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Author Topic: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni  (Read 12691 times)

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Offline Baxter

  • Member
  • Posts: 87
Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« on: March 23, 2016, 09:07:09 pm »
I tend to work out a lot, doing a lot of hiking in the mountains - 3-5 times a week, usually for an hour or so a day, sometimes several hours. In my neck of the woods, that's a workout. They say Eskimos have 17 words for "snow;" where I live, they don't even have a word for "flat." They actually snip it out of the dictionaries with little pairs of scissors, so as not to confuse the kids.

So, I started Harvoni today, and I'm wondering if anyone else has any insights into whether Harvoni has an impact on moderate to vigorous physical exercise? My doctor wasn't much help, because he says very few of his patients express an interest in exercise. He gave me some vague answers that basically came down to "exercise as much as you want, but don't overdo it." Which is really no answer at all.

I know that exercise helps reduce fibrosis and stimulates the immune system, not to mention keeps the body fat down, but at the same time I'm worried about overtaxing myself and interfering with the action of the medications. Anybody else have any advice or personal experiences in this area?
Gen 1a
Inf. '85
Dx '98
'98 biopsy - Grade 2, Stage 2, VL 7 mil
'01 biopsy - Grade 1, Stage 1, VL 1.5 mil
'08 biopsy - Grade 1, Stage 1, VL 3.5 mil
'12 biopsy - Grade 1, Stage 1, VL 3.5 mil
'16 Fibrosure - Grade I, Stage 3, VL 6.4 mil and 4.8 mil
4/23/16 - ALT 89, AST 50, pltlts 120k. Started 12 wks Harvoni
4/31/16 - ALT 30, AST 21, pltlts 125k
4/14/16 - ALT 25, AST 16, pltlts 126k, VL 69
5/11/16 - ALT 28, AST 21, pltlts 140k,VL <15
6/7/16 -EOT, UNDETECTED!
9/7/16 - cured. Low Stage 2 fibrosis

Offline gnatcatcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 09:18:02 pm »
Because Harvoni gave me lots of extra energy, I exercised even more while on it than is my norm. Given that I reached SVR12 and now SVR24, that wasn't a problem. An N of 1 is hardly a scientific answer, but I do recall others on the HEP Forums advocating exercise, and I don't recall anyone saying exercise was detrimental.
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

Offline Baxter

  • Member
  • Posts: 87
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 09:25:07 pm »
Thanks... I think part of the problem is that I live in a part of the country where most people seem to think exercise is to be avoided at all costs, unless it's walking from the car into the gas station to get a package of Twinkies and a carton of cigarettes. Most of the professionals in my health care network seem to find it odd that anyone's even asking, and don't seem to have a lot of answers about Harvoni and exercise. My inclination is to just go out and hammer away at it, but if there's a reason I shouldn't, it's best to find out early.
Gen 1a
Inf. '85
Dx '98
'98 biopsy - Grade 2, Stage 2, VL 7 mil
'01 biopsy - Grade 1, Stage 1, VL 1.5 mil
'08 biopsy - Grade 1, Stage 1, VL 3.5 mil
'12 biopsy - Grade 1, Stage 1, VL 3.5 mil
'16 Fibrosure - Grade I, Stage 3, VL 6.4 mil and 4.8 mil
4/23/16 - ALT 89, AST 50, pltlts 120k. Started 12 wks Harvoni
4/31/16 - ALT 30, AST 21, pltlts 125k
4/14/16 - ALT 25, AST 16, pltlts 126k, VL 69
5/11/16 - ALT 28, AST 21, pltlts 140k,VL <15
6/7/16 -EOT, UNDETECTED!
9/7/16 - cured. Low Stage 2 fibrosis

Offline KimInTheForest

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,972
  • Believe in yourself
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 09:49:05 pm »
I think exercise is always beneficial to health. I do recall a small percentage of people posting here on the forums who commented that their blood pressure increased while on Harvoni - often by as much as 30 points - and then went back to their normal level when treatment ended. So if you happen to be experiencing high blood pressure while on treatment, that might cast the "vigorous exercise" question in a different light.

kim
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 11:37:19 pm by KimInTheForest »
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 Lynn K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 4,543
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2016, 11:33:37 pm »
My best suggestion is listen to your body if you are feeling really over taxed ease back a bit but I really don't expect you will have any problems. As Kim said some have had high blood pressure concerns but otherwise go for it!
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 Baxter

  • Member
  • Posts: 87
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2016, 12:57:41 am »
Thanks, guys. I think I'm pretty fortunate, because usually if a drug has any possibility of a negative side affect - even just a 1% chance - I'm going to be that 1 guy. I'm not ruling out the possibility that I may still have some sides, of course, because I'm not even a full day in, but if the first day has gone this well, I don't think it's likely they will get bad enough to keep me from being active.

When I was first diagnosed, I was very ill, with grade 2 inflammation and stage 2 fibrosis, very symptomatic, and in a downward spiral. I made major lifestyle changes immediately that turned grade 2 stage 2 into grade 1 stage 1 within a couple of years and drastically reduced my symptoms, and exercise was a huge part of that process.  Going into the treatment, I felt very strongly that regular, serious but sensible exercise was going to be crucial to maximizing my chances of making the Harvoni work. I'd have hated to have had to give that up, and now it looks as though I won't have to.

I could have gotten in a good workout today, but held off because it was the first day and I wanted to gauge the effects as objectively as possible. Tomorrow, though, I'm going to be out there hitting it. Feel really comfortable about this at this point.
Gen 1a
Inf. '85
Dx '98
'98 biopsy - Grade 2, Stage 2, VL 7 mil
'01 biopsy - Grade 1, Stage 1, VL 1.5 mil
'08 biopsy - Grade 1, Stage 1, VL 3.5 mil
'12 biopsy - Grade 1, Stage 1, VL 3.5 mil
'16 Fibrosure - Grade I, Stage 3, VL 6.4 mil and 4.8 mil
4/23/16 - ALT 89, AST 50, pltlts 120k. Started 12 wks Harvoni
4/31/16 - ALT 30, AST 21, pltlts 125k
4/14/16 - ALT 25, AST 16, pltlts 126k, VL 69
5/11/16 - ALT 28, AST 21, pltlts 140k,VL <15
6/7/16 -EOT, UNDETECTED!
9/7/16 - cured. Low Stage 2 fibrosis

Offline Philadelphia

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 1,157
  • It only looks like I know what I'm doing
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2016, 04:10:41 am »
I wouldn't say I exercised vigorously, but I walked 3km every morning, some mornings faster than others. Half uphill, half downhill, no flat. I was anaemic from bilirubin, and I found that had an effect, but I still did it, just ratcheted it back on crappy low haemoglobin days.

I think Lynn's advice is good. Your body will tell you what to do and how hard to push, all you have to do is listen.

Good luck!
CURED SVR24  Class of 2015
Wk 12 post EOT 30.11.15: ALT 14 AST 22 GGT 22 VL UND
Week 19 07.08.15: ALT 17 AST 23 GGT 25
Week 12 18.06.15: ALT 21 AST 23 GGT 28
Week 8 25.05.15: ALT 23 AST 27 GGT 30 VL UND
Week 4 20.04.14: ALT 30 AST 36 VL 40
Treatment start 23.03.15: ALT 137 AST 185 VL 342,600
Cirrhosis Child-Pugh A, Genotype 1a - Viekira Pak + riba 24 weeks
Total failure interferon/ribavirin/boceprovir Mar 2013
https://www.hepmag.com/blogger/grace-campbell

Offline malou

  • Member
  • Posts: 57
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2016, 11:53:47 pm »
Baxter, I started skiing this year, after a 15 year hiatus, and swimming a mile every other day.  6 days a week, either skiing, swimming or hiking.  I felt better than I have in a very long, long time...   Water though, is still essential.  ML
HCV 1996- Work Exposure ER nurse
GT 1a
Non-responder to Interferon in 1997
ALT 73 AST 21 F1-2
Applied to Insurance for Harvoni 12-15
Denied 12-3-15  Told I would never qualify for Harvoni because I was not 'ill'.
Started Twinvir (Bengladesh Harvoni) on 1/1/16

After 4 weeks ALT 23, AST 15, HCV-RNA UNDETECTED
After 8 weeks:AST 23, AST 11, HCV RNA UNDETECTED
6 weeks post treatment, undetected.

Offline Flaco

  • Member
  • Posts: 56
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2016, 10:03:48 am »
I tend to work out a lot, doing a lot of hiking in the mountains... They say Eskimos have 17 words for "snow;" where I live, they don't even have a word for "flat." They actually snip it out of the dictionaries with little pairs of scissors, so as not to confuse the kids.
Haw! ;D
I stand with Kim on this issue. Due to weakness and fatigue I'm slowly getting back into exercising. Besides moderating the heart rate and blood pressure, it also helps tremendously with my blood sugar control; in fact it's the best thing I've found for that, bar none.
Exercise --> better health. Ask anyone. Do what you can but don't overdo is where I hear the smart money is.
Man, you're living in God's country.
Best Regards,
Jack

Diag 2001
Failed PEG-int/Riba 2002, 48 wks.
2015-16:
F4 compensated
VL 14.7 million
GT 1A
Alkaline Phosphatase(37-127 U/L): 12/23/15 216; 1/14/16 152; 1/29/16 103; 3/18/16 68; 4/1/16 70
SGPT (ALT) (15-78 U/L) 12/23/15 862; 1/15/16 753; 1/29/16 518; 3/18/16 48; 4/1/16 28
SGOT (AST) (9-44 U/L) 12/23/15 283; 1/15/16 226; 1/29/16 165; 3/18/16 24; 4/1/16 19
Start Harv 24 wks. 3/4/16
Undetected 2 weeks into Tx
Liver&metabolic nos. steadily improving since start TX
EOT 8/18/16

Offline kimlav

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2016, 12:09:20 pm »
Hi everyone,

This will be my coming out post as I have been lurking for quite some time.  Thank you to everyone on this forum. You have helped me immensely.

I am a 52 year old female who completed 8 weeks of Harvoni on March 16. I feel guilty saying it but it was a walk in the park and I feel fine now as I wait for my EOT results. I was too healthy to qualify for Harvoni in Saskatchewan so I had to pay 22 k (thank you credit cards and low interest rates) to get treated. I waited for a drug like Harvoni since learning I had hcv in 1999. There was no way I was going to treat with interferon when I had no symptoms and could run (5 half marathons and 1 full since the diagnosis) for a 30% chance of success. I was worried I would be too sick to exercise since I was a little obsessed at that time.

In any event, I had a few symptoms on Harvoni which I took at 9:00 am every morning such as bloating and weight gain of about 5 lbs which is now mostly gone. I drank a lot of water and other than the that, felt great throughout. Maybe I had a bit of brain fog like putting the left contact in the right eye etc.

As for exercise, I walked 4 or 5 km many days, ran 6 km on my treadmill several times, lifted weights and did yoga. I didn't exercise as strenuously as I normally would have, but nonetheless, got lots of exercise in.

I did have slightly elevated blood pressure when I went for a 6 week checkup but it was on the high end of normal the nurse said. I haven't had it checked again.

So now I wait for results and hope for the best.

"Kim in the Boreal"
geno 1a
vl 657,000
tx naive
Never gave to my 2 kids despite breastfeeding etc though I lived in mortal terror for 10 years before learning they don't even have the antibodies.
No liver damage just the weight and guilt and shame, the hiding, telling no family - none - except my kids
52 year old female
Geno 1a
Contracted in the 80's
Tx naive
vl 657,000 in Nov/15
No liver damage
ALT prior to tx: 107, 91 - 41 at 2 wks, 38 at 4 wks
AST prior to tx: 59,72 - 45 at 2 wks, 37 at 4 wks
started 8 wks Harvoni on Jan 21/16
EOT vl <12 detected
4.5 wk EOT vl - target not detected! RNA Not detected!
12 wk EOT vl - target not detected! (Will never get tired of typing that)
24 wk EOT vl -  not detected

Offline malou

  • Member
  • Posts: 57
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2016, 12:23:06 pm »
Wow Kim, you rock!  I have a bad knee and stopped running a few years ago.  Thank you for the ps about the kids, I have someone concerned about that very thing, I'll make sure she reads your post.  ML. Btw, I'll be 65 in June.  ML
HCV 1996- Work Exposure ER nurse
GT 1a
Non-responder to Interferon in 1997
ALT 73 AST 21 F1-2
Applied to Insurance for Harvoni 12-15
Denied 12-3-15  Told I would never qualify for Harvoni because I was not 'ill'.
Started Twinvir (Bengladesh Harvoni) on 1/1/16

After 4 weeks ALT 23, AST 15, HCV-RNA UNDETECTED
After 8 weeks:AST 23, AST 11, HCV RNA UNDETECTED
6 weeks post treatment, undetected.

Offline dragonslayer

  • Member
  • Posts: 873
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2016, 03:59:48 pm »
Congrats, Kim.. Where'd you get treated, and how'd you get it for $22k?
Paul

DX 2008
Started Harvoni 11/26/14 for 8 wks
Completed 8 wks Harvoni 01/20/15
EOT RNA Quant result:  Detected 29
7.5 wk post tx: Detected < LLOQ(12)
11 wk post tx: UNDETECTED SVR12
24 wk post tx: UNDETECTED SVR24; AST 26; ALT 22; ALP 73
48 wk post tx: UNDETECTED SVR48; AST 18; ALT 18; ALP 70
GT 1a
vl 2.4mil
2008 bpx: Stage&Grade 0
2013 bpx: Stage&Grade: 0-1
IL28B: TT
likely infected early '70s

Offline MaryC

  • Member
  • Posts: 117
  • Life is not a sprint; it's a marathon.
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2016, 04:26:36 pm »
Hi Baxter,

I was tx'd with Sovaldi + Daklinza for 12weeks and didn't encounter any issues with exercise though I must admit I did cut back a bit on my running and hiking (I'm a fellow 'peak bagger' also) just to give my body a better fighting chance to slay this nasty virus.  Since EOT, however, I have resumed more intense and vigorous exercise.  I did experience an elevation in my AST at my 12 week EOT blood draw.  My hepatology team thought the elevation was d/t muscle breakdown from some long, intense runs (I'm training for another marathon), but I stressed for several days until my viral load came back (still negative thank God!).  I would agree with others in that you should let your body guide you.  Exercise is very good for you, but you  may want to be careful not to overdo and stress your body and immune system. 

Kim...so glad to hear that you were able to get tx at what sounds like an extremely reasonable cost.  Great to hear you were able to stay active during your treatment as well.  Keep up the good work...I'm sure you have several more half marathons and possibly marathons in your future.   :)

Mary
GT 3a
Dx'd 4/15 not known when contracted
Labs 7/15:
-VL 537,000
-AST 32
-ALT 41
-Fibrosis score 0.46 (F1-F2)
Started tx 9/17/2015 with Daklinza + Sovaldi
6/6/16: 24 week EOT SVR!  Cured!

Offline Philadelphia

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 1,157
  • It only looks like I know what I'm doing
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2016, 05:15:35 pm »
All the best for svr12 Kim! Malou, my youngest daughter was born while I had HCV. I had no idea I was sick so didn't get to worry for years. She's fine also. The risk of vertical transmission like that is very low.
CURED SVR24  Class of 2015
Wk 12 post EOT 30.11.15: ALT 14 AST 22 GGT 22 VL UND
Week 19 07.08.15: ALT 17 AST 23 GGT 25
Week 12 18.06.15: ALT 21 AST 23 GGT 28
Week 8 25.05.15: ALT 23 AST 27 GGT 30 VL UND
Week 4 20.04.14: ALT 30 AST 36 VL 40
Treatment start 23.03.15: ALT 137 AST 185 VL 342,600
Cirrhosis Child-Pugh A, Genotype 1a - Viekira Pak + riba 24 weeks
Total failure interferon/ribavirin/boceprovir Mar 2013
https://www.hepmag.com/blogger/grace-campbell

Offline Baxter

  • Member
  • Posts: 87
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2016, 05:33:00 pm »
Haw! ;D
I stand with Kim on this issue. Due to weakness and fatigue I'm slowly getting back into exercising. Besides moderating the heart rate and blood pressure, it also helps tremendously with my blood sugar control; in fact it's the best thing I've found for that, bar none.
Exercise --> better health. Ask anyone. Do what you can but don't overdo is where I hear the smart money is.
Man, you're living in God's country.

Oh, I wish that were so. Unfortunately, they're not that kind of mountains. I hate it here, but at least the verticality of the terrain makes for good workouts. A 3 or 4 mile hike here beats a 10 mile hike on the prairies any day, which really saves time, and also leads to better cardio health IMO.
Gen 1a
Inf. '85
Dx '98
'98 biopsy - Grade 2, Stage 2, VL 7 mil
'01 biopsy - Grade 1, Stage 1, VL 1.5 mil
'08 biopsy - Grade 1, Stage 1, VL 3.5 mil
'12 biopsy - Grade 1, Stage 1, VL 3.5 mil
'16 Fibrosure - Grade I, Stage 3, VL 6.4 mil and 4.8 mil
4/23/16 - ALT 89, AST 50, pltlts 120k. Started 12 wks Harvoni
4/31/16 - ALT 30, AST 21, pltlts 125k
4/14/16 - ALT 25, AST 16, pltlts 126k, VL 69
5/11/16 - ALT 28, AST 21, pltlts 140k,VL <15
6/7/16 -EOT, UNDETECTED!
9/7/16 - cured. Low Stage 2 fibrosis

Offline kimlav

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Vigorous Exercise and Harvoni
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2016, 09:21:19 am »
Hi Paul,

When I learned I was "too healthy", my nurse gave me the phone numbers for Gilead and Abbvie (sp) and they were given my number as well. I negotiated with them both but I really wanted the Harvoni as I did not want the Ribavarin in Holkira Pack that I would have to have because I am 1a. There had been a precedent setting case in the news where a Sask woman paid 23k for Harvoni and I told Gilead that I would pay that much. At first, they wanted 30k but reconsidered after I told them of the great mental anxiety hep c had caused me etc etc.

Kim
52 year old female
Geno 1a
Contracted in the 80's
Tx naive
vl 657,000 in Nov/15
No liver damage
ALT prior to tx: 107, 91 - 41 at 2 wks, 38 at 4 wks
AST prior to tx: 59,72 - 45 at 2 wks, 37 at 4 wks
started 8 wks Harvoni on Jan 21/16
EOT vl <12 detected
4.5 wk EOT vl - target not detected! RNA Not detected!
12 wk EOT vl - target not detected! (Will never get tired of typing that)
24 wk EOT vl -  not detected

 


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