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430580 tn?1217537029

Newly diagnosed

I was diagnosed about 2 weeks ago with HCV. I got pretty sick with a fever and was really weak, with hot flashes. My abdomen swelled up to a point that I looked similar to when I was 4 or 5 months pregnant for a week and I didnt know what was going on. I went to the doctor for a normal check up, and she told me that I had Hepatitis C. I am a recovering addict and know about 30 people in my group that carry HCV. I have also read all about it. I am wondering if their are effects that I will feel by having this virus before getting treated, and if so, what are they? Before I discovered that I had it, I felt extra sensitive to the sun, really tired and weak, with cramps rotating in my arm and leg, nausea, and constipation. Somedays I feel like I have a lil of the flu with a small fever. I went to the hospital for my swollen stomach and they said that my liver was inflamed. I just got my blood drawn to see my genotype and viral load. Thanks for your replies. By the way, my long term boyfriend is worried about catching it off me sexually.
6 Responses
408795 tn?1324939275
Yes I am a recovering addict as well and alot of my circle that I ran with are all positive as well.  You seem to be having quite a few symptoms if they're all related to your HCV status.  Maybe time to get a biopsy of your liver to determine how much damage and inflamation is going on.  I am highly sensitive to the sun as well, it just zaps the energy instantly out of me.  I have other issues but there not the same as yours.  One of the last times that I used in the end of 2002 I became toxic and swelled up far more than normal.  I had like a mini-stroke and my speech became slurred and slowed down to handi-cap status.  I had to take a bunch of tests, that's how it was determined that I had become toxic.  Over the years it has become worse to the point that it now affects my osteoarthritis and has become so painful that I've had to change my whole program around so that I don't do anything that would cause me pain. Something as simple as playing guitar will set it off.  I will see my HepC doctor next week, I'm hoping to get a start date on tx.  Good luck with your decisions.  Your boyfriend shouldn't worry about it as the percentage of passing it to another thru sex is very small, if he's that concerned maybe he should wear protection, but that's not even advisable by doctors.  God Bless    
Avatar universal
First of all...((((((((((((((((((((((HUGZ)))))))))))))))))) -and welcome to the forum...I wouldn't recommend getting hep C to meet people like this, but you've found a good buch of floks here!..Are you doing okay with this? I was diagnosed a little over a year ago, and was pretty freaked out the first few weeks...It was just as if someone had told me i had terminal cancer..But then the initial shock wore off, and I began my introduction to the world of "Hepanese"...there's a load of things you're going to learn over the next few months....The most important...You've just experienced the "acute" phase of this disease...So, unless you've just had a reinfection, your body may just still fight this off! (20% chance!) Even if your viral load is undetectable now, have it tested again in 3,6 and 12 months, then yearly after that.  This is a disease of decades, and is usually very slow moving...
Unless you're having "gorilla sex" (sorry for the visual), it is very difficult to pass on hep C by sexual contact...It is spread by blood-to-blood contact with things like needle sticks, tattoos, contaminated medical equipment, blood transfusions or direct contact of blood to a break in the skin...Things you can do now to keep from exposing others..-don't share personal grooming articles like tweezers, razors, or nail clippers, IV needles (I know, duh!), pierced body jewelry..be careful with your menstrual flow, and cover skin breaks with a bandage...don't drink alcohol (at all)...Congrads on being in recovery...It takes a strong person with determination to get there...((((((((((((((((HUGZ)))))))))) ~Melinda
430580 tn?1217537029
Thank you for the responses. I am pretty sure that I got HEP C in March of this year. My liver enzymes are in the 400's. I dont know if that is really bad or not. I know that I do not like my doctor so far, as I went in for my first visit, she did not really tell me anything besides the fact that she thinks my liver is being attacked more than it should be for just getting it and that she wants to start treatment right away. I am still waiting for the call for my biopsy test. Do those hurt?
Avatar universal
It seems that you are in what we call the 'acute' stage.
You should at your young age clear it quite easily.
Would be surprised if your biopsy showed anything other than inflammation.
Yes they sometimes hurt.
Treat now and you should be fine.
Don't wait for the disease to settle into the chronic stage,six months after infection-you would have to treat for longer then.
232778 tn?1217450711
I treated in the acute stage - first with mono-therapy, which failed, then with comination therapy. I recommend going straight to combination therapy - both interferon, and Ribarvirin. Otherwise, it could be a longer journey than it needs to be (which was the case for me - 12 weeks of mono, followed by 48 weeks of combo). My doctor informed me that Monotherapy is not followed now in Alberta, I am not the only person who failed under that approach, which is based on outdated research.

Good luck. While treatment is not easy, you will probably never have a better chance to clear this disease than now (possibly 90% plus success rate), if you decide to follow through with treatment. You may even be able to do 6 months if you respond well.
232778 tn?1217450711
PS. If you know for sure you are acute, I don't think there is a need for biospy (at least, there was not with me).
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