The majority of people with hepatitis C remain asymptomatic until late stages of disease. It's common to have Hep C for decades and feel just fine. Amazingly, not all people with Hep C will develop liver problems at all. Some people have Hep C and remain healthy for life.
In the past the treatment for Hep C was long and difficult with debilitating side effects.
If you have Hep C but feel fine, you may ask yourself, why rock the boat by getting into treatment?
There are a few good reasons to rock the boat:
- Treatment for Hep C is now easy and effective. It usually lasts less than twelve weeks using an all-oral regimen with few side effects. Medical experts now recommend Hep C treatment for almost all infected, and almost all can achieve a cure.
- If you have Hep C, you could pass it along to others. If you are cured, you eliminate your risk of infecting others.
- Though you may feel fine now, your liver may be slowly developing fibrosis, which can lead to health problems later. It is important to stop the progression of fibrosis as soon as possible. Get an evaluation to determine the amount of damage in your liver, and consider Hep C treatment now.
- Hep C can make management of other medical conditions more difficult. Some medications are hard on the liver and can cauase damage, especially when you have Hep C. There are drug interaction consideration whenever treating multiple conditions. Eliminating Hep C makes your overall health and medical care more simple.
- Improved quality of life. Living with Hep C can be stressful, and has been shown to lower quality of life. Living with a chronic condition that can be fatal can cause anxeity. Hep C is associated with fatique, depression, brain fog, gastrointestinal issues and many more health problems. Give yourself a chance to see what life is like without Hep C.
- There is no time like now. You never know what the future holds, in terms of health insurance, medication availability and your own health. You have the chance to be treated and cured now – take it!
Nirah is a clinical social worker and public health professional who has been raising awareness about hepatitis C and liver health in NYC since 2007. She organizes the Hep Free NYC network in NYC. @HepFreeNYC