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Author Topic: What to ask the doctor?  (Read 10435 times)

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Offline JadeHa

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
What to ask the doctor?
« on: February 08, 2015, 04:06:18 pm »
Hi everyone.

My mother found out she has Hep C through a routine blood test two weeks ago.  The test was ordered through her therapist to track her medications and thankfully she found it.

So while we don't know much because it was a therapist that found it and not her primary doctor here is what we do know.

She is severely vitamin D deficient
She has type 2 diabetes (does not run in family)
And was told to take care of liver. Some number didn't look good?

Her appointment with her primary is coming up. My mom is very bad with doctors and just clams up when she sees them. What can we expect and what questions should we ask?

Thanks in advance for your replies!

Offline Mike

  • Member
  • Posts: 999
Re: What to ask the doctor?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2015, 10:05:13 pm »
Hi JadeHa,

Somethings your mom will need to ask the doctor:

What can you tell me about Hep-C?

Will you be referring me to a specialist who treats Hep-C?

What additional blood work will I need?

In general, the primary care physician will refer your mother to a physician who specializes in Hep-C, such as an infectious disease specialist, hepatologist or gastroenterologist.

The specialist will order a battery of tests, including a liver study which may include a liver imaging study, liver function blood tests and possibly a biopsy. This information is needed to determine overall liver health, the presence of liver disease, and if present, the degree of any liver damage.

In discussing treatment options, the specialist will need to know the extent of any liver damage, the viral load (number of viruses present in the blood) and genotype of the virus.

Once this information is obtained, your mother can then discuss treatment options with the specialist.

Current treats are very effective and are tailored to the individual patient..

Best wishes, Mike

Genotype 1a
Treated 2001 with PEG and RIBV
Treated in 2014 SOL+PEG+RIBV
Cured July 2014

Offline Lynn K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 4,542
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: What to ask the doctor?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2015, 10:57:15 pm »
Was she tested for hep c antibodies or the virus itself?

The antibody test only shows if you were ever exposed to the hepatitis C virus. About 25% of people are able to spontaneously clear the virus on their own. So even if you tested positive for the hepatitis C antibodies she may not be currently actively infected with hepatitis C.

The only way to know for sure is to get the hepatitis C virus test called the HCV RNA by PCR. This test will show conclusively if he is currently infected with appetite see virus. This will likely be the next test that she has done.

Best of luck to you both
Genotype 1a
1978 contracted, 1990 Dx
1995 Intron A failed
2001 Interferon Riba null response
2003 Pegintron Riba trial med null response
2008 F4 Cirrhosis Bx
2014 12 week Sov/Oly relapse
10/14 fibroscan 27 PLT 96
2014 24 weeks Harvoni 15 weeks Riba
5/4/15 EOT not detected, ALT 21, AST 20
4 week post not detected, ALT 26, AST 28
12 week post NOT DETECTED (07/27/15)
ALT 29, AST 27 PLT 92
24 week post NOT DETECTED! (10/19/15)
44 weeks (3/11/16)  fibroscan 33, PLT 111, HCV NOT DETECTED!
I AM FREE!

Offline JadeHa

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Re: What to ask the doctor?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2015, 05:01:39 pm »
Thank you for your replies! I was hoping her primary wouldn't pass her to another doctor.  That just makes it that much longer until she can get treatment.  :(. But at least we know now and not at the appointment!

She definitely has Hep C. But I will make sure she did have the test done! The psychiatrist ( I thought she saw a therapist but now I have been informed she sees a psychiatrist) said she needs to find out what strain. The psychiatrist says her Vitamin D deficiency and diabetes are a result from the hep C.

Thanks again for your time. It has helped us be more prepared for the first step!

Offline Mike

  • Member
  • Posts: 999
Re: What to ask the doctor?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2015, 05:36:28 pm »
Hi JadeHa,

The diabetes/Hep-C link has been debunked and there is no correlation between the two.

Best wishes, Mike
Genotype 1a
Treated 2001 with PEG and RIBV
Treated in 2014 SOL+PEG+RIBV
Cured July 2014

Offline Lynn K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 4,542
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: What to ask the doctor?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2015, 06:40:37 pm »
Hi Mike

Do you have a link for that? All I can find is similar to this link from HCV Advocate August 2014 article that says having Hep c is a risk factor for diabetes would really like to hear it is not a risk

http://www.hcvadvocate.org/hepatitis/factsheets_pdf/Diabetes_FS.pdf
Genotype 1a
1978 contracted, 1990 Dx
1995 Intron A failed
2001 Interferon Riba null response
2003 Pegintron Riba trial med null response
2008 F4 Cirrhosis Bx
2014 12 week Sov/Oly relapse
10/14 fibroscan 27 PLT 96
2014 24 weeks Harvoni 15 weeks Riba
5/4/15 EOT not detected, ALT 21, AST 20
4 week post not detected, ALT 26, AST 28
12 week post NOT DETECTED (07/27/15)
ALT 29, AST 27 PLT 92
24 week post NOT DETECTED! (10/19/15)
44 weeks (3/11/16)  fibroscan 33, PLT 111, HCV NOT DETECTED!
I AM FREE!

Offline Mike

  • Member
  • Posts: 999
Genotype 1a
Treated 2001 with PEG and RIBV
Treated in 2014 SOL+PEG+RIBV
Cured July 2014

Offline Lynn K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 4,542
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: What to ask the doctor?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2015, 09:20:42 pm »
Thanks brand new info from last month that is great! reading now
Genotype 1a
1978 contracted, 1990 Dx
1995 Intron A failed
2001 Interferon Riba null response
2003 Pegintron Riba trial med null response
2008 F4 Cirrhosis Bx
2014 12 week Sov/Oly relapse
10/14 fibroscan 27 PLT 96
2014 24 weeks Harvoni 15 weeks Riba
5/4/15 EOT not detected, ALT 21, AST 20
4 week post not detected, ALT 26, AST 28
12 week post NOT DETECTED (07/27/15)
ALT 29, AST 27 PLT 92
24 week post NOT DETECTED! (10/19/15)
44 weeks (3/11/16)  fibroscan 33, PLT 111, HCV NOT DETECTED!
I AM FREE!

Offline Mike

  • Member
  • Posts: 999
Re: What to ask the doctor?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2015, 10:09:44 pm »
HCV and diabetes is a topic of interest to me.

I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2000 and 1 week later I found out I also had an active Hep-C infection.

At that time, my specialist told me that the diabetes was most likely caused by HCV, as there appeared to be a correlation between the two and higher prevalence of diabetes is noted in the HCV population when compared to the general population, hence the relationship.

The early studies, however, failed to control for other factors, such as obesity, family history and so forth.

As the research progressed, the correlation became less clear - especially when weighed against the increased prevalence of type II diabetes in the general population.

What is clear is that having diabetes can complicate  liver functioning and other effects associated with HCV.

It  also appears that having diabetes and contracting HCV can increase the effects of diabetes.

It has also been established that having  concomitant HCV and diabetes can decrease the effectiveness of treatment for HCV and vice versa.

Current research, however, is not conclusive regarding the HCV link with diabetes.

Most promising for me, is that the research appears to suggest that clearing the  virus can significantly reduce the long term impact of diabetes on overall health.

Best wishes, Mike
Genotype 1a
Treated 2001 with PEG and RIBV
Treated in 2014 SOL+PEG+RIBV
Cured July 2014

 


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