Hello Debby1012, I was incarcerated for twenty years in 1987 for some felony drug convictions and I was released in 2006. Everything was going fine, I found a good job, but after about a year on the job I began feeling sick, like I had the worst case of the flu gradually I felt a little better but that was short lived. It got to the point where I was feeling sick every day. I had no idea what was going on so I made the trip to my doctor and she did some blood tests ad that's how I found out I had Hep C. The doctor referred me to a hepatologist who did some further blood testing as well as a liver biopsy. It was his opinion that I had contracted the Hep C long before I was released from prison which was hard for me understand because they tested for HIV and Hep C once a year in prison? Jumping ahead a few years I was placed on Solvaldi, along with interferon and ribavirin for twelve week regimen and the result was that it hadn't cured my Hep C. The Solvaldi alone was $28,000 for a 28 day supply and the total cost for the treatment was nearly $125,000(thank God for insurance). I now have developed jaundice and extreme swelling in my lower legs and feet despite my taking two diuretics. I was placed on the transplant list a few years ago but there are so many things they look for, one is the MELD score which is a priority score based on three primary blood tests, creatinine, bilirubin, and INR, my MELD score is 29. One of the hardest things I had to deal with was the fluid build up in my abdomen which when it got bad it would push up against my diaphragm and make it very hard the breathe. My point in telling you all this is because of your question about how you thought it took years and years for liver damage to occur. For some people they don't even know that they have Hep C until substantial damage has already occured. I wish you all the best, hang in there!!
Ok so do you know your fibrosis score like mine was 27 which does mean I have F4 cirrhosis.
Personally I basically have few symptoms I am aware of from my cirrhosis which I was diagnosed with in Jan 2008. I was diagnosed with a liver biopsy. It was my fourth liver biopsy. I had been having a liver biopsy every five years after I was diagnosed with hep c in 1990. Had my first biopsy probably in 1993.
I probably contracted hep c in 1978 so I had hep c for 30 years when I was diagnosed with cirrhosis.
The only symptom I feel is some lower leg swelling called edema.
With testing I was found to have enlarged esophageal varicies that needed to be banded back in 2012 but nothing that I would have know without the upper endoscopy. I have a small amount of ascities but that is only detectable with ultrasound. My ultrasound also says my liver and spleen are enlarged and myliver has a course echotexture consitant with cirrhosis.
The only abnormal blood test I have is my platelet count which was 90 before my hep c was cured with 150 being minimum normal. Having a low platelet count and esophageal varicies are both consistent with portal hypertension a sign of advancing liver disease.
But as to the symptoms you listed I don’t have nausea and could lose about 30 pounds to be normal weight. I am5’3” and weigh 175 lbs. I was always kinda underweight couldn’t get to 110 lbs until I turned 30 when my metabolism changed and I started to gain weight. I’ve been gaining weight slowly ever since.
The EGD looks for varicies enlarged blood vessels in your esophagus. Bile is a normal product of the digestive process. Bile is made by your body to digest food.
If your doctor is feeling your liver it is for size you can’t realky feel inflammation but you can feel possibly if the liver is enlarged.
Most people will test as not detected after 4 weeks of treatment the test that says you are cured is the test done 12 weeks after you take your last pill and it is determined the virus did not return.
The good news is with cure your liver will have a chance to heal unless there is something else causing liver damage. Other than drinking and being overweight there are several medical conditions that can cause liver damage and lead to cirrhosis.
Other possible causes include:
Iron buildup in the body (hemochromatosis)
Copper accumulated in the liver (Wilson's disease)
Poorly formed bile ducts (biliary atresia)
Inherited disorders of sugar metabolism (galactosemia or glycogen storage disease)
Genetic digestive disorder (Alagille syndrome)
Liver disease caused by your body's immune system (autoimmune hepatitis)
Destruction of the bile ducts (primary biliary cirrhosis)
Hardening and scarring of the bile ducts (primary sclerosing cholangitis)
Infection, such as schistosomiasis or syphilis
Medications such as methotrexate
Cirrhosis often has no signs or symptoms until liver damage is extensive. When signs and symptoms do occur, they may include:
Yellow discoloration in the skin and eyes (jaundice)
Fluid accumulation in your abdomen (ascites)
Loss of appetite
Swelling in your legs
Confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech (hepatic encephalopathy)
Spiderlike blood vessels on your skin
Redness in the palms of the hands
Testicular atrophy in men
Breast enlargement in men
Have you been drinking or are you overweight or both this can also increase the rate of damage. Alcohol with hep c is like throwing gasoline on a fire
How were you diagnosed with cirrhosis? Any idea how long you may have been infected with hep C?