My aunt recently found out that she has Hepatitis C and has possibly had it, unknowingly, for as long as 20 years. I’ve done some research on it, but I was wondering if anybody can explain the seriousness and the symptoms from personal experience.
My brother had hepatitis C. Now he has cirrhosis of the liver. No one knows how he got it, but years ago liver enzymes disclosed that he had it. He had no symptoms, and apparently had it for years. It has developed into cirrhosis and he needs a liver transplant.
In some people, I believe, it does not develop into any further disorder. Many people have it without symptoms and it gets no worse. I guess they are called “carriers.”
Well I can’t. But you may find the Yahoo site on personal experience with hepatitis C helpful. I haven’t checked the links, though, so I can’t say whether they’re good or bad.
Hepatitis C is a potentialy lethal disease, but in most people it is “silent”, apart from some mildly elevated liver function tests. Check Milk Thistle (Silymarin).
On this board, our user Ayesha has Hepatitis C. She doesn’t frequent GD; you might want to repost this in MPSIMS where it’ll catch her eye.
This is LIONsob(Ayesha’s Husband).
I am useing Ayesha’s login so it will display her sig, which has a good link relating to HEP C.
This thread will be brought to her attention as soon as she wakes up.
Hep. C is a very strange disease. People usually do not know they have it untill/unless they start having blood tests for other health conditions start showing that their liver is not functioning properly. Then doctors will test for the disease.
Not everyone who has it developes cronic active Hep. C, some people are exposed and after that carry the anti-bodies but don’t develope the actual disease .
I can not speak for all persons who have Hep. C, only for myself and only as a person who has it, not as a medical expert ( will that work Manny ? ). But the main problem I have had is an overall exhaustion. Some body aches and slight fevers . I believe the symptoms are different for different people and can change as the disease progresses.
I would suggest your Aunt find out what her geno-type is yes, there are actually sub types of Hep.C, some respond better to treatment than others.
If she is not seeing GI doctor I suggest she look for for one.
As has been said before, this can be deadly,( I lost my Uncle a few months ago to Hep. C related liver cancer) but there is hope and there are treatments with new ones being researched everyday.
The next thing ** you ** can do now is not to treat the woman like she has the plague. You can not catch this through casual contact. Hug her, kiss her cheek , hold her hand, whatever. You have already done the best thing by starting to educate yourself on this disease.
And once again allow me to say I urge ** everyone ** to be tested for this disease, just because it does hide so well and for so long, so many of us never know we have it untill the damage to our liver has already started.
The site in my sig line also has a message board/support board on it, not only for those who have it but for those who love us and are trying to help us get through.
You may also want to check these sites
If your Aunt would like she can email me anytime, my email is email@example.com
Some depressing medical statistics.
Hepatitis C is one of two major hepatidities that can become chronic. When it becomes chronic, approximately 10% of people become cirrhotic. The worrisome part is amongst the cirrhotics, 10% approximately develop hepatocellular carcinoma.
It is a bad disease, as there is no vaccine, no overt symptoms until the disease has progressed quite far, and little treatment.
Thank you very much, Ayesha. Your suggested websites helped a lot. My aunt is a very intelligent woman, and I know she’s educating herself about the disease, but I am definitely going to share your comments with her. Thanks again.
this is kinda a hyjack, but related. If I have offended you Flynnstone let me know and I will open a new thread.
What does the vacination do? How does it work? Would it be good for Flynnstone to get (if you haven’t gotten it)?
Besides Milk Thistle (“natural”, mild and effective), there is interferon. I know little about it. I know that it is not “mild” and I know that it is very controvercial, so please contact your GI/hepatologist or, better, two or more of them.
Nika, no your question doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I would like to know myself. But it’s actually my aunt who has Hepatitis C, not me.
It takes 20 years to show up. It usually got from a blood transfusion.
Also try webmd.com, wonderful site on these kinds of matters.
I think we talked about it before & a lady said that she only wants to have protected sex with her husband so that he won’t get it even though the chance of giving it to him is slim.
My brother was interferon (A, I believe)w/o much luck. There is a newer treatment out, which my brother is on, a combination of interferon and another potent chemical, the name of which eludes me. I did not check the links that were kindly posted, but if they are uptodate, one of them should have the info. Anyway, the specialist which your aunt is likely seeing can advise in that regard.
I should have added that both interferon and the other drug are potent and have considerable side effects. If your aunt has had it for 20 years without any symptoms, she’s probably one of the lucky ones who do not develop the active form and should just forget about it.
Just a couple of points here, unless one has been developed very recently, to the best of my knowledge there is no vacine for Hep. C, there are vacines for A and B though.
Since this is flynnstones Aunt with the disease he has little chance of getting it from her, unless they share drug, pirecing or tattoo needles, or are around one another with open wounds. Precautions that should be taken besides not sharing needles , are do not share a razor, nail clippers, or anything that can get even tiny amounts of blood on it . This stuff can live outside the body for days. In that way it is worse than HIV , which dies quickly outside the body. Clean up any and all blood spills with bleach water, using gloves.
Peace, very few doctors use interferon alone anymore, they now use interferon with Ribivaran an anti-viral drug as it has proven to be more effective, but not everyone can tolerate these drugs. And at this time testing is being done on something they are calling pegalated inteferon and other things. Everyone should check with their doctor before using Milk Thissle or any other natural treatment. Some can have bad effects on the body
I am a geno-type 3 a, those of us who have this strain of the disease respond well to treatment. I responded well to interferon alone, but I relaspsed after ending that treatment. So now I am on the combo treatment.
Another thing about this disease is that it is not believed at this time to be sexually transmitted, though very little in this world is impossible, it is improbable that someone involved in a one on one relationship will pass the disease to their partner. ** ( warning, TMI ahead ) ** My husband, the LIONsob, does not have it despite refusing to use condoms. So if Aunt is married / involved with someone there is no need to panic. However, anyone who has this should be honest with their partner and allow that person to decide how to approach sexual relations based on all the facts.
One of the worst parts of this is the fear, not only the fear we as Heppers face because of the disease, but the fear others have of us. I have had people refuse to shake my hand, refuse to use the restroom in my home, and tell my friend that I should not be allowed to hold their babies. Ignorance can hurt.
Ayesha, I mentioned Milk Thistle not because I sell it (I do not), but because I know about it and take it myself, for many years. Very few doctors know about it. It’s not a specific HepC treatment, it’s a liver “fixer”. Anyone with incresed liver function tests can take it for several weeks and see the LFT coming down. I never heard of any untoward effects. In an unlikely case that it woold not help, it can be stopped. I even read about recommendations to use it prophylactically by heavy drinkers. So, I thought that I mention it here, as they say, it cannot hurt.
Unless something has changed there is a vacine for Hep B only, there is no vacine for A or C.
There is an available and effective vaccine for hepatitis A. Look here for an overview.
labdude, All I can tell you is that I recived the vacines for both Hep. A & B last Febuary. My doctors did this because a person with one type of Hep needs to be protected from the others as much as possible.
Peace, my main concerns with Milk thistle are that my doctor has mentioned possible negative interactions with the Rebatron treatment (interferon and ribiviran). And that like many herbs it is not regulated by the FDA for quality control. I have heard good things about it. And if this treatment fails may try it untill a newer, better treatment comes along.
One last note, there is no cure for this disease at this time, however some people who were in the studies for combo before it was approved totally by the FDA have remained virus free for up to years. (Good reason for hope) However even those are said to be in remission, not cured by most medical doctors.