Hepatitis C Community
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Avatar universal

Age and treatment (anyone in their 20s?)

I am 26 years old and about to start treatment.

Was wondering if there is anyone else who is in their 20s, that's undergoing or undergone treatment for Hep C. What was your experience like? Side effects? How do you feel after treatment?

Also a quick poll to see what kind of age distribution we've got here... I bet younger people are in the minority though :/
24 Responses
1658980 tn?1330715150
I'm in my 50's. So many of us went undiagnosed for many years. I found out in 2007. I'm wondering if at your age, you are healthy with minimal liver problems, why you are in such a hurry to treat. You could probably slow down and wait for more tolerable treatments than available now. Of course discuss with your doc as that is just my non-professional opinion.
1253246 tn?1332076910
I believe you have to be 18 to even do the treatment.
Avatar universal
Excellent point by reasearchmonkey.. in your previous posts you never mentioned having a liver biopsy ..At 26 it could very well be ..and actually likely you have no ..or very mild  liver damage...therefore waiting to treat may be an option with even better meds and possibly interferon free.. Best to have a  biopsy if  indeed waiting is one option is waiting

Avatar universal
I did Fibrosure which came out to be F0/A0 No Fibrosis. So you guys are right in that I do have time. But not treating now will mean that my life will be dominated by this virus. I will have to live knowing that I have it, I can't drink, have to tell partners that I have it. It's like this cloud, not something I want to live with any additional time.
Didbubdrink alcohol before being diagnose
Avatar universal
The personal reasons are always as important if not more so than the physical reasons ...and with already an approx.80% chance of success .. and a regime of 24 weeks..or possibly shorter...all I would say....good luck with your treatment  :)

244899 tn?1313628239
I personally feel if you treat now while you gouged and in good health, it will be easier on you as far as sides. If you have zero liver damage now why tale the chance. The new drugs are having great success rates and if you can knock it out in six months it might be worth it. It sounds like it might be good for your own piece of mind also. Good luck what ever you decide. Joe
Avatar universal
I am 29- on my 40th week of treatment.  Gt1a. Been UND since week 12 (probably sooner but doc didn't test between 4 and 12 weeks.

Finish up in October!  I would treat if I were you. I found out due to life insurance and wanted to eradicate the virus before my family started.
Avatar universal
Believer, sounds like you're almost done! I am with you on eradicating the virus asap. Just not something I feel like delaying, given the chance to get rid of it. How are you feeling on the meds, still working no problem? Some posts on here make it sound absolutely horrible.... that's why I thought I would ask about everyone's age and their overall health status.
Avatar universal
willbb and joemc, thanks for the good luck ;) The plan is to start in September!
Avatar universal
Although I was 53,  I started treatment in optimal shape both physically and mentally.  It was tough, very tough and I can't imagine how it would have been if my body had been compromised with other issues.  I am bouncing back from it very quickly.

It's great that you are young, healthy, and enthusiastic. It is not a picnic for SOME of us but all in all we make it and have no regrets making the decision to treat.  My opinion is to get rid of this so you can live the rest of your life without thinking about HCV.  Don't worry about the sides - for the most part it isn't horrible, hard sometimes, but not horrible.

Avatar universal
I am 31 and decided to do treatment even though my liver is still in great condition. I know pretty much exactly when I got the virus (around Feb - March 2010) and I have had all the test done, liver was okay.I have geno type 1a and with my viral load my doctor said I was the perfect canidate for the triple therapy and after looking at the options I decided I wanted to try to fight this now before it causes any damage. I have other health problems that they can't cure, epilepsy is one of them. Even with medication I still have seizures occassionally so I already have enough to worry about I dont' want to worry about my liver to. I think when you are younger and there is no damage it's more of a choice you have to make for yourself but why risk letting the virus damage your body? Why wait until you are older and feel worse to put yourself through such a difficult treatment? It just seems logical to do it as early as you can and if you were lucky enough to find out before damage was done then jump at the chance to keep that from happening. I'm young and I don't want to deal with this when I get old, life's hard enough.
1722607 tn?1335751458
I will be 34 next month. Have not started treatment yet. It is taking a long time! I was diagnosed in May. Stil waiting for genotype results. Probably got infected about 17 years ago.
1420486 tn?1384796753
     I think you are lucky to find out while you have no liver damage. I am 49 in wk 43 of a clinical trial w/soc. I have no sx and no other known health problems. I had no liver damage. I could of waited??? For what. I wonder. I started the trial because I thought I could loose my health insurance in the middle of tx. My health Insurance canceled 1 or 2 months into the trial.  I am now of the opinion that the young, otherwise healthy, and those w/o damage and those with insurance should treat a.s.a.p..  In this economy today we have ins and a job, But what about tomorrow?  If I was not in the trial and used my health ins. I would of been caught with my pants down. And with out 200k to 300k cash in my bank account. Good luck to you tony-man and may your tx be as easy as mine has ( wk 43 UND 5 shots to go and NO sx . I feel great. Blondie
Avatar universal
hi tony, how are you doing man? maybe we could connect a bit i am in my 20s as well
Avatar universal
I am 25.  I was diagnosed three years ago.  Probably had it four years.  When I was first diagnosed my doctor told me to wait for newer, more effective treatment.  I think they must have found drugs in my system too.  I think that added to why they brushed me off.  

I started going back in Feb. because I knew that they were about to approve new meds.  Also I am on my parents health insurance and will loose it at 26.  I am 1a.  Doing the 1 month lead in and going to add becepreveir.  I have exactly a year of health coverage left which pays ALL my costs (except $20 a mo for meds. And $10 per office visit).  

I just took my second shot 9 hours ago and feel fine.  No side effects.  I felt a little down the day after my first shot but besides that I’ve been eating a ton.  Lost 30 pounds to get my BMI down to 30 before treatment.  Side effects haven’t curbed my appetite at all.  I gained 2 pounds this week.  Going to go to the gym tonight.

I don’t know why I’m having such an easy time with it.  I’m doing everything they say to do.  Getting plenty of sleep and chugging water and Iced tea.  I’ve been drinking black tea because I read here that it blocks iron absorption. Also quit drinking 6 months before treatment.  I have some dots on my hand which I think may be a side effect but I’m not sure and they don’t hurt or itch.

Real glad I started treatment.  Felt like I had to talk my doctors into it.  They all said I could wait and do it in twenty years if I wanted.  I kept insisting.  Went to all there appointments.  When they gave me an appointment I would always call and see if I could schedule it for sooner.  It was still 6mo of tests and they didn’t even do a liver biopsy.  Said it was unnecessary.  They thought damage would be minimal do to my age.  I’m not so sure though because I was a heavy substance abuser since Jr High.  Drank a fifth a day until 6 mo ago.  

I would DEFFINENTLY recommend getting treatment.  If you have bad sides you can always quit after a few weeks.  I’m amazed by how easy it’s been for me so far but I’m not taking it for granted.  I just started after all.

As for your question about working… I’m a student.  My semester starts next week.  I cut back to 3 quarters time because I was afraid of sides limiting my academic ability.  I feel like I could have done more because I feel fine but better safe than sorry.  I Guess.

I was excited to see your post.  I’m really curious to see how other people in their 20’s are handling sides. But don’t know any.  People on this forum are great but I’m wondering if tx is harder as you get older.  Don’t know because I’ve never chatted with another 20something getting treatment.  Also, Common sense tells me that people’s immune systems get weaker with age.

Avatar universal
I can't believe I am the only one in my sixties on this list!
Avatar universal
Thanks for everyone's input! We got some good info here. Just like the literature says, the majority of people that discover and get treated for Hep C are over 40. Not surprisingly that is the population of these forums. I am ready to start treatment within a month. Looking forward to being clear! Thanks again for everyones' comments!

Good luck to everyone!
170011 tn?1335079697
You do not have to be 18 to do treatment.   One of our youngest dragon slayers (Elijah) did 69 weeks of treatment at the age of 6.   He is 8 now and just got his SVR 6 months post treatment.   What a champ!   You can see him talking at last years World Hep Day at:

Listen closely - he talks about taking his "poke" and being tired all the time.   We can all relate to that!
Avatar universal
I found out I tested positive right before my 28th birthday, last September.  I think I had contracted HCV  at the end of 2009/ beginning of 2010 (no later than March 2010), just because of the way I chose to take my drugs after I left my husband,  Injecting them seemed to numb me soooooo much more.  That is besides the point though.  

I just started treating with the pegasys/ribavirin on August 19th, exactly one week.  So far no major sides, still working 20 hours a week, and attending college full-time,  take care of my 2 wonderful girls (ages 7 and 5 months) on my own other than school and daycare having them half the day.  

I was starting to get a sinus infection right before I started treatment, which has seemed to progress a little faster than normal.  Back pain flares a little more easily.  Things like that, but I was not the healthiest prior to starting treatment.

Best of luck to you,  it has seemed to help by staying positive.

Avatar universal
I am 18 and Im starting treatment at the beginning of October. Im nervous about it, but I think it may be in my best interest to go forward to treatment.
577132 tn?1314270126
I'm 50 and found out I had the virus when I was about 30 but I was infected when I was 24. Treating back then wasn't an option for me due to my country's treatment policies and my genotype. It definitely ruled my life for exactly the reasons you mention earlier.  If I could have I would have treated immediately back then especially when you are younger and more resilient. I was finally able to treat clear the virus when I was 47. I'm a believer in treating early and getting it over and done with. All the best :)
1748829 tn?1338040641
I just turned 29 a few days ago so I'm still in the 20s club yay! Anyway I'm set to start treatment in the next 6-8 weeks if all goes according to plan but that is not a definite time yet hope to have a date set soon. I am 1a stage 1 but I also just want to get this out of rge way so I have better piece of mind. I also want kids someday Ans I don't think its fair to risk it so I want to treat so I can have them as svr in 3 or 4 yes God willing! Anyway I'm here if you need to talk to someone closet to your age but everyone on here is awesome always helpful you can message me if you need to talk!
Avatar universal
I'm in the "50's category" but I do know of many 20-something-year-olds that have done treatment (from other forums) and they generally, from my observation, have done very well with treatment.  I did 48 weeks of treatment (I'm 2 years post treatment now) and I was 53 when I started it.  My thinking is that, if those of us from the older crowd can get through it, you can too.  :)
184420 tn?1326743408
im 49, have prob had this for over 30 years, i was diagnosed when i was like 43, stage 2 grade 2 just starting triple treatmnet this thursday...
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