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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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What to Expect When You Have Hepatitis C

If you’ve just found out you have hepatitis C, you have a lot of questions. If you’re like most people with this condition, you probably never knew you had it until now. You’re not alone. Hepatitis C isn’t rare in the U.S., especially among baby boomers -- people born between 1945 and 1965. People this age are five times more likely than others to get the virus, which causes swelling and scarring of the liver. 

Read the What to Expect When You Have Hepatitis C article > >

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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