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Avatar universal

Does exercise during treatment negatively impact outcome?

This is my 4th try at treatment having never reached undetected in previous attempts with SOC, Infergen and SOC+Incivek. Each time I have been <3 DET but never UND.
I keep wondering if there's something I can do to make this the last time I have to treat. I fear that anything I do can negatively impact the results.
I have a full time job and 2 small children though I have plenty of help with my children. Would stress from my job affect my response?  Should I ask for a sabbatical at work?

I currently Crossfit 5 times a week and run a couple of times a week and I do adventure/obstacle/running races several times a year. I will most likely give up on the racing while on treatment but would like to keep exercising.
However, how hard is too hard? Is this even relevant?

I loosely follow a Paleolithic diet which is basically meat, fruits, veggies and nuts and seeds. I don't eat fake anything, no protein shakes, no supplements. My weight is normal and thanks to this diet I've leaned out a lot. However, is too much protein bad during treatment?

I do take fish oil but I plan on stopping pretty much anything that's not prescription once I start with the treatment.
I also take Levoxyl of a bad thyroid thanks to the first SOC treatment. Is this something that would interfere with Harvoni?

I do plan on asking my doctor all these questions and am mostly looking for empirical data/personal experiences.
I'm "only" 39 and I've gone through 3, now 4 treatments and I'm ready to get rid of this once and for all. I'm 1a (or b, I can't even remember anymore) and am close to Cirrhosis so I will likely be doing Harvoni for 24 weeks.
Any comments, encouragement will help. I'm really anxious this time, like I've never been before. I think I'm just mentally exhausted of having this hanging over my head for so long.
15 Responses
10175413 tn?1427173851
Hi and welcome.....the only comment that I have is that personally I would cut out all red meat unless it's geninely hormone free as it is hard for the liver to process. You can get the protein in other foods. Just a thot. I don't think that exercising is a good thing just don't over do it. Your body will surely let you know when it's had enough, so listen to your body and rest when you need to. This is your body's way of healing itself while on these very powerful drugs. I'm sorry to hear that you have had a rough time clearing this virus and I understand fully that having this looming over your head can be all consuming at times. It was for me. I'm GT1a as well and currently treating with sov/Riba 24 wk protocol and starting wk 14. I know or at least I feel like it is working, been UND since wk 3 so we will see at EOT wk 12. I have plan B Harvoni in case I don't clear but my bet is on this Tx. Try not to be overly anxious (easier to say) and start your Tx with knowing that this will be the Tx that will set you free from this body wracking virus. Keep on top of the thyroid issues with your dr.  You are treating with the newest meds out there with virtually less SFX than ever. Good luck to you and keep the faith. We are all in this together. There is a wealth of info here with caring people ready to support you on your journey. You take and let us know how you are doing
10175413 tn?1427173851
Oops... I would stop the supplements until you speak to you Dr.
Be well
317787 tn?1473362051
Hey there! I think keeping active is a good idea.  You have really been through the mill with 3 tx's.  I was able to get to SVR with my second tx of Incivek.
I relapsed after my first tx (Inf,riba, polymerase inhibitor) and started looking for anything that would help me with my next tx.
Back then I had read that insulin resistance (diabetes) could interfere with the Interferon so I made sure to keep my blood sugar down.  I had read that D3 deficiency and B12 deficiency could also interfere with me getting to SVR.  I got my D3 checked, found I was deficient so with doctors approval took supplements.
With Harvoni it is so new I don't have anything to share.
I guess you could look at the two medications in the Harvoni and see if there is any information out there about what can help it work better, or you could ask your doctor.
I imagine that like all of the treatments, drinking water is going to be important.  I will try to look around to see if there are any studies.
I agree with Ekkie that eating red meat is not good for people close to or with cirrhosis.  It sounds like you are eating a really good diet already so that is good.
I hope you will keep in touch, ask for help, let us know how you are doing.  We are a caring group of people and if we don't know the answer someone else will come along with it or will search for it.
When do you start tx?
Avatar universal
I didn't know about red meat but in any case do limit red meat just because I don't like it much, so protein sources mostly come from turkey, chicken, fish and eggs. Should I be limiting my protein intake in general? Paleo is not high protein per se but I am having some form of protein in every meal. My doctor keeps saying I don't need to change anything in my diet but I'm not sure doctors are 100% informed regarding nutrition...
Avatar universal
I am not sure when I'm starting treatment. We are in the pre authorization stages with the insurance so I'm hoping some time this month. I want to start as soon as possible so that Im' able to fill 2 prescriptions before year's end so we  don't get slammed with the massive deductible we are probably going to have to pay next year. We have a high deductible plan and I don't think we are going to qualify for any type of aid that is need based so I'm hoping the cost is not outrageous.Yet another thing I worry about...
Avatar universal
You really have to judge how your body reacts to the meds once you're on them.  With that being said..., I've done many, many treatments.  My first years at various treatments, I gave in to the tiredness, fatigue and was basically a couch potato, moving from bed to couch, etc.  I didn't clear.  I didn't clear the virus on any of my attempts at treatments until this 11th time with the Sovaldi, Peg and Riba x 12 wks.  I worked out at my gym about 5 days a week and on my off days, I still walked on  my treadmill here at home.  I did have to ease up a bit on the intensity though and I didn't stay at the workout for as long of a work-up cycle, as I would being off treatment.  But, I pushed through it.  I learned from the past that exercise helps me with body aches and with keeping from getting too depressed and the Great News is that this time, this treatment, I finally became undetected on week 4.  I am not claiming that the exercise caused me to get virus free, that would be a false claim.  All I am saying is that it caused me no harm and I think all it did do was benefit me.  I've tried antidepressants in the past for depression and they've never agreed with me, so I won't take one when I was on treatment.  I've never done CrossFit so, I can't answer on that, on whether or not you would be able to handle the intense workout that is on treatment.  But, you know your body and if you are already doing it regularly now, it should not be impossible for you to try to do it on treatment.  You will just have to determine how your body responds to it on the meds and may have to ease up a bit on the 'pushing the workout', but I certainly would not quit working out! Anything you can do even if it's just doing a 30 min. medium pace walk, or ride a bicycle, will help you in so many way!  At least that's been my experience.  Susan400
Avatar universal
Also, please check with Gilead on whether you can get some extra help with the cost of the meds.  The Patient Access Network that they have is fantastic.  I had insurance through my husband's work and they were great, but I was still going to end up with a HUGE co-pay that I couldn't afford and the Patient Access Network that Gilead has (which Harvoni is also under Gilead), ..., helped me so much that I ended up with a $0.00 co-pay!   I was feeling so blessed by that.  For years my husband and I were going broke paying the co-pays for these d*rn treatment drugs and for this to turn out this way, it felt like such a big weight off my shoulders, a total blessing!  Many people on this board have had the same experience with P.A.N.   You should at least go on the Gilead's Support Path site and look up the part where they talk about additional assistance or something like that.  
Avatar universal
Hi there
Personal Trainer in the house!
Exercise is great for the body, mind and spirit.  As everyone said, don't do it to excess and you will be OK.  One thought I might add is when at rest our immune system kicks up a notch especially while sleeping. Get adequate rest and also try to eliminate stress as that will lower your immune system.  Exercise will help with both of these issues.  
This new Tx is amazing and I do believe by far that this is the most effective protocol we have.  It's purposely been tested and approved for genotype 1s as they are most prevalent.  The odds are incredibly stacked in your favor for the 1st time in history.  You should walk away from this Tx cured.  Believe in that and it will happen.
Stay well
Avatar universal
Hi Penny,

I did 12 weeks of Sovaldi and Ribavirin this past winter/spring and exercised quite vigorously throughout treatment. The Ribavirin dropped by hemoglobin from 15.5 to 13.8 but I never really felt the difference.

I am a cyclist and backcountry skier. I went on a 4 day backcountry ski trip with friends covering 80 miles and a lot of vertical in the first couple of weeks of treatment and felt great. I also did a 100 mile bike ride in April during the last week of treatment and averaged 16 mph, not bad for a 59 year old let alone one on treatment for HCV. I did get my SVR12 in July and recently tested negative again at 24 weeks..

I would have gone nuts without being able to work out. I don't think there's any reason you can't continue doing what you're doing unless you feel weak and/or start having serious shortness of breath. As others said listen to your body. I have never seen anything that said exercise is a negative in reaching SVR and I did a lot of research on this topic.

Best, Dave

163305 tn?1333672171
Your body and mind need exercise including your liver. I pushed myself to get out and walk everyday possible during treatment. At night and in the morning, I did gentle stretching. Exercise is always good !
163305 tn?1333672171
BTW: I had cirrhosis and landed up with a transplant and never stopped walking when I could. I really feel it helped me immensely.
Avatar universal
The first few weeks you may not feel able to exercise. no worries-just roll with it.
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