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Treatment?
May 26, 2005
I have recently received the Hep C diagnosis and am awaiting a liver biopsy (6/22) to know the status of my liver (my ultrasound—given its limitations--showed that my liver, kidneys and all looks absolutely normal).

I have not asked for a copy of my labs—yet. But my ALT was about normal 40 something and AST at about 102 (or thereabouts). Honestly, I don’t remember the exact numbers as I was in diagnosis shock.

I have now seen our best local Hepatologist/GI doc and he said that unless I am in stage 2-3 fibrosis, he wouldn’t recommend treatment—but could be easily persuaded if I WANT treatment and am less than 2.

Oh, I am genotype 1. Viral load of 9.5 million. Best I can tell, I contracted this virus between 1976 and 83.

I eat very healthily, have started exercising and generally, taking care of myself. Since Feburary, I have actually lost about 18 pounds without “dieting” (and have about 30 more to go). I do, however, drink a bottle of wine (one, not two) with my wife over dinner probably three times every two months (after abstaining from alcohol for more than 13 years). I have read on the CDC’s cite that less than 50 grams of alcohol—consumed infrequently—is not clinically significant to liver health.

My wife is starting a two year program for her BS Nursing in August, and I have three daughters at home—ages 13, 3 and three months. I already know this is going to be a demanding two years on our family; I do not want to make it worse by doing the treatment—if I can help it.

I teach college English and my only issue is with a “clouded” mental state I sometimes experience (I had always worried about early stage Alzheimer’s), but I believe I could probably work through treatment—and could teach/work online if necessary.

From what I have read—here, there and everywhere—interferon treatment seems to be a significant step: one that can not only lead to SVR, but also a group of complications that include nerve damage, heart problems, arthritis and etc. Sounds like that (for some) the cure is worse than the disease (short of cirrhosis/end stage liver disease).

I am trying to make a decision that is not only best for me, but also best for my family—I have to be here for my babies and am almost 45 now. There are so many options and variables to consider.

Kris
Re: Treatment?
Jul 8, 2005
Thanks Thanbey!

I just spoke with my surgeon (who first saw my liver last year), and he corrected me. He did not see "nodes", but he saw adhesions on the liver, around gall bladder, and the stomach. He said it looked as if it had been inflamed at one time and then healed itself.

I think I still want the biopsy, though I'm a little nervous what that entails.

Tayah
[QUOTE=thanbey]Nodes are tissue of unknown origin. could be fat, could be scar tissue or something else.

The way to know what they are is to do a liver biopsy. There is no other test that tells this for certian. There are unltrasounds and CAT scans, but the biopsy is the best test for this, hands down.

There are four stages of fibrosis, ending in cirrhosis at stage 4. This is only the beginning stage of cirrhosis, which simpluy means scarring on the liver. Beyond that, there are classes of cirrhosis, so there are quite a few steps from no fibrosis to the point where a liver transplant is considered.

Begin by demanding a biopsy and then get a copy of the results.

Most people live a long and healthy life with hepatitis (even cirrhosis!) and end up dying of something else altogether. By no means is the diagnosis a death sentence, even though it may seem like it from reading the internet.

Hope this helps,

thanbey



Hope this helps,

thanbey[/QUOTE]





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