Greg Jefferys Hepatitis C blog deals with all the issues associated with hepatitis C
Nowadays most of my blog posts are inspired by emails I get from folk about their Hepatitis C experiences; having Hep C and the process of getting rid of it…because I have been cured for more than two years now my Hep C experiences are all about helping others access treatment and helping them through the process of the cure. One of the biggest issues with Hepatitis C is the development of liver fibrosis/cirrhosis and ultimately liver cancer.
One of the things that keep coming up is how well the liver can heal itself once the virus is removed from the equation.
One of the big problems from having Hepatitis C is our liver getting scarred by the Hep C virus. This scar tissue leads to fibrosis of the liver and eventually to cirrhosis. Fibrosis, the scar tissue, is also where liver cancer, HCC, begins.
So having any level of fibrosis leads to an increased risk of HCC, the more scar tissue in your liver the higher the level of cirrhosis.
Increased fibrosis levels also affect the liver’s functioning. The more scar tissue the less functioning liver tissue is available. So not only does fibrosis increase the chance of liver cancer it also impairs the liver’s functions.
Many doctors will tell Hepatitis c patients that the liver cannot recover from liver cirrhosis. This is not true. Fibrosis is rated by a score that begins at F0 (no fibrosis) and rises to F4 (cirrhosis). In the past liver Cirrhosis has long been regarded as the “end” … the point of no return. People believed that liver functions were ruined and the chance of developing liver cancer was high.
There is now a huge body of evidence that proves that the liver will heal from cirrhosis once Hepatitis C is removed.
So the perception that liver cirrhosis is final and irreversible is changing. The very good news is that once the Hep C virus is removed many people are reporting that the liver is healing better than was expected. People with cirrhosis (F4) are finding that their liver fibrosis levels return to F2 or F1. The chance of liver cancer reduces by more than 70% and the liver functions return to normal.
The important thing to remember is that Hep C induced liver damage will heal after Hepatitis C is treated. The critical factors in seeing the liver regenerate after Hep C is a healthy lifestyle and a good diet.
Recent research has shown that the liver will repair itself after cirrhosis except in a few cases. This research shows that being significantly overweight was the main risk factor for the persistence of advanced cirrhosis after Hepatitis C treatment.
So if you want to maximize your chances of complete recovery once your Hep C treatment is done you MUST ensure that you have a healthy lifestyle… that is to say a good diet and plenty of exercise.
The two emails below are ones that I received just yesterday that confirm from real life experiences how well the liver heals once the Hep C virus is successfully treated.
This email from a Hep C patient in the UK.
I hope you are well.
Just thought I would share some further good news that you might want to share with others.
11 months after the end of the treatment I am still undetected which is great.
Of further note, my fibro scan reading has dropped from the original reading of 20.9 kPa to 14.3 skPa o despite being told it may not drop mine has dropped significantly.
This email from a patient in New Zealand, the well-known and respected Hep C activist Hazel Heal.
Here is my Hep C fibrosis story.
The background story is that I was infected with Hep C in the 1980’s after the birth of my first child, from a blood transfusion.
I found out that I was infected and had a biopsy soon after – early 1993, I had genotype 3 and the early stages of fibrosis.
In 1997, had another biopsy and cirrhosis was diagnosed. Liver Function Test showed that my enzymes were all high.
1998, with one other person, was first in Dunedin to have alpha Interferon and Ribavirin for12 months, was sick every 2nd day. The treatment really did a lot of damage to my thyroid but my liver function normalised.
Unfortunately, the treatment did not clear the virus. As we now all know genotype 3 is the hard one!
These in 2003, with my LFTs rising again, I did 6 months of treatment with peg./riba.
At the end of the treatment, I had my gall bladder out and another biopsy. The liver cirrhosis was now a bit worse.
Unfortunately, the virus came back, I felt it come back! It was one afternoon about a month after end of treatment. But again, my liver function normalised after treatment and this lasted about 8 years.
Then in 2014, the liver function test showed that my liver enzymes were starting to rise again. My fibroscan showed liver stiffness increasing so I got moved from 12 months to 6 monthly fibroscans.
The fibroscan in Sept 2015 was 40kPa up from about 18 previously and I knew that I needed to treat, urgently, like yesterday!!!
My doctor told me that the next step was to get on the liver transplant list, but until I had been on it, and further deteriorated, I couldn’t get treatment.
I had been infected with Hepatitis C for 18 years, I had fibrosis F4, decompensating but still not sick enough to get treatment!
To cut a long story short I eventually got the right advice from you, James and Giten early in October 2015. A few weeks later I was on treatment using 24 weeks of generic Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir .
It took me 18 weeks of treatment to reach the “Undetected” stage. The viral load was low but it took 18 weeks to reach Undetected!
Now the big news… at the end of treatment I had another fibroscan and was told I was down from 40kPa to 22kPa which was a big improvement.
Six months later I was down to 9.5 kPa and that was the biggest surprise, since then 8.5 and now 7.5. As I say, they had to look hard to find any fibrous patches but there are still a couple.
I hope this helps folk understand just how much the liver can heal once the virus is removed.
So this shows that once the Hepatitis C virus is removed the liver will begin to heal and remove scar tissue and regain functions. This removal of scar tissue and reversal of cirrhosis has profound implications for people with Hepatitis C regaining normal health and significantly reducing the risk of developing liver cancer.
The important thing is to get rid of the virus and to do that ASAP.
To read more information about Hepatitis C induced liver cirrhosis, click this link to read how Greg Jefferys went from F4 liver cirrhosis to F1 after Hepatitis C treatment
Greg Jefferys’ blog is provided for informational purposes and is not intended as Medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Whilst Greg Jefferys is doing a PhD it is not in medicine. Any advice offered is offered in good faith and based on an extensive general knowledge of Hepatitis C and access to generic Hepatitis medicines Greg Jefferys has acquired through his work as an advocate and activist
The Hep C Buyers Club is not a company or corporate entity but simply a loose structure intended to offer a free information to people with Hepatitis C
Click here for other books by Greg Jefferys.
I have converted this diary into a kindle book for folk who might like it in that format. I have added a lot more depth than the original diary contains, it’s more of a complete story in book format. I have priced it as low as Kindle allows me to @ 99 cents. If you are interested just click here to go to the Kindle page.
If you have any questions please reach out by email, or complete the below form.Greg Jefferys
3439 Channel Highway, Woodbridge, Tasmania, 7161.
This truly is encouraging news! It was confusing for a while because many people thought that the medication was causing the cancer. It seemed that way but I am beginning to realize more clearly that in fact, the cancer was already there. And the medication is actually the springboard to a healthier liver… And maybe beating even the cancer. I just started my medication today and I feel great. I’m super excited about living without hep C and I am feeling so grateful for everybody who has been involved in encouraging and willing to do so much for others. Thanks
Great to hear this and I’ve found it true in my experience.
I am not up for getting another biopsy to be sure however. Bugger that.
I’d be interested to learn if there is any studies of long term benefits after treatment.
And thanks again Greg. You rock.
That’s brilliant, I was 19kpa prior tx now 7.2kpa bloods are spot on, twice a non responder on interferon 1993, then peg/ rib 2005, 12months. Pete, from Manchester.
I’m from Guatemala, have HEP C geno 1A, and high damage liver, can you help me about medicine for 6 months.
Hi there. just found your site. diagnosed Hep C 1B 2000 F1-F2 biopsy
i was treated with Harvoni 9-15 to November 15.
at 4 weeks undetected
At start of treatment 17.5 Fibroscan june of 15.
June of 17 fibroscan was not able to be read. results were F 1, F 2 and F4 on a different machine 2 different heads…poor reading.
I returned to the same location today as first fibroscan. results: 10.1
so F 4 to F3. I’m 64 and happy to be healing. I feel great
I am careful with diet and no alcohol. Goal is to heal as slowly as it takes.
I have not heard of side effects like the ones you describe but it is worth keeping in mind that the liver is central to hormone production and as it is healing (after getting rid of the Hep C) there could be some instability in your hormones that might produce these effects. I hope they clear 🙂
Thank you so much for posting. My fiancé just found out he has hep C & cirrhosis stage 4 and I’ve cried for 2 days convinced he has a 12 month life expectancy. Especially when he told me that he was too advanced to be considered a transplant candidate. He started harvoni today and has not been able to get out of bed all day & has gotten confused here and there but otherwise ok. I hope he improves with this treatment and will be here to raise our 5 year old daughter that adores him.
Keep heart folks, the liver can heal itself although it varies for each individual of course, never give up. I contracted Hep C from contaminated blood in 1988 and had ‘ signigative’ fibrosis and portal damage. After 6 months of Interferon/ Rabivarin was too ill to continue the treatment which played havoc with my thyroid glands and my gall bladder was removed even though there were no stones. My career ended as was suffering with and still am Chronic Fatigue and Cognigitive problems which i did not have before the treatment and many other people have experienced similar long term effects so the drugs are in question. How ever I was lucky and no Hep C detected after 2 year post treatment. Recently I had a scan which showed no fibrosis and no detected Hep C. I cannot claim that I followed any special diet and even had wine on occaisions so was surprised to discover my liver was quite well again so there is hope
Thanks for sharing your experience Julie. It is important for people to know that the liver will heal when the virus is removed
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