Hepatitis C treatment

November 12, 2012

Hepatitis C treatment

Sufferers of hepatitis C may well not have any symptoms of the disease – even if it is in its chronic stage. The side effects of hepatitis C treatment may well require medical intervention and attention in order that they are correctly managed. The side effects of hepatitis C treatment may be so severe that the daily routine of the patient may well be adversely affected – they may even have to take a break from their work. Many individuals feel that the side effects and risks of hepatitis C treatment are worth it in order to rid themselves of the infection – this is a personal decision which should be made with the help and support of your medical practitioner.

Help yourself

It is essential that any patient undergoing hepatitis C treatment is fully informed and knows what to expect. There are also some steps which can be taken that may help reduce some of the side effects -

  • Drink plenty of clear fluids, in the event of vomiting and diarrhoea it is important to drink more in order to replace any fluids which have been lost.

  • Take part in some light exercise

  • Develop stress relieving techniques

  • Maintain a health, well balanced diet

  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar

  • Take the medications just prior to bed; this may alleviate day time problems.

  • In order to deal with the extreme fatigue you will feel try to go to bed early and if necessary rest or nap during the day.

  • Flu like symptoms such as aches and pains, fever, chills, headache may be treated by the usual over the counter remedies, be sure to consult with your medical practitioner first.

  • Avoid greasy, fried foods, eat little and often in order to reduce the gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and vomiting. It is important to eat during the hepatitis C treatment regime, even if you don’t feel hungry.

  • Many patients experience emotional and mental health issues whilst undergoing hepatitis C treatment – it is essential to seek counselling or medical help to deal with this, it may be that a short course of medication may be beneficial.

  • Hair loss – losing one’s hair is a traumatic experience, reduce the risks by using a gentle shampoo, avoiding the use of chemicals and heated appliances.

  • Vary the injection site in order to reduce any inflammation or pain.

  • Many patients experience intense itching during their course of treatment – avoid hot baths and showers, use gentle cleansers and ask your doctor about using anti-histamines.

During the course of your treatment you may well need the help and support of a team of medical professionals as well as drugs other than the ones for the hepatitis C in order to deal and cope with the various side effects. However unpleasant things get there are some things which are important to remember -

  • Side effects are often worse in the early stages of treatment and tend to improve over time

  • Taking the medication consistently is essential to making a full recovery

  • If the side effects really are intolerable your doctor can reduce the dose or prescribe other medications to help you cope.

Very rarely life threatening side effects may develop, in which case emergency medical assistance should be sought and the treatment stopped. These side effects include:

  • Thyroid problems

  • Uncontrollable diabetes

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain

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