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    Tips to Help You Manage Hepatitis C

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    It's important for people with hepatitis C to take control of their health. There's a lot you can do on a day-to-day basis to protect your liver from damage and keep you feeling good.

    In addition to exercising, eating right and getting medical and emotional support, here are some things to keep in mind.

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    5 Reasons to Get Tested for Hepatitis C

    As far as viruses go, hepatitis C is among the sneakiest. Once it's in your blood, it travels to your liver, where it may settle in for a silent, long-term stay. This can lead to cancer or cause the organ to fail if you don't treat it. In fact, hepatitis C is the top reason for liver transplants in the U.S. If you think you’ve been exposed, here are five reasons to get tested right away:

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    Stay Healthy

    Other viruses that damage your liver, like hepatitis A or B, are especially dangerous to people with hepatitis C. Your doctor may tell you to get vaccinated against them.

    HIV weakens your immune system. That could allow hepatitis C to progress more quickly. If you have more than one sexual partner, you need to use condoms. Not only do they prevent you from spreading what you have, they also protect you from other STDs.

    Get Enough Sleep

    People with hepatitis C often have a hard time sleeping, especially during treatment.

    You may not think it's a big deal, but getting enough sleep matters. Hepatitis C symptoms like fatigue can be worse when you don't.

    There's no special cure for insomnia caused by hepatitis C or its treatment. But there are steps you can take to get a good night's rest.

    • Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time.
    • Reserve your bedroom for sleep and sex only - no pets, TVs, work, or gadgets.
    • Keep the room cool.
    • Use soft fabrics for PJs, sheets and blankets.
    • Skip naps.
    • Avoid exercise, large meals or alcohol within 2-3 hours of bedtime.

    Sleep medication can help, too. Thomas often recommends drugs like zolpidem (Ambien).

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