Living Well With Hepatitis C: A Go-to Guide

Hepatitis C shouldn't stand in your way of living a full life. Give the following tips a permanent spot on your get-well to-do list.

By
Health Monitor Staff

Having hepatitis C doesn’t mean you can’t have a happy, productive and fulfilling life. In fact, facing this challenge may make you more proactive about taking care of yourself. Read on for the top tips to make your days healthier—and easier!

Choose healthy habits
Eat a healthful diet that includes plenty of whole grains, veggies, fruit and lean protein. Exercise several times a week; it's fine to start by walking around the block! Get enough sleep; aim for eight hours of solid sack time and you'll feel rested and ready to face the day.

See your doctor regularly
Make sure you visit your doctor as often as he or she recommends. This will enable him or her to spot problems early and suggest effective treatment.

Protect your liver
Don't drink alcohol. It puts stress on your liver and can accelerate liver disease. And never consume alcohol with other drugs, especially acetaminophen.

Check with your doctor before taking vitamins and supplements
They may interfere with the way your medication works or be harmful in high doses. Also, to prevent potentially harmful drug interactions, let your doctor know about all the medications you are taking.

Treat nausea
Hepatitis C can cause nausea, which can make the simple act of eating a real pain. Ask your doctor for anti-nausea medication to make eating easier. If you are too nauseated to eat much at any one sitting, aim for six small meals a day instead of three larger ones.

Protect others
Hepatitis C can be transmitted by blood, so it's important to cover any cuts or wounds. Don't share toothbrushes, razors, manicure tools, or any other implements or items that might have blood on them.

Talk to your sex partner
It's important that your partner know that you have hepatitis C. Be sure to use latex condoms for protection against the virus.

Be your own advocate
Ultimately, your health is your responsibility. Stay up to date on the latest news, research and treatment for hepatitis C.

Reach out
It's important to have supportive friends and relatives you can count on when you feel stressed out from dealing with hepatitis C.

Get the rest you need
Hepatitis C can make you feel fatigued. So, it's important to find a good balance between activity and relaxation. A short nap can increase your energy. Shorten your to-do list or extend it over several days or weeks.

Published
October 2010