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[QUOTE=Trixie1234]Can anyone please help? I am in stage 1 with Hep C.
What type of symptoms would you say you would have at this point? Any experiences first hand OR information would be appreciated! Thank you![/QUOTE]

No symptoms at all. You have no liver damage and, at least at this point, no disease, especially if you are older than, say forty or so.

Here are the strategies I have been recommending for preserving the health of your liver and improving your chances of never having liver disease due to hepatitisC.

You can use these management strategies to get ready for treatment or to prevent progression of liver disease (with monitoring by your doctor). You can increase your odds of responding (really!) and your odds of not relapsing. No matter what descisions you make, these strategies will improve your quality of life, and possibly protect your liver from disease progression.

A complete lifestyle change and a commitment to a healthier life is required.

1. Keep moving. Any exercise is better than none, but a true cardio program on a regular (and frequent basis) is optimum. At work, take the stairs. At home, hop on a treadmill while watching TV. Begin by aiming at a total of not less than 30 minutes a day. Nothing increases energy and reduces fatigue like regular exercise.

Never sit when you can stand, never stand when you can walk. Never ride if you can get there by walking or biking. Laying around does not improve fatigue, it makes it worse.

2. Lose weight. Even a 10 percent weight loss will make huge difference. Maintaining a normal weight is more than a temporary diet. It means avoiding liver unhealthy food choices. Limit red meat, if you can, but eat quality protein and never, ever, fast. A half cup of yogurt before bed maintains stable enzyme levels, but any low fat, low calorie snack will do. Eat more fish, especially wild fish. Never save starving children by cleaning your plate. Don't eat just because it's in front of you (in restaurants in particular) Generally, a restaurant portion is twice or three times a healthy portion of food. So, take a friend and split the meal or take a doggie bag. Because restaurant meals are notorious for high fat and salt content, there is a proposal to require restaurants to provide nutrition information to patrons. Be aware that frequent restaurant meals are not like home cooking. High end restaurants are no safer in this regard than fast food outlets. Always ask for low fat/low salt options.

3 Eat better. Learn about fats and carbohydrates and commit to eating the good ones and avoiding the toxic ones. Not all are created equal. This is critical for your liver. Forever.

4 Snack sensibly. If it makes your fingers greasy, do not eat it. Choose fruit or yogurt. Avoid "fake" foods, even the so called diet ones. Go for a handful of nuts or an apple.

Forage for fiber and go with whole grain. Two thirds of anything you eat should be plants.

5. Learn to read food labels. 3 grams or less of fat. More than five ingredients? skip it.

6. No alcohol. Doctors often think that wine in moderation is good, but what is moderation? The answer often depends on what the doctor's drinking habits are.

Alcohol is a liver toxin. And alcohol is alcohol, whether it is wine or beer or vodka. Avoid it totally. You can get the same good stuff (flavinoids) that is touted in red wine from eating blueberries, raspberries, real (high cocoa content organic) chocolate, or red grape juice. Seriously. The rest is marketing.

7. Check out the B vitamins (if you have a fatty liver, especially) There is some evidence, but not conclusive evidence, that B vitamins assist the liver in processing out the fat and maintaining health. B-6 and B-12 have been specifically studied and B-12 may have some protective value for those with hepatitis C.

8. Consider a support group (in person or online) Many companies now offer healthclub discounts or walking clubs to encourage employee health. What a great way to take a break during the day: a nice walk with your co-workers, a pick up basketball game or a yoga class. I recommend a couple of online support groups (healthboards)

9. Drink lots of water. Flushing toxins requires sufficient fluid intake. Also, get enough sleep. The liver and GI system actually recover while you sleep. A liver needs its rest!

10.Do not smoke. There is nothing that mitigates or reduces the damage to your liver that smoking causes. There is no doubt about this anymore: smoking causes liver scarring called fibrosis and is STRONGLY associated with liver cancer (as is alcohol intake) In combination with a fatty liver or viral hepatitis, you have two or more liver toxic processes going on. This includes exposure to second hand smoke. We know about the damage to heart and lungs, now we have evidence that the liver is a serious risk, too. If you are going to treat, tackle smoking first for your best chance to reduce side effects and potentially increase your chance of responding. Avoid second hand smoke.

11. Educate yourself. Fatty liver was once thought to be a benign condition. Now we know it can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver failure if not managed properly. Currently, there are no prescription medications that can reduce the fat in the liver. In combination with hepatitis B/C, diabetes, obesity, and poor lifestyle choices,

12. Monitor your condition regularly. It is important to have regular check-ups with your doctor and to stay on top of any new information or new treatments that become available. In combination with proper care, these startegies can minimize progression to serious liver damage. Get vaccinated for heps A and B.

Hepatitis should be taken and managed seriously, whether or not you are symptomatic. For this reason, watch your over the counter and prescription medications. Try to take as few medications as possible. Reducing or preventing disease progression and severity is possible.


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