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Author Topic: Tested Positive For Acute Hep C  (Read 10578 times)

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Offline CasperTouLaLy

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Tested Positive For Acute Hep C
« on: June 13, 2015, 11:52:44 am »
I am one of the rare ones that got very sick with all the Hep C symptoms and was told I have Acute Hep C while I was hospitalized.  Since it so rare to start out in the acute phase, I am finding it hard to get any information on it.  Hopefully, someone on this forum will be familiar with my situation and can shed some light on it for me.

Offline Mike

  • Member
  • Posts: 999
Re: Tested Positive For Acute Hep C
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2015, 12:41:49 pm »
Acute means newly acquired and within the first 6 months of HCV exposure. Since the majority of those who contract HCV are asymptomatic during the acute, most do not know he/she has been exposed and do not seek medical treatment.

Because of this, there is little research available regarding the acute phase of HCV.

Despite this, there are some individuals who develop significant symptoms during the acute phase, including jaundice, liver inflammation, abdominal/back pain, elevated liver enzymes and so on.

I've seen research that indicates that the symptoms are due to robust response of the individuals' immune system and the body's natural defenses against the infection.  The symptoms usually resolve, and in some cases, the virus is natural cleared. However, most will develop a chronic infection and require treatment to clear the virus.

Medically, there is not much that can be done to treat liver inflammation and liver damage caused by the infection, other then ridding the body of the virus.

This is what makes the HCV so pernicious.

The good news is that there are now very effective treatments that can eradicate the virus, leading to a "cure."

Talk to your doctor about treatment options and move forward from there. Your doctor may take a "wait and see" approach and delay treatment for several months, in order to confirm a chronic infection.

In any event, hang in there. This virus can be cleared in the vast majority of those infected (90%+ cure rates).

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

Offline CasperTouLaLy

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Re: Tested Positive For Acute Hep C
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2015, 01:01:33 pm »
Thank you for the information.  I was supposed to start treatment 6 months after being diagnosed but do not have insurance and was denied medicaid.  It was my understanding that after the acute phase passed I would be in the chronic phase and the symptoms would go away.  Most days I am as sick as I was when I went to the ER and was admitted.  The only symptom that has not reoccurred is jaundice.  Other than that, I still have nausea & liver pain.  I am now having phases of feeling very hot from the chest up and breaking out in an excessive sweat.  The days I have this, it happens about every 20 minutes.  I don't know if this is b/c my liver is trying to work, thus causing my body to overheat.  Or, it if is just a symptom of HCV.

Offline KimInTheForest

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,972
  • Believe in yourself
Re: Tested Positive For Acute Hep C
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2015, 06:44:30 pm »
Hi CasperTouLaLy. I am wondering how you know when you contracted HCV? What you are describing as the "acute phase" (which would only be at outset of being infected) sounds more like the kind of flare up an HCV person would have who has had HCV in their body silently and unaware for many years.

About 20 years after I contracted HCV, I became very ill for 3 years (1991-1994) with nausea, liver pain, reflected pain in right shoulder, vertigo, joint stiffness, itchy skin, fatigue, brain fog. I often couldn't eat for days at a time. I would have to cancel work assignments at last minute. I was finally diagnosed with HCV in 1995. But I almost certainly contracted it in the early 1970s. This is a more typical way that HCV first manifests - after many years of smouldering silently in a person's body.

So just because you were recently diagnosed, that does not mean you contracted it recently. If you contracted it years ago, this would also explain why you are still experiencing these symptoms. The symptoms will come and go until you are treated and clear the virus.

It is important at this stage, while awaiting treatment, to do all you can to support your liver with diet and lifestyle changes as needed. Zero alcohol. Minimize sugar & salt. Avoid processed, packaged, canned, boxed food as much as possible. Eat healthy whole foods, prepared from scratch. Buy organic to whatever extent possible. Have an exercise routine. After suffering for 3 years, I eliminated almost all of my symptoms practically overnight (it seemed) as soon as I was diagnosed and knew what to research on the internet - liver-supporting foods, etc.

best of luck to you!
kim
Kim Goldberg (Nanaimo, BC)
1970s: Contracted HCV (genotype 3a)
2015: Cured with Harvoni + ribavirin (12 weeks)
MY STORY: https://pigsquash.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/undetectable-my-hep-c-story/

Offline Mike

  • Member
  • Posts: 999
Re: Tested Positive For Acute Hep C
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2015, 07:12:56 pm »
There are a set of patients who develop significant HCV symptoms upon initial onset of the infection (acute phase). Symptoms can include intense liver pain, significant liver inflammation, jaundice et. al., up to, and including liver failure (though that would be rare).

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

Offline KimInTheForest

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,972
  • Believe in yourself
Re: Tested Positive For Acute Hep C
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2015, 07:22:55 pm »
There are a set of patients who develop significant HCV symptoms upon initial onset of the infection (acute phase). Symptoms can include intense liver pain, significant liver inflammation, jaundice et. al., up to, and including liver failure (though that would be rare).

But would those symptoms in an acute phase last as long as this person's has, I wonder? It seems like Casper has been experiencing this for more than 6 months now if I am understanding the timeline correctly. Doesn't that sound more like a flare up of an unmanaged chronic infection? And I wonder what led the hospital or anyone to know when the infection occurred in order to diagnose this as acute.

Whatever the story, I hope you work something out Casper. Good luck to you! :)

kim
Kim Goldberg (Nanaimo, BC)
1970s: Contracted HCV (genotype 3a)
2015: Cured with Harvoni + ribavirin (12 weeks)
MY STORY: https://pigsquash.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/undetectable-my-hep-c-story/

Offline Mike

  • Member
  • Posts: 999
Re: Tested Positive For Acute Hep C
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2015, 07:32:42 pm »
It depends on how severe the symptoms are (actually, the initial attack on the liver).

As far as the diagnosis, the risk factors are assessed. If a person had no previous risk factors other then becoming an IV drug user within the last year, an acute infection/diagnosis would be easy to rendered.

Most folks have a good idea how they were infected (I know exactly when and how I contracted HCV). Research shows 30% may not know (or may not admit to risk behaviors), meaning 70% of folks have a pretty good idea how they contracted HCV.

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

 


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