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[QUOTE=jessy28]But what actually happens as in physically? And the thing I wonder is how fast does that process happen? What if you are healthy and you don't drink or smoke....then do a lot of people not ever feel the effects of hep c? Also what is fibrosis? I know what cirosis is. But I just don't get it. Once people have cirosis how fast does it progress? I did watch the movie super size it. I then stopped eating fast food which was a very bad habit of mine. i now probably eat fast food maybe one time every two to three weeks. I used to eat it three times a day. I also did not know i had hep yet. Also as far as eating good....we eat maybe red meat like twice a week and mostly pork (baked) or chicken (either grilled or baked) the rest of the week. We do veggies or salad with our meat for dinner. I usually eat a bowl of cereal like cherrios with splenda or tuna fish or egg salad for my lunch. Is that bad? What are some ways we can get better at that? I am using smart balance for our sub butter. Is trans fat an issue? I hear so many things that I get confused as to what is good or bad for us. Pork and chicken are not bad are they? I would think they would be the way to go. We have made tremendous progress with our bad habits and still more to go. I am proud of us. we do not drink pop anymore and drink plenty of water. and the part that scares me about the fda findings is where you said that someone who does not have sustained response will be worse after a year. What do you know about what they have found as far as people with sustained responses? The one doctor I did talk to said that he recommends testing on a yearly basis for the rest of someone's life even if they clear the virus. sounds right to me.[/QUOTE]

Fibrosis and cirrhosis are the same process. It is a scale leading to cirrhosis and then there are stages of cirrhosis. So fibrosis (a a small amount of damage) CAN lead to cirrhosis (more damage), but this doesn't happen frequently in people who take care of their health and do not expose themselves to the bad things. Essentially, it is scarring, like when you get a cut on your skin and it heals over. Cirrhosis is severe scarring that makes the liver less pliable and hinders its function. Even so, cirrhosis is not end stage liver disease (that's another scale) and the liver may very well be functioning adequately.

For nutritional information, transfat and saturated fat are to be avoided and the good fats are to be encouraged (olive, canola, soy, etc) Meats are neutral. Everyone needs protein and meats (low fat cuts) are a good source. Unless you have progressed liver disease, there are no restrictions on eating meat. Even then, doctors vary in what they advise. But, a liver that is functioning well will have no difficulty digesting meats. Check out "heart healthy" because that is exactly what is liver friendly,too, in terms of diet. Exercise and activity matter, too.

Fibrosis may progress or it may not. Research suggests that it progresses when people consume alcohol, are overweight (too much fat in the liver) and smoke but it may not progress at all in anyone else. Again, viral load has no bearing on this at all in any study. Only those who realize a durable (five years) sustained response realize the benefit of treatment long term. But not everyone who has an SVR gets benefits, just some people.

A person still has to be mindful of medical follow-up and lifestyle issues. Some people have symptoms early in the disease and some on the transplant list do not. Seems to be very individual. Aging ages the liver and just by breathing, the liver gets some degree of fibrosis. Add obesity, poor eating habits, alcohol consumption and smoking and even someone without hep will have damage to the liver and is at risk for cirrhosis. Nevertheless, the chances of arresting progression through better choices is at least equal to the outcome of the treatment in most people. Some people are going to progress no matter what they do, including treatment. We just do not have the secret to that yet but genetic research may produce some of those answers. Hepatitis C progresses very slowly when it progresses at all. That's why people can have it for 30 years or more before they have any symptoms or signs. And, they may never have any signs, which makes testing so important. 2% of those with hepatitis C will die from it. Two people out of 100 people will progress to that point.

With newer treatments coming down the pike, people with no fibrosis and who take lifestyle under control as you have, have time to wait for better treatments if they wish to do so. There is no rush to treat. For someone with more advanced damage to the liver and who may be suffering symptoms, they may wish to take a chance on the treatment, especially if they have a favorable genotype.

I agree with your doctor on the testing. Current testing has limitations and future tests may detect virus where we didn't before. That has already been happening with the new generation of testing.

Check out the website and past posts for more information.

Keep up the good work!


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