While some persons with Hepatitis C may get treated within a few weeks of being infected, most persons don’t get treatment until the infection has become chronic.
This treatment can take up to 24 weeks while your doctor conducts regular tests to make sure that your viral load has dropped to a level where it can’t be detected. You may have worked through a few side effects from the medication but your precautions may not end after your treatment. Here’s what you should know.
Your Liver Will Need To Be Assessed
A chronic Hepatitis C infection can cause scarring and inflammation of the liver. The level of impact on your liver varies based on how long you’ve had the virus. If your scarring is minimal, it’s likely that you won’t need to do any special form of treatment.
Persons with significant scarring, however, will have regular tests to check on the state of their livers. In some cases, the liver will regenerate. In others, you may need a liver transplant.
You’ll Need To Be Cautious With Your Liver
Even if the tests on your liver show that you don’t have a lot of scarring to worry about, health professionals still advise that you take care of your liver.
That means eating well and cutting back on drinking alcohol. If you have any concerns, reach out to your doctor about having your liver re-assessed.
You’re Not Immune To Re-Infection
Just because you’ve been treated for Hepatitis C and there are antibodies in your system, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get the virus again.
Being safe is the only way to ensure that you never get re-infected and cause more damage to your system.
You May Be Susceptible To Other Illnesses
As mentioned previously, a chronic Hepatitis C infection can wreak havoc with your overall system. One issue that it often promotes is chronic inflammation. This inflammation leaves you open to other illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
While your doctor may suggest getting tested for these diseases, it’s also good for you to tell your doctor if you’re experiencing any questionable symptoms.
You Might Be Asked To Be Vaccinated
After being treated for Hepatitis C, your doctor might ask you to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B.
The viruses may be different but all three of them affect your liver. By avoiding Hepatitis A and B, you’ll continue to keep your liver healthy.
You’ll Need To Maintain A Healthy Weight
Apart from scarring your liver, Hepatitis C can also cause a fatty liver.
You can keep this from getting worse by maintaining an ideal weight. Consult your doctor about the best type of diet and exercise plan that will help you to remain healthy.
You Might Not Be Cured
The treatment for Hepatitis C is over 90% effective. Unfortunately, there is a small percentage of persons who go through the full treatment regimen and do not get cured. At that point, you can expect to be assessed regularly to see how the virus is affecting your body. Over time, your doctor might recommend different procedures or medications.
Chronic Hepatitis C can affect more than your liver so you shouldn’t be surprised if your doctor recommends other treatments even after you’re free of the virus.
Depending on the issue that you’re experiencing, these treatments may be modified over time. If anything changes with your health such as pregnancy, let your doctor know immediately.