Hepatitis C is one of those diseases for which we have no vaccine as yet. This viral disease has very subtle symptoms in the early stages but it has the potential to cause liver disease. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from this disease and manage it. Thus, it is important to know the signs and management tips for Hepatitis C.
Signs of Hepatitis C
Early signs of this disease include
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle ache
- Yellow eyes
- Dark urine
- Joint pain
As the disease progresses, it will start affecting the liver cells and may cause symptoms such as
- Unexplained weight loss
- Redness of the skin on the palm
- Blood that does not clot easily
- Higher liver enzyme levels in the blood
- Development of breast tissue in men
- Pain in the abdomen
- Clay-colored stool
- Visible thin blood vessels just under the skin
- Accumulation of abdominal fluid
- Yellowing of the skin
Ways to Manage Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C can be treated with anti-viral medication. This course of treatment usually runs for 12 weeks. Here are a few tips that could help manage the disease and make treatment more effective.
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep
When reading up on the signs and management tips for Hep C, one of the first tips you will come across is to get enough sleep. Symptoms such as tiredness and fatigue can be aggravated by a lack of sleep. Many patients have difficulty sleeping especially once the treatment starts. To improve the quality of sleep, set a sleep schedule of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Also, avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and exercise in the evenings.
Anxiety and depression are common side effects of the treatment for this disease. To combat this, set aside some time every morning to meditate for half an hour. You could also try other relaxation techniques such as yoga.
- Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated is prioritized when it comes to the signs and management tips for Hep C. This helps to prevent side effects such as headaches and dryness of the skin and mouth. While you can infuse water with fruits and herbs, drinking caffeinated beverages does not count towards the amount of fluid you need to drink throughout the day.
- Lose Weight
Overweight and obese people have a higher risk of suffering from liver diseases. Thus, if you are on the heavier end of the scale, make an effort to lose weight. Instead of going on a crash diet, eat a well-balanced low-carb diet and complement it with daily exercise.
Everyone should understand the signs and management tips for Hep C. However, do not try and take the treatment into your own hands. If you notice symptoms, consult a doctor immediately.