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Hep C is back. Now what?

After 6 mos. of treatment, my Hep C came back in less than 3 mos.  Count was 156,000.  I am 75 years old and think I was infected in 1958 when I received a blood transfusion.  It did not show up until I was in my 70's.  The meds just about killed me with all the side effects so I don't want to do that again.  My Dr. says we should do nothing but keep an eye on the viral count from time to time.  I know I'm up in years but I still have a lot of pep left in me.  I have been babysitting my infant granddaughter for over 2 years now and just want to be as healthy as I can be.  My neighbor has suggested Beta Glucan which is made from plants and supports the immune system.  She also suggested the use of the Avalon light which provides the body with Nitric Oxide which the body needs.  (I hope I used the right name.)  Just wondered if you have any suggestions.  I also enjoy a beer after working in the yard or a glass of red wine on occasion.  Thanks for your support.
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766573 tn?1365166466

I am really sorry about your relapse.

I am not sure what keeping track of one's viral load is supposed to mean for those who are not actively treating the virus.  What stage of fibrosis are you? That might be a better indicator of any kind of long term prognosis. I would love an icy cold beer after working in the yard. That is one thing I miss but I cannot drink anyway so that's that.

I would say stay healthy, eat healthy and enjoy life until less harsh treatment options come along. Who knows when that will be? There is a possibility that in the future treating HCV will not nearly be as traumatic on the body as it is now.

I think there are a few threads that have liver healthy tips if you use the search function.

Hang in there and stay strong!!
Helpful - 0
2061362 tn?1353279518
Def Agree with Idyllic, the stage of your liver is the most important. Just stay as healthy as possible by eating right and getting some exercise. There are various supplements that you can take as well, but as always need to be discussed with your Dr.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
   I am sorry for your disappointing news.  What I have learned to do, since I have Hep C, is to substitute the cold beer, or wine, with a nice icy cold Kombucha tea.  It comes in a glass bottle, in many flavors, and it does have a trace of alcohol in it, because of the ferment, so it gives one a relaxing buzz.
   Kombucha tea is made from green tea, and all forms of green tea are healthy for the liver, and may help protect it, and prevent the Hep C form replicating.  The article I read about it, was referring to people who have had liver transplants, but I should think it would apply to all Hep C sufferers.
   I do all kinds of green tea: Macha tea, loose leaf tea, etc.
I have also read that coffee helps protect the liver, So I try to make a ritual of that, also.
   I dont know if you have had a biopsy, but I think a helathy diet, with plenty of vegatables, can help us all. If a person does have cirrhosis, then I have read that red meat is hard to digest. But I have never had a problem with it, so I still eat meat, but not with every meal.  
   Meals like brown rice with green beans, black mushrooms, and tofu, are supposed to be very healthy, so I include meals like that,in my week.
    We are all waiting for a new treatment, that will be Interferon free, and hopefully it will be here, within 3~5 yrs. I bet you will be a great candidate for it.  The one called GS-7977 has shown very good results, so never give up, and enjoy your life, and have fun with your grand-baby.
  
Helpful - 0
1747881 tn?1546175878
Alcohol, which by itself can cause liver disease and fibrosis, may worsen fibrosis in hepatitis C at amounts that are not injurious in non-infected persons, but the amount of alcohol beyond which the progression of fibrosis
is increased in hepatitis C is unknown.

http://www.hawaii.edu/hivandaids/Fibrosis%20And%20Disease%20Progression%20In%20Hepatitis%20C.pdf

Helpful - 0
1747881 tn?1546175878
Living with Chronic Hepatitis C

To protect your liver, you can:

•Ask your doctor before taking any prescription, over-the-counter medications, supplements or vitamins. For instance, some drugs, such as certain pain medications, can potentially damage the liver

•Avoid alcohol since it can increase the speed of liver damage

•Talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B

http://www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis/LearnMore.htm

What else can I do to protect my liver?
You can:

■■Ask your doctor before taking any prescription, over-the-counter medications, supplements or vitamins. For instance, some drugs, such as certain pain medications, can potentially damage the liver

■■Avoid alcohol since it can increase the speed of liver damage

■■Talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A
and B

You may also want to consider joining a support group for people living with Hepatitis C. Talking with others may help you cope with your feelings and the challenges of living with Hepatitis C.

http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HCV/PDFs/HepCLivingWithChronic.pdf

Helpful - 0
1747881 tn?1546175878
Age.
Age at onset of infection has consistently been found to be a major factor influencing the rate of progression of fibrosis in hepatitis C. Thus, studies of posttransfusion hepatitis in which most patients are over the age of
40 at the time of onset of infection have indicated that at least 20% of patients develop cirrhosis during the first 15 to 20 years of HCV infection. In contrast, in studies of young women infected as a result of exposure to HCVcontamined Rh immune globulin, less than 5% develop cirrhosis within the first 15 to 20 years of infection. In the analyses of fibrosis progression by Poynard et al. The rate of progression of fibrosis was correlated directly with age of onset of infection. In univariate analyses,
cirrhosis developed within 20 years in only 2% of patients infected before the age of 20, in 6% infected between 21 and 30 years, 10% infected between 31 and 40 years, 37% infected between 41 and 50 years, and 63% infected over the age of 50 years. In the hazard function model, virtually all patients infected after 40 years of age develop cirrhosis within 16 years.

Interestingly, in this model, the rate of progression of fibrosis accelerates
after 50 years of age, regardless of the duration of infection up to that time.
The mechanisms responsible for the influence of age on fibrosis progression are not known, but might include immune factors, increased fibrogenesis, or decreased fibrolysis.

http://www.hawaii.edu/hivandaids/Fibrosis%20And%20Disease%20Progression%20In%20Hepatitis%20C.pdf

I would advise to avoid alcohol all together and consult with your doc about all meds or suppliments before taking



Helpful - 0
163305 tn?1333668571
As far as a liver friendly diet goes, think of your liver as the filter that it is. Therefore it's easier on it if it doesn't have to filter out pesticides, herbicides, noxious fumes, or synthesized food substances.
In other words think organic, freshly prepared food.
Nothing can replace eating well and exercise.
Red meat is fine unless you have decompensated cirrhosis. If you don't have cirrhosis, you need not worry.

You might want to have your vitamin D levels checked and you could always included a mutli-vitamin w/o iron in your diet.

Avoid any drink with alcohol, including  kombucha.
In fact according to this link  if you have liver damage you should avoid kombucha.

However coffee is good for those with hep C and those doing treatment.

Saturday, July 7, 2012
http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/hepatitis-c/treatment.html

Patients with hepatitis should be aware that some herbal remedies may cause liver damage. In particular, kava (an herb used to relieve anxiety and tension) may be dangerous for people with chronic liver disease. Other herbs associated with liver damage include chaparral, kombucha mushroom, mistletoe, pennyroyal, and some traditional Chinese herbs.

http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1772388/coffee_slows_progression_of_liver_disease_in_chronic_hep_c/

Coffee Slows Progression Of Liver Disease In Chronic Hep C Sufferers
Helpful - 0
2061362 tn?1353279518
What I have learned to do, since I have Hep C, is to substitute the cold beer, or wine, with a nice icy cold Kombucha tea.  It comes in a glass bottle, in many flavors, and it does have a trace of alcohol in it, because of the ferment, so it gives one a relaxing buzz.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BoGal, I'll have to try this. I've been drinking my Kefir out of a wine glass just to give me the feeling that I'm relaxing with a nice glass of wine. LOL

I aslo drink lots of green tea as well as white, never tried the Kombucha, and didn'y know about it's properties. Thank you.
Helpful - 0
2061362 tn?1353279518
Very interesting stuff
Helpful - 0
2061362 tn?1353279518
Ok, didn't read your post before I replied to Bo's. Hmmm dueling theories/studies. May have to back off, but will still drink my Kefir out of a wine glass :). I have started drinking coffee every once in a while again since you have become an advocate of it. I really did miss it so much. I gave it up when I was having severe digestive issues. Still drink mostly green/white tea though.
Helpful - 0
1747881 tn?1546175878
What is kombucha tea? Does it have any health benefits?

Brent A. Bauer, M.D.

Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Although it's sometimes referred to as kombucha mushroom tea, kombucha is not a mushroom — it's a colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha tea is made by adding the colony to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. The resulting liquid contains vinegar, B vitamins and a number of other chemical compounds.

Health benefits attributed to kombucha tea include stimulating the immune system, preventing cancer, and improving digestion and liver function. However, there's no scientific evidence to support these health claims.

There have, however, been reports of adverse effects such as stomach upset, infections and allergic reactions in kombucha tea drinkers

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kombucha-tea/AN01658

Kombucha & Liver Damage

Kombucha is a fermented tea that is purported to stimulate your immune system, improve digestion, boost liver function and prevent cancer. No scientific evidence backs any use for this drink, which is made by adding a colony of bacteria and yeast to tea and sugar and letting the brew ferment for one to two weeks. Kombucha can, in fact, carry a risk of adverse health effects, including possible liver damage. Consult a doctor before trying kombucha tea.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/484465-kombucha-liver-damage/
Helpful - 0
1016618 tn?1420553262
Sorry to hear your news. Can you share the type of treatment you were taking? IE: SOC or one of the new triple therapy's?  Alcohol is a no no for anyone with liver disease. When I found out that I was to start a treatment in 2009, I was told by my Doctor that I had to be free of Alcohol for 1 year before I started my first treatment. At that point I quit and haven't touched a drop since. I am now in week 11 of the incivek triple therapy and this is my second round and I do believe that I have achieved UND. Only time will tell if SVR is for me.
Helpful - 0
317787 tn?1473358451
As everyone above had said, I am so sorry you relapsed.
Were you using one of the new drugs?  Incivek?..Victrellis?
I understand wanting to have a drink, really I do.
When I first learned about HCV years ago I was told that drinking alchohol was like pouring gas on a fire.
Just because I heard it doesn't make it so however that has been my mantra.
I have cirrhosis, I was just transitioning into cirrhosis when diagnosed in Dec 08
I wish you all the best.  I finished the Incivek, Peg and Riba a little over 4 months ago.  I pray I get to SVR
I pray that your damage is not bad
My best wishes to you
Dee
Helpful - 0
317787 tn?1473358451
Hi so sorry really did not answer the question.  Yes I have heard of Beta Glucan and have heard it helps the immune system.
It will not help the HCV but may help your bodies immune system for colds or other viruses
Helpful - 0
317787 tn?1473358451
me again, at the bottom right of this page you can see under experts "Hepatitis Researcher"  He had many good recommendations for people who could not treat
Also wanted to say Gilead has some new medications in trials I think it is 7977
You could also do some searches on the forum to find other ideas
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
SeniorSis, As others have said, how you proceed depends primarily on how much liver damage you currently have.  If you don't have a lot of liver damage, your doctor may recommend that you wait until Interferon free treatments are available in a few years.  Given your age, however, it is important to know that liver damage can progress more quickly as you get older.  On the other hand, if you have a lot of liver damage, your doctor may recommend that you consider trying one of the new "triple therapies", which include Interferon, Ribavirin, and a third drug called a Protease Inhibitor.  Since you have done Interferon based treatment before, and it was hard on you, you may be glad to hear that the newer varieties of Interferon are a bit easier to tolerate than the older ones.  Your grandbaby wants you to be around for many more years, healthy, and active, so follow up on your Hep C and make decisions with your doctor.
Advocate1955
Helpful - 0
163305 tn?1333668571
My approach to supplements, herbs, all things of this nature, is to lean towards the benighn.
For example, there is a study saying milk thistle doesn't actually do any good, despite years of belief that it does. But, no where is there a claim that it does harm.

This is not the case for kombucha.
As far as coffee goes, you need to drink at least 3 cups daily, I think, to have any effect. It also is claimed that it helps improve statistically obtaining SVR.
I'm not going to look for the link, but google coffee and hep C, and you'll see lots of site.

Good luck
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2061362 tn?1353279518
Found the link, Guess I'll have to drink more coffee. DARN!
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789911 tn?1368636783
sorry about your relapse,  I was also curious what you treated with.  And what stage of liver damage you are dealing with.   That was very courageous  for you to take this fight on @ 75.    Your a strong person obviously!  Best of luck to you
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Avatar universal
I was treated with Pegasus Interfiron and Ribavirin tablets.  One shot a week and 2 pills twice daily.  It was not pleasant at all. Lots of bad side effects. But then I am a senior and maybe that makes a difference..  I have Hep C type 2. I was told the newest treatments for Hep C don't work on the Type 2.  ???   I won't be drinking any alcohol at all.  I seem to remember my Dr. telling me that 1 drink of red wine would not hurt but my memory does sometime fail me.  My common sense tells me that if my liver is already compromised alcohol is a no-no,
I'm not the "sharpest knife in the drawer" so many of the terms and abbreviations my good friends are using don't mean anything to me.  I've never been told anything about my stage of fibrosis.  I did have a liver biopsy about 4 years ago and the results were normal.  Maybe that means I don't have any fibrosis.  Thanks for all you help and support.  We're all in this together!!   Good  Luck with your results.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for all your kind words.  Since I feel just fine, it will not be difficult to enjoy my life.  I wish you well and hope one day we will all be Hep C free!!!
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Avatar universal
I am amazed at your knowledge about Hep C and it's effects.  Also, how age might determine the progression of fibrosis/cirrhosis.  I believe I contracted the virus at age 21 when my second daughter was about to be born.  The Hep C didn't rear up it's ugly head until the age of 70.  During a routine exam, my liver enzymes were elevated.  The virus was located with further testing.  Thanks again for all you support and the sharing of your knowledge.  
Helpful - 0
163305 tn?1333668571
Genotype 2 does not do any better statistically with the triple combination of meds. I'm geno 2 and was happy to only take the two strong meds, why add another if you don't need it?

However, genotype 2 is responding very well to the new interferon free meds currently in trial. They won't be avialble for the general public at least a couple of years.

As far as abbreviations and acronyms go, it has nothing to do with being sharp. Here's a link for you:
http://www.medhelp.org/health_pages/Hepatitis/Hepatitis-C-Acronyms-Abbreviations/show/3?cid=64

Good luck.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks, Dee1956, for your direction and advice.  I'll look into it.  SeniorSis
Helpful - 0
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