Patient Comments: Hepatitis C - Diagnosis

What kinds of tests did you have to diagnose your hepatitis C?

Comment from: snowdancer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

I have had hepatitis C since 1976. When I got it, I was very ill. I lost 20 pounds in two months, and I was told that I had a form of hepatitis that was not A or B. (They didn't have a name for it, so they would call it B.) In 1996, after they discovered C, I had my family doctor test me for it, and it was confirmed as hepatitis C. I was 22 when I got it. I am now 54 and have had a pretty healthy life so far, with only a few complications from my disease. I am frightened to take the interferon/ribovarin treatment because of the side effects, and also because I have genotype 1A known not to respond well to treatment, especially after 34 years with the virus. I had a biopsy a month ago, I was found to be free of cirrhosis and cancer, although I do have some scarring due to inflammation. I've been taking herbals for three years, selenium, milk thistle, omega 3, licorice root, esther c, and generally feel well with a good energy level. My white blood cell count is excellent, my viral load is two million, and my platelets are good. I seem to be in good health other than the hepatitis C. I don't drink or do things to damage my health, and I eat nutritious foods known to be good for your liver and digestive system. You can live a long time with this disease and remain active and healthy if you just use common sense and self-discipline. I'm hoping to make it into my 70s. Oh, and people think I'm only in my 40s when they meet me.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: newdad, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 16

I was diagnosed with hepatitis C in September of 2008. I went in for a routine physical. I asked for the blood test, as my family has a history of diabetes/heart problems. My doctor performed a biopsy at the end of December and determined I was at the end of stage 0/beginning of stage 1. I just had blood work done this month. My AST is 45 and ALT is 78. Everything else is within limits. My wife and I are searching, debating, and researching when/how my course of treatment should go. So as of now, treatment is on hold.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: chimom, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 08

I was diagnosed with hepatitis C, stage II, genotype 1 in 5/06 at age 52 after feeling lousy for a couple of months. Never in my wildest dreams did the idea of having Hepatitis C come up in my mind. The doctors estimated that I had the virus for 20 years. I began the peginterferon-ribavin therapy, which lasted 48 weeks. It was a grueling treatment. I never had felt so exhausted 24/7. Some days I had to tell myself to put one foot in front of the other so I could walk. I chose to take my shots Thursday nights, took every Friday off work, and slept for two days. I would come home from work and fall sleep sitting up on the sofa. My family, doctor, and co-workers were wonderful and I would not have been able to complete the treatment if it was not for them. There were times when I almost quit. The first six weeks of treatment were hell, and I asked my doctor if I could have a note to take a couple of weeks off work to take care of me. His comment was "if you can't handle this, then maybe we should discontinue treatment." I convinced him to give me the note, and found another doctor in his practice. The new doctor called me when I had questions, was supportive, and was the complete opposite of the first doctor. Finding the right doctor is essential in getting through this treatment. I have achieved sustained virological response within three months from when I started treatment. Almost three years later, I am still virus free. I consider myself cured.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: greyhound515, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 03

I was diagnosed year ago after insisting I was not "depressed." I just could not get my 33-year old butt out of bed in the mornings even after 12-15 hours of sleep. I was in fantastic shape back then! I did the interferon, did not know to drink more water than I could ever stand and I learned about treatment side effects from a friend who was a research chemist I did great for maybe 7 years, then the virus came back. I did the combo treatment and now I am blessed with chronic diarrhea (IBS), depression/bi-polar, migraines, and now have Diabetes and high blood pressure. The government still doesn't believe me to be disabled. The good news is I have been okay since then other than occasionally pooping my pants. My hep C has been unavoidable for 7 years now though so I am remaining optimistic.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Pj in Denver, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 18

I was diagnosed with hepatitis C last year in January of 2008. The doctor said I had one of the highest viral loads he'd ever seen. I had felt sick for almost five years and kept asking my doctor what could be wrong. I was tired, my digestion was sluggish, I felt bloated and my joints hurt. "You're getting older" was the answer. I thought, “Man, I'm only 40! Does everyone feel this bad at 40?” Finally, being tested for something else showed the hepatitis C. After I was told what the Interferon and Ribavirin was all about and what I would feel like, let alone that the high viral load meant I stood a minimal chance at best of getting rid of it with the only method doctors have, I decided to treat myself first. I went 90% organic, dropped all alcohol and caffeine, started taking Milk Thistle and Alpha Lipoic and having regular colonics to detox my liver and gall bladder. Now, more than a year later, I have almost no sign of the virus. (It's non-detectable.) I feel better than I have in years! I look better too. I urge everyone out there to at least look into alternative, holistic methods before poisoning your entire system to get at this virus. Quality of life is something to consider, even in the short-term.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Hepatitis C - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C - Treatment Question: What methods of treatment, including medication, have you received for your hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C - Treatment Side Effects Experience Question: Describe the side effects associated with treatment for your hepatitis C.

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.


Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!