Greg Jefferys Hepatitis C blog deals with all the issues associated with hepatitis C
One of the things I continually bang my drum about is the importance of getting rid of Hepatitis C as soon as possible.
I frequently hear from people who have recently been diagnosed with Hep C that their doctor has said that the Hep C is “dormant” or that they don’t have symptoms so not to worry about getting Hepatitis C treatment.
This is completely wrong.
Even though I am not a doctor, the reality is that many doctors know very little about Hepatitis C. The reason for this is that the existence of Hepatitis C was only discovered in 1989, only 30 years ago. Then, even after the discovery of Hepatitis C, it was years before Hepatitis C was studied in medical training and more years before people began to understand how profoundly Hepatitis C effects a person’s health. So most doctors never studied Hep C when they did their degrees and know very little about its effects or activity.
Every year more and more discoveries are being made that show previously unknown damage done to people by Hepatitis C. Most doctors, even specialists do not have time to continually update themselves on the latest facts surrounding Hep C.
For that reason I try to continually provide up to date information about Hepatitis C treatment and the symptoms of Hepatitis C.
Below is an email I received after my recent post about Cryoglobulinemia and Hepatitis C. This lady’s experience should reinforce the importance of getting your Hep C treated ASAP. You may be surprised just how many seeming unrelated health issues fade when the Hep C virus is removed from your system.
“Hep C Symptoms caused by Cryoglobulinemia include: Joint pain, aching muscles, shortness of breath, fatigue, spots or patches on the skin and skin ulcers or sores and also itchy skin.”
Thanks for putting up that article about Cryoglobulinemia. It is so important that people realise that all these things are caused by Hepatitis C .
The symptoms in the article you wrote describes my terrible condition because I suffered from ALL those symptoms for years. Of course my doctors could not diagnose what was causing these terrible health problems.
(Some even suggested that it was all in my head… that I was a hypochondriac and a picker…another psychological condition. )
I set about last June on a journey to figure out what the hell is wrong with me. What the hell was causing all these terrible health problems.
Because, I caught everything (colds, sore throats, etc.,) I started out by getting every vaccine available to me to try to boost my immune system (TDap, Shingles, Pneumonia, and Flu.) Already, years ago, I had the Hep A and Hep B vaccinations.
Got a mammogram, got yearly check-up, got Pap smear. Next, I was getting kidney check-up and colonoscopy but got stopped dead in my tracks by the gynaecologist.
Mammogram was clear.
My yearly check-up showed elevations of some liver enzymes but my doctor was not concerned by these, he did not even bother checking for Hep C!!! He was concerned about my A1 C and put me on diabetic medication, which I did not start it because it was first time in my life that those levels had been up, and it was only up by .2 points, so I could not see the point of taking a medicine I probably did not need.
That was my decision, though I will consider it if numbers don’t fall back to normal.
At gynaecologist’s office I requested to be tested for every STD there is. They normally test for HPV, but nothing else. She said, ” You want to be tested for every sexually transmitted disease?”
I said, “Yes.”
She said, “Okay, do you want me to test for Hepatitis B and C, too?”
I said, “Yes.”
She called me 2 days later… everything negative EXCEPT positive for Hepatitis C and virus load showed Chronic.
Of course this explains the elevated liver enzymes, and probably the A1 C elevation.
A closer look at my yearly check-up tests by me, revealed I was actually in stage 3b kidney failure!!!! Possibly a side effect of chronic Hepatitis C… How the hell did the doctor miss that!?
So I started the Hepatitis C medication 5 weeks ago.
I also take hydrocodone for pain (joint AND muscle). I also had breathing issues, gasping for air sometimes.
Now I am watching my eating habits (healthier), lots of water.
I just finished week 5 of 12 weeks treatment and already I feel 50% less joint and muscle pain, breathing better, no new itchy sores that had been driving me crazy!
Better still is that all old sores are healed or healing.
My energy level is 50% or more better. I used to work, eat and sleep. And, I mean sleep. On days off, I would often sleep 12 – 16 hours. I had no life, it was a living hell.
I even thought at times that death would be a better option than all this pain and tiredness and the gasping for air… I just hated that feeling like I could not breathe.
I will get new blood tests this week to see how the liver enzymes are and how kidneys are doing and A1 C.
I have never missed work through any of this. (That’s why the pain meds) in fact I put a 12 hour shift in 2 days ago.
I work in healthcare.
So having been through all this I just can’t emphasise it more clearly to people who have HCV….GET CURED ASAP.
Don’t let our (USA) healthcare system put you on hold. That’s BS! Be proactive.
If refused by normal channels then go generics!!!! Do NOT wait.
Another extremely damaging effect of Cryoglobulinemia is Peripheral Neuropathy.
Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy in 1999, before it was known that peripheral neuropathy can be caused by Hepatitis C.
Basically Peripheral Neuropathy is when all the nerve endings start dying as the Cryoglobulinemia deprives the nerves of oxygen and nutrients.
This results in damage to the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves), which often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet.
The most common form of Hepatitis C induced Peripheral Neuropathy is called “length-dependent peripheral neuropathy” because it refers to the length of the nerves affected, pain and numbness appears at the ends of the longest nerves, which are in the feet and also the hands and fingers. If the Hepatitis C in not treatment the peripheral neuropathy symptoms will slowly move up from the extremities into the limbs where muscle wasting may occur.
Sometimes symptoms may never appear in the arms. Sometimes symptoms may include a dry mouth, difficulty urinating, and dizziness when standing.
For more information about the effects of Cryoglobulinemia for people with Hepatitis C please click this link