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symptoms
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symptoms

I have a q for anyone who would like to share their experince with Hep C.

What was your first symptom?  Dark urine/light stool/abdominal pain etc.  

Also, if you know hcv was transmitted to you, would you share that with us?

Thanks to all and I will say a prayer for all the brave 'heppers' at Mass tomorrow.
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31 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
When you mention "dark urine/light stool, ect",  you're generally talking about the acute stage of the infection which closely follows the date of infection. In general, most people do not have an acute stage and therefore never have these symptons.

That said, I was one of those in the minority and did have a symptomatic acute stage including: dark urine, white stools, jaundiced  (yellow) skin and eyes, EXTREME fatigue, and probably some other stuff I have long since forgotten as it was almost 40 years ago.

Lately, I've read that having a symptomatic acute stage is either a positive predictor for SVR or associated with a slower rate of fibrosis --- forgot which. So, I guess there's some consulation, other than knowing you have hepatitis right away, which most people don't. Of course, in my case, they didn't know I had Hepatitis C, because 40 years ago it hadn't been 'discovered' yet.

-- Jim

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Avatar_m_tn
Are you in treatment now or ,I hope, have gone through treatment and now have 'Svr?'

just curious.
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254544_tn?1310779332
I didn't have a single hep C symptom in 20  years.  I did have symptoms in my acute phase back in 1985 but there was no such thing as Hep C back then so nobody  knew it was actue hep.  I was on chemo for Leukemia at the time so they just passed it off as a chemo problem for me.


Mouse
genotype 1a, Stage 3, Grade 3
finished tx 4/13/07
hoping for SVR in September
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186606_tn?1263513790
I did have an acute stage about six to eight weeks post infection with dark urine, extreme fatigue, no appetite, light stools but no jaundice.  it was not as bad as a hepatitis a infection i had at age nineteen, 28 years previously, but getting close to it.

deb
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm another minority report. I had a classic case of acute hep, with the full options package. Before I finally turned bright yellow, I was literally sleeping under my desk at work. Fatigue dores not begin to describe it.

Like Jim, my acute stage was in the 70s and long before HCV was described. I was dxed with HepA [infectious hepatitis] and treated in an infectious diseases hospital.

Digression: If you think there is a stigma attached to HCV, try being THE REASON that everyone in your office has to go get massive shots of gammaglobulin in their righteous arses. Now THAT's stigma!

I'd had no specific symptoms aside from elevated AST/ALT which was always put down to 'nothing to worry about' by the Drs that saw it. Fast forward to 2005, when my wife's Dr saw soem old labs of mine and insisted that we find out why the elevated enzymes. Turns out I had NO antibodies to hepA, and a nice juicy case of HCV with a VL in the 25,000,000 range. We now know that the acute stage was in fact the begining of the HCV infection.
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Avatar_m_tn
Absolutely fascinating.  Everyone has a good story to tell.  Thanks to all.
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Avatar_m_tn
Good luck on your 6 month post tx Pcr.  I have a feeling you will hear the magic words 'Svr.'  

Could you tell me what your exposure was?  Blood transfusion?
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254544_tn?1310779332
Hey Jakied,

Thanks I have a feeling SVR is mine too. .

My expose was definately transfusions.  Just don't know if it was whole blood or platlets but guess it really doesn't matter.  I received almost 2 units of blood and unit of platlets daily from December 1983 to early 1985 while I was on chemo for Leukemia.  

Mouse
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Avatar_n_tn
HI I am 50 yrs old and 25 yrs ago was diagnosed with beginning stages of liver cancer. They now know that it was Hep C genotype 3A which is suppose to be one of the easier ones to get rid of. I went thru interferon and ribiviron treatments twice I don't remember the dosages. I just remember being sicker than a dog on it. I didnt know which end to keep in the pot. I now have rashes my Dr. Thinks is Rosacea but i know it is not. It started on my face and i have small spots all over my body. Like someone else said it looks almost like ringworm and turns to a dry rough spot. The spots come back repeatedly on my face and can be very painful. I recently hasve problems with bowels one week I am so constipated I cant go at all. The next it comes out like water. But for the last month and half I hve a pain in my stomach that wont go away. It is right where the ribs join together but its not the liver. Feels like a giant gas bubble stuck. I cant seem to rid of. It is starting to affect my ability to work. I get nauseous and get a metallic taste in my mouth. Then I get like a real thick saliva in the back of my throat. I try to go vomit but nothing comes out cuz i cant eat right. I only want cold things to eat. Icecream, cottage cheese, yogurt and salads. Does anyone know if this is part of end stage liver disease or what? I beleive I got my Hep C from using intravenious drugs when I was in my teen years. That or from my ex husband who still uses needles(why I left him). He also has the hep c virus. So I could have gotten it from either source. But if thats the case why wouldnt my current husband have it? We have been together 13 yrs and he has no signs of it. I went thru pegasys treatment twice both times for 6 months with a space of 6 months between treatments. They also upped the dosage the second time around and the virus just got worse. plus can someone tell me what the heck is SVR???
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Avatar_m_tn
1) 'Svr' is an acronym for 'sustained vral response.'  Svr is the result everyone on treatment wants to achieve.  It means the virus is gone from your body.  This is considered a cure, though the antibodies will remain in your bloodstream, probably for the rest of your life.

Hep C is not considered to be a Std as hep b and Hiv are.  Blood transfusion and drug use are the most common methods of transmission of hep c.  Sexual transmission is possible but not common and is more likely to occur male to female than female to male.  This explains why your current husband is neg.

lalas, i am only a regular guy, trying to survive in this crazy world.  It sounds as though you have some major health problems.  You did catch a huge break with your genotype.  2 and 3 are usually easier to treat than 1.  i would make an appointment to see your Pcp first and he will probably refer you to a liver specialist.  Please do that and let us know what is happening.  We are a good group who only try to help each other.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Is the pegasys treatment considered Chemotherapy??? Plus I am going to See my liver specialist on Oct 11   He is suppose to be considered one of the best liver specialists on the west coast. I hope so cuz I don't know how much longer I can stand this pain in my upper abdomen. Thank you for your info Jackied it helps to know your not alone in this and to get information that Drs dont have the time to tell you. I had a similiar sight to talk to people when I had my tibula/fibula and Foot broken. right leg and left foot wouldnt ya know. So I had to crawl on knee pads for six months not fun.
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Avatar_f_tn
The treatment for HCV is chemotherapy.  It is a combination of  interferon (shots) and ribavirin (pills) taken for a specified length of time (24 weeks for Genotype 2 or 3, 48 weeks for Genotype 1).  You can also check the janis site.  They have some great information there too.   www.janis7hepc.com. Good luck to you.  I was a Genotype 1A, treated for 48 weeks and am SVR, I am 1 year post treatment.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm 62 (just turned) Like so many other people it was routine yearly physical that brought up the question. I did have what was labeled Hep A back in the 70's from clams. But who knows now? I also was a nurse for a long time. I also drank to excess,espeially when I was younger and I did drugs. I also had unprotected sex when I was younger. I also took care of my Dad (stepdad) before he died of end stage liver disease and I was cleaning up his bloody urine before we knew he had Hep C. Who knows. For me I had to come to some sort of peace in myself that whatever the hell brought this on. It's here now. I found that a lot of people in the medical profession love to jump on the whole drug thing. I got tired of explaining my f------ life hx to people. It was all behind me. My dad never got
the whole jaundice thing right up to the end. The also are finding that there are many other ways that this disease can be contracted. My dad had Malaria during the war and they found that a lot of guys wound up with this 30- 40 years post war. I have genotype 3a..easy to Rx but now can't do the RX. I was at a 2 inflammation and a 3-4 fibrosis on my liver biopsy last year. Have no idea right now where I'm at. One thing about Hep C in my opnion is that it is it is the expect the unexpected disease. Since it is outdoing HIV 4 to 1 and still not that much know to the general public the next 10 years will be interesting. Good luck and may God Bless us all
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264121_tn?1313033056
I guess anyone reading the thread I submitted knows that I know exactly when I was exposed.  I am probably one the really rare people who has two years worth of backup tests that show I am negative for hepC (actually, for the entire hep panel) all the way up to 6-21-07, which is when I had my last negative test.  Then I was raped by an IV drug user on 7-1-07.  I began to feel ill about two to four weeks later.  Actually, and this is really strange - my first sign of something weird was about three weeks out and it had to do with my skin.  Now, granted, I wasn't bathing well or taking very good care of myself because hello --- I had just been raped.  Mostly I was just sitting around the house with a bunch of loaded guns.  However, one day about three or so weeks after the rape I reached down to rub my leg and several layers of skin came off, leaving a huge ulcer - kind of like a decubitus you would see on an elderly person who was not being care for properly? - It became infected and I have gone through two z-packs and it is still healing.  It was just so odd, and I just chalked it up to my skin degrading because I wasn't taking care of myself properly, but now I wonder...

Anyway, shortly after that, I began to feel nauseous, which has continued with a vengeance.  I am a migraineur, so I have plenty of phenergan but it does not help very much.  That is really odd.  Phenergan always takes care of my nausea.  I am just very sick to my stomach all the time.  Also, my stomach is quite bloated, also not something I ever deal with.  And I have a lot of pain under my ribcage.  It reminds me a lot of how I felt prior to having my gall bladder out.  I am also not urinating very much.  And that is very odd for me, particularly since I have high blood pressure and part of my medication is a diuretic.  My urine just seems very concentrated.  That's about it.  Nausea, abdominal swelling and pain.  Lack of appropriate urination.  Strange skin issues.  Lack of healing.  Oh yes, and horrible fatigue.  I mean, just outlandish.  Today I was going to go to the specialist and sit in his office until he saw me and I could not even get out of bed.  I have not been able to leave my bed in two days.  I am exhausted.
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Avatar_f_tn
Ok - Ive been wanting to ask this question but didnt want to start a new post.  Ive had clay colored stools for months now and forgot to ask the doc about them.  I know its a sympton but how alarmed should I be?  I also read it happens in the acute stage - what does this mean?  does anyone else have this and will it go away?  what should i do?  the urine color is normal.  thanks for any help.

stacy
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Avatar_m_tn
Do you have a risk factor for hep?  Blood trans/organ trans/rough sex etc?  have you been tested for hep b and c?

the window period for antibody production for hep b is 5 weeks with the outer limit 10 weeks.

The window period for antibody production for hep c is 2 weeks to 26 weeks with a 50 day average.

It sounds as though you have had the 'light color stool' for a while, probably long enough to get an accurate antibody result.  Why don't you get tested for hep b and c?  call request a test, 1-888-732-2348, if you need to make an appt.

Do you have abdominal pain/joint pain etc?  there are other symptoms.  hope for the best.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes - I have Hep c.  I dont have Hep b - Im just wondering about the clay colored stools.  Does everyone with hep c have this?  Ive had them for months now .  Is it normal and what do they mean?  I just keep reading its a sympton - are they gonna stay that color?  Its just weird.  I read its a sympton in the acute stage - what does that mean?  Thanks - im still learning.
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217229_tn?1192766004
Clay colored --- like gray?

Gray stools are bad stacy - tell your doctor.... Any white or gray is not a good sign. OK?

Tell your doc sweetie - it's important.

Meki
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Avatar_f_tn
no - not gray - their like clay colored - like the color of a clay pot.  light, tan color.  I'll call the doc on mon.  Thanks for answering Meki.
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217229_tn?1192766004
You're welcome --- It's not like the end of the world --- but on top of anything else --- they can be an indicator of something serious. OK?

So I'm glad you're checking - you might have to wait til Tues. Because Mon is a holiday --- at least in the US.

Hugs,

Meki
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Avatar_n_tn
I have couple questions. Im not sure if Im writing in a right place,but maybe some of you can answer me.
For last 3 months Ive been living  with a guy who 3 years ago was sick for Hepitits C. He had a treatment,after which he got healthy and he keeps telling me,that right now- he is healthy in 100%,that all his reports are negative.
We are together,I mean- we sleep together, live together. But Im a little bit worried if it is true that I can not get infected from him? Is it true that people can get rid of Hepitits C after a right treatment? Am I safe?
Id be grateful for your answer!And please forgive me my English,but Im still learning your language.
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Avatar_m_tn
I only recently discovered that I have HCV.  My wife got tired of watching me constantly scratch myself due to a head-to-toe itching that I had for the past year and a half and made me go see my doc.  I had also noticed a darkening of my urine for a few months, but I chalked that up to dehydration as it would always clear up if I drank mass quantities of water. After a couple of visits to my Family Practice PA, he ran a liver function test and HEP screen that showed I had HEP C.  I had a biopsy a couple weeks later that revealed cirrhosis, so my symptoms are likely related to that rather than the underlying HCV.  That's the real terror of this disease- you can go decades with the virus attacking your body and be asymptomatic until advanced damage has occured to your liver.  I am fortunate to have great health care- I was diagnosed in July, biopsy early August and start Pegasys/Copegus treatment next week.  I just wish the in the last 30 years of annual physicals I'd have been tested so that I could have treated before the cirrhosis set in.  I haven't got a real clue when I contracted the disease.  I had the usual risky behavior in my youth (late 70,s), had a surgery with possible transfusion (83), and received numerous jet-gun injections while in the military.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I've likely been infected for 25-30 years and my wife of 23 years does not have Hep C.  I think the risk of transmission via sexual contact is very low.  My GI doctor tells us it is nearly impossible.  If he has cleared the virus there should be zero risk.
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Avatar_m_tn
Are you saying your Bf had hepc and cleared?  That would mean his pcr tests have been consistently neg.   if he is virus neg, and i hope that is the case, he is probably antibody pos and will remain so for a long time, maybe the rest of his life.  Antibody pos is not a concern for you, just be sure he is virus neg.

sexual transmission of hep c is rare but not impossible.  sexual transmission from male to female is more likely than female to male, fyi.  But if you Bf is truly virus neg, then you have no worries.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for all your answers! I feel better now! Anyway- I will go to the doctor to check myself, when I come back to my country to visit my parents soon.
Thank you guys! And I wish you all the best! I mean I wish you got better and recover as soon as possible!
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Avatar_m_tn
My very first (and only real symptom) was night sweats.  I've had an occasional night sweat from time to time, usually during ear infections, colds, nightmares, etc., but I had a run of them for 10 days straight, and they were drenching.  I went to the dr. on a whim, more because I wanted to take time off of work.  He suggested a test for Hep C, even though I'd tested neg for A, B, & C three years before when I was inoculated against Heps A & B.  I was at first offended that he'd want to test me for Hep C, since I had none of the "risk factors" & had no other symptoms.

Lo & behold, I tested positive, and was floored!  We're both at a loss as to how I got it; he told me it must've been through oral sex (!) which I seriously doubt.  A month after I tested positive, I came down with the WORST stomach flu of my life--which in retrospect, I believe was the actual onset of the virus, the "acute" stage; I think I must've tested positive within weeks--if not days--of actually contracting it, from a deep puncture I received from a sharp loose piece of metal on a gas pump handle, so deep I thought I'd have to go to the ER.

Now I'm very grateful for going in when I did, and finding out the truth, because I know I've caught this very early on & can take a wait-and-see approach.
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461838_tn?1255793816
I probably got mine during my Army days in the 70s in Germany IV or any kind of drug use. I hear you can contract it by sharing rolled up dollar bills. I have had the colored and no colored urine off and on, it is ok now. My stools are light tan, my stomach feels bloated, constipated feel like I have to go all the time to get rid of the bloated feeling. And now which I had off and on earlier upper abdomen side pains.Oh yea fatigue and apathy also. When I was drinking last year, I had real sharp pains and dark colored urine.

Does this mean I am going through an acute stage of hep now? Supposed to start tx in May, I fill out the questionnaire about symptoms experienced now, but Dr is only dealing with the pain now, I guess because I am complaining about it more.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am also one of those few people that had symptoms while acute.  I am actually in the acute stage at the moment waiting to see if I might clear on my own.  The chance is low but it is there.  But I had every symptom you could have.  It started with me feeling like I had the flu which I thought nothing of.  Next I got rash spots on my legs and belly.  Then my urine became coffee colored and I had clay colored stools then about 3 days after my urine became coffee colored I turned yellow on my back, arms and my eyes.  At that point I took myself to the ER.  I actually feel very lucky that I got so bad off during the acute stage.  At least I know I am infected and can try and beat this thing while still in the acute stage if I don't clear it here soon.  I go back to the GI Dr. tomorrow and have my fingers crossed that when we do my labs this time I come back with a 0 VL
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Avatar_f_tn
In the 80s (when i became infected) I had unexplained illness, ended up in hospital, jaundice, sweats, fatigue, anemia, they didnt know what was wrong with me. Now I guess we do since hep c was discovered in 1988.
The symptom that has bothered me the most is FATIGUE.
I became infected from domestic violence, my ex husband was IDU and from the beatings I became HCV+.

Linda
Relapser
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485558_tn?1208676302
I am 50 and had no symtoms (symptoms).I just finished 48 weeks Interferon and Riba. I was tested 6mos after treatment and showed a level 600000. They say that is low and I sure hope it stays that way. The only things I feel are depression, but I am not sure if they are from treatment I am a very driven person so the depression part might be a bit of guilt from just trying to figure out where I got it from.
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Avatar_f_tn
Confused by your post.  Do I understand that you did not clear the virus after treatment and now have a viral load of 600,000?  What geno are you and what was your pre-tx vl?
Do you have liver damage?  Just wondering if you are considering tx again at some point, maybe when better tx is available?
Trinity
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