Some people who have
hepatitis C don't notice a big difference in the way
they feel. Others feel tired, sick, or depressed. The following are steps you
can take at home that may help you feel better both physically and
It is very common to feel tired if you
have hepatitis C. If you feel tired, give yourself permission to do less and
rest more. If possible, ask others to help out around your home or ask your
employer for a shorter or more flexible work schedule.
Exercise if you feel up to it. Aerobic
exercise can help you have more energy and may also improve depression. It is
best to avoid any strenuous activities on the day after you receive
Eat regular, nutritious meals
with hepatitis C have a hard time eating. You may have no appetite, feel
nauseated, or have different tastes than you are used to. Even if you don't
feel like eating, it's very important to eat small meals throughout the day.
Some people have nausea in the afternoon. If this happens to you, try to
eat a big, nutritious meal in the morning.
If you have cirrhosis,
it may not be a good idea to eat salty foods or foods that are high in protein.
If you want to know more about which foods to avoid and which foods are good to
eat, ask your doctor about meeting with a
registered dietitian to discuss a healthy eating
Avoid alcohol and drugs
One of the most important
jobs of your liver is to break down drugs and alcohol. If you have hepatitis C,
one of the best things you can do is to avoid substances that may harm your
liver, such as alcohol and illegal drugs. If you have cirrhosis, you also may
need to avoid certain medicines.
If you use illegal drugs or
drink alcohol, it is important to stop. Being honest with your doctor about your drug
and alcohol use will help you deal with any substance abuse problems. If you don't feel that you can talk openly with your doctor, you may want to find a
doctor you feel more comfortable with. If you want to stop using drugs or
alcohol and need help to do so, ask your doctor or someone else you trust about
drug and alcohol treatment options.
Because many medicines can
stress your liver, talk to your doctor before you take any prescription or
over-the-counter medicines. This includes herbal
remedies as well.
If you have itchy skin, ask
your doctor about taking nonprescription medicines, such as diphenhydramine
(for example, Benadryl) or chlorpheniramine (for example, Chlor-Trimeton), to
relieve itching. If you do take these medicines, be sure to follow the
instructions and to stop using the medicine if you have any side