Patient Comments: Hepatitis C - Diagnosis

What kinds of tests did you have to diagnose 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Patient Comments

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

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