lynn said, the best way to feel better is to get treated!  The meds are expensive, but there is help to pay for what Ins doesn't cover, OR to cover it all, if you have no insurance and qualify ( below a certain income - I THINK $100,000 year, but don't quote me on that),

Stress makes it all worse, so Relax, take a deep breath, exhale and get prepared to do this one step at a time.  

THIS IS A CARING, HELPFUL COMMUNITY.  as you go through this walk, we will be here to help you understand, to answer questions, to cheer you on, as countless others have done for us!

This disease is treatable.  The treatments (Tx) are usually about 12 weeks, if you have never treated before, and it will be behind you and you will feel like anew person!  Quit dispairing!  get to a good Hepatology Dr and go from there.

by rh way, if you drink alcohol, quit.  quit or start quitting smoking.  Start drinking lots of water 1 oz for every pound of body weight up to 1/2 your body weight each day.  Eat fruits, veggies, nuts, yogurt, eggs, fish poultry.  Cut down on red meat.  These are all things you can start now, before you even see the doctor, that will help your liver.

Good luck, good treating, now prepare yourself to 'do battle with the Dragon' (hepC) and WIN.

Pat

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Avatar_n_tn
hmm - I wrote a fairly long reply thanking both of you and answering your questions as well as I could  but it didn't post for some reason... so am keeping this reply short - thanks -
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Avatar_n_tn
YES - I have seen the gastro-enterologist and he did a colonoscopy, an endoscopy, and a sonigram... he said I have the most common type and chances are good that 12 weeks of Harvoni will knock the virus out of my system... I am a vegetarian and have been for 47 years (not a strict one tho I was a vegan for 12 years.) Starting each day with one lemon squeezed into a quart of water these days... THANK YOU both for replying ! Glad I found this community too !
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683231_tn?1415953923
As was said if you feel ok posting do you know how your liver is doing? Do you have cirrhosis? Have you had either a fibroscan or a liver biopsy to know your fibrosis level (amount of liver scarring) it could be F0 for no damage up to F4 which is cirrhosis. This can be a determining factor in what treatment your insurance is willing to approve.

Good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
I have not had a biopsy of the liver... but my G.P. looked at the data from the gastro-enterologist and said I have a functioning liver but there is scarring that shows I have had the hep c for  many years... thanks for the urging to get the lab printouts (which I haven't done yet.) I was told that the liver has a fabulous ability to regenerate itself... these days I am trying to get ready for the harvoni, which I hope will be approved for me, by drinking a quart of water with one big organic lemon squeezed into it, as was reccommended to me...
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Avatar_n_tn
I will have no problem posting the info about my liver when I obtain it...
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10638747_tn?1415483273
It's an extremely emotional verdict for some of us. The many things it changes is enough to make you weak. The life you face with the virus is weighing heavy on you so you go lay down. There are symptoms that are written off as old age but now become clear that it's the virus in attack mode. Does your Insurance pay for counseling? Can they recommend a nutritionist? Will you be treated soon? Hearing the news one has HCV is traumatic especially if one has been fairly healthy all their life except for the virus kicking butt.
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317787_tn?1424342395
Hi there, everyone above has given you excellent advice. This is a wonderful caring place. Everyone is welcomed, supported, treated kindly.  Welcome! I had read about the lemon with water. I did it every day for two years. Unfortunately I didn't know that would cause acid erosion to my teeth. So...after you drink it chew some gum or rinse your mouth with water. My best to you, Dee
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317787_tn?1424342395
When I was diagnosed back in late 2007, I felt like I couldn't breathe. I thought it was a death sentence. Like you I was feeling pretty good. I had just been DX with diabetes, changed my diet, lost 30 lbs, got a new job then whamo. It took me months to wrap my brain around it. I just wanted yo share with you, that what you are experiencing is normal. I had symptoms for a year before, red dots on my lower legs. Not one of 3 docs I saw knew what it was. It will get easier. Dee
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163305_tn?1333672171
You are far from alone in having Hep C. How we feel emotionally definitely affects how we feel. This is not a death sentence and more and more people are being cured with the new and better treatments.

After you know the condition of your liver, you will be better informed about how to proceed.

You definitely should not drink any alcohol.
Try not to worry, keep positive, exercise, and eat well. You are not alone !!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hank,
I am getting tested next week and i certainly understand the stress.  I just waited 4 days for an HIV test to come back negative and I have several symptoms, so i feel lucky.  I prayed, prayed and prayed.  If your not religious at least try and meditate and find a calming place.  As stated above, new meds are always helping and comming available.  Im sure one will help you.  I am religious and I cant tell you how many times my prayers have been answered in impossible situations.  I will pray for you Hank, A higher power can answer the impossible. God Bless
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