Things you need to know if you have Hepatitis C (HCV) or any liver disease.
it or not, what you DO NOT know can sometimes be fatal. When
I found out I had Hepatitis C, my doctor told me not to drink alcohol,
to use aspirin sparingly and to get my liver enzymes tested. That
was about it. The rest of what I know was up to me to find out.
I understand these people are very busy and I also understand that
it's not feasible for them to sit there and tell us every thing
that can be a threat to our health, we'd be there for hours! Since
I wanted to AVOID POTENTIALLY LIFE-THREATENING and hazardous
things, I searched the internet for warnings for people with Hepatitis C or other liver
disease. Here is what I found:
1. HCV & THREAT
FROM THE OCEAN
with HCV should be aware of a bacteria called V. vulnificus, found
in the Gulf of Mexico and other warm waters. It infects oysters
and other shellfish. Pollution is not what causes the contamination
in the shellfish, so just avoiding contaminated waters is not enough
of a precaution. This bacteria can be in raw or undercooked fish.
But, get this, it's not enough for those with HCV to just avoid oysters, sushi, and
lightly cooked shellfish (some of my personal favorites!), but this
bacteria can infect open wounds when a person goes swimming
in infected waters!
HUMOR: Okay, so like, my vacation I was planning
in the Gulf of Mexico, where I wade in the warm water after savoring
a raw oyster in my "Bloody Mary" and downing a few deep fried shrimp
and a double chocolate cheesecake is out, Doc? Bummer! I'm, like
so bummed out, Dude. I have Hep C, I have to find out what the other
pleasures are in life, right!
HEPATITIS C RE-INFECTION
one dose of this virus isn't enough! Usually we think about viruses,
"Well, I've had it, so I can't get it again." Not in the case with
HCV (hepatitis C), folks. You CAN be re-infected with the virus.
There are different genotypes, and you can even be re- infected
with the same genotype you already have. Isn't that special? No,
but in all seriousness, if you became infected with HCV because
of risky behavior or lifestyle (using illegal drugs etc), by all
means STOP! Don't think "Well, I already have it so what's the use?"
or " I already have Hep C, so what's getting a tattoo gonna do?"
you want to take all precautions not to spread the disease, but
you also want to take these precautions for yourself. The Center
for Disease Control states, "Prior infection [of HCV] does not protect against
re-infection with the same or different genotypes of the virus."
The point is, no matter how you got the virus you must protect yourself
as well as others from infection.
RAW SHELLFISH FOR THOSE WITH HCV, NO WAY!
raw or undercooked shellfish, yes, even from the ocean, can be a
serious danger, and even cause death, especially in people with
liver disease." A warning from a posting in the hepc.bull, complied
by Joan King on theHEPCBC website.
The FDA issued an advisory warning to high-risk individuals (that
would be us) with chronic liver disease or weakened immune systems
urging them to avoid eating raw or partially cooked oysters.
the good news is, you can eat shellfish cooked. However, it is important
to note that it is advised for people with hemochromatosis (a condition
involving iron overload) are advised to avoid shellfish, oysters
completely due to iron in them. See my special report on iron overload
HAV VACCINE - GET IT! Hepatitis A and Hepatitis C don't mix!
A (HAV) is not ordinarily a lethal disease (although it can in some
rare cases cuase liver failure. BUT, if you already have Hepatitis
C (HCV) then HAV can be DEADLY. According to an article by
Dan O'Neill "Hepatitis A and Hepatitis C Don't Mix." Source
It is highly recommended by many doctors to get the HAV vaccine.
VITAMIN A AND HCV
sources I looked up about vitamin A, said that excess vitamin A
can be very toxic to the liver. Prescription For Nutritional
Healing by James F. Balch M.D. says, "Excessive amounts of vitamin
A over long periods may cause liver enzymes to be elevated." When
asking my doctor what too much vitamin A would be, he told me "meagadoses,
beyond what any multivitamin would contain." James F. Balch suggests,
"Anyone taking over 50,000 international units a vitamin A daily
for over a year should reduce his or her intake or switch to natural
beta-carotene, which should not have any side-effects." The typical
dose in a multivitamin is 25,000 IU's.
MOLDS, AFLATOXINS AND PEANUTS DO NOT MIX WITH HCV
a long and boring story short an aflatotoxin is a mold. These are
substances that grow on certain foods, especially nuts. Peanuts
stored in hot and humid conditions are especially prone to this.
This is one reason why some nutritionists advise hepatitis patients
to avoid all nuts; mostly I've heard that peanuts are to be avoided.
Dolan, in his book The Hepatitis C Handbook writes "Although
many nutritionists appear to be unaware of the severe risks posed
by aflatoxins in the diet, particularly people who already have
liver disease...aflatotoxins are a definite dietary cofactor in
the development of liver cancer." He continues, by explaining that
they are carcinogenic and they are a particular problem in peanuts.
it up: Avoid all foods that might potentially contain any traces
of aflatoxin (peanuts). Foods that have low levels of it may not
be a danger to the general population but they may present a "small
risk as cofactors to HCV in triggering the development of liver
cancer." And, if you do eat nuts, don't eat discolored or damages
nuts of any kind, or one that have been left uncovered for long
periods of time. Store them in a cool dry place to avoid contamination.
MIXING ALCOHOL & PAIN RELIEVERS
is a "no-no" for your liver. Acetominophen, Aspirin, paracetamol
and Ibuprofen can all be liver toxic and a have an impact on liver
function. The FDA warns and requires warnings on over-the-counter
pain relievers about the danger of mixing alcohol and these various
medications. The combination can cause damage to the livers of people
who DONT have Hep C, so image what it can do to people who DO have
a chronic liver disease. Here is a simplistic, but accurate conclusion:
alcohol is bad, drugs are bad, mixing them is really bad for those with HCV. I
could give you a bunch of scientific evidence and articles and sources,
but you don't need them for the general purpose here, which is just
to avoid what hurts you.
Aspirin, Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Paracetamol
over-the-counter drugs can have impact on liver function and potentially
cause liver damage. It is advised to not take any of these unless
absolutely necessary. Persistent long tern use in contraindicated
for people with hepatitis C. If you have a condition that involves
chronic pain and need a pain reliever on a regular basis it is best
to consult your doctor about what would be safest. In The Hepatitis
C Help Book by Misha Ruth Cohen and Robert Gish, it is advised,
"Although high doses of acetaminophen can be toxic to the liver,
it is still the safest pain remedy available if taken in doses of
less than 2 grams a day." Acetaminophen is Tylenol.
IT YOUR BUSINESS TO GET THE FACTS, DON'T BE LEFT IN THE DARK
doctor tell you all this? I didn't think so. MEN:Did the
Doc tell you you're more prone to "iron-overload" (storing excessive
amounts of iron in the liver) which can cause faster progression
of the disease (Hep C) than females, in general? WOMEN:
Did your doctor tell you that pregnancy can cause your Hep C to
get worse? Or that birth control pills can be toxic to your liver?
Just imagine what else you don't know! The hold saying,
"What he don't know, can't hurt him," is certainly not the case
for those of us with a liver disease!
of her own experience with Hep C, Naomi Judd wrote, "This should
be a clear warning to you that you must get involved in your own
health." She hit the nail on the head with that one!
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