feeling tired is the most common symptom of hepatitis C. It is also
the most common extrahepatic (occurring outside of the liver) condition
of hepatitis C. It is also one of the most common side effects of HCV
therapy. It can range from mild to moderate to so severe that it can
affect almost every area of life.
Fatigue can be caused by many factors besides hepatitis C. Be sure
to talk with your medical provider before jumping to a conclusion that
the cause is hepatitis C. Other factors that could be causing fatigue
could be other extrahepatic manifestations of hepatitis C (thyroid
problems, anemia, HCV treatment, depression, sleep problems, poor diet,
lack of exercise, medications, alcohol use and so on).
Self-help strategies: After
you have ruled out any other causes with your medical providers there
are many strategies to help improve your energy levels. We have an
excellent Guide to Understanding and Managing Fatigue
that can walk you through many self-help tips such as information on
improving sleep, nutrition, exercise, meditation, complementary
medicines and much more.
Severe fatigue is one of the extrahepatic manifestations that can
qualify someone for treatment. Curing hepatitis C can also cure
fatigue, though fatigue can worsen temporarily during treatment. Be
sure to talk with your medical provider about the fatigue you are
experiencing and other symptoms. Make sure to document all symptoms in
your medical records. For some people, it is hard to complain or even
talk about their symptoms. It is critical, however, to make sure that
you document your complaints. Medical records are important for
treatment and disability records.
One of the best ways to gauge
your level of energy or any other factor is to use a scale of 1 to 10
and keep a journal. Let’s say you have a wonderful day, full of
energy, and you feel like your old self. That would be a fatigue scale
of 1. Now let’s say you have a day where you are feeling sluggish but
can still work. Maybe that is a fatigue day of 4. Then there are
days when you can hardly get out of bed. Let’s say that is a 10 on the
scale of fatigue. I think you get the idea. Log it into a journal
every day. Take a copy with you to your medical provider and have them
put it in your medical records.
way to fight fatigue is to join a support group (either on-line or
in-person) and talk with others who are experiencing fatigue. Try to
remember to take care of yourself and to practice self-care tips to
keep you well and healthy.
Labels: fatigue, The Five