Hepatitis C affects the liver, the largest internal organ with many important functions. Here are the top 10 ways for you to stay healthy:
Protect yourself from hepatitis A and B with the hepatitis A and B vaccines. Getting infected with hepatitis A or B is especially harmful for people already infected with hepatitis C.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Eat a healthy and balanced diet with a lot of vegetables and fruits. Try to stay away from too much salt, sugar and fat – and drink plenty of water.
Exercise And Get Enough Rest
Exercising and getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night will help you stay healthy.
Talk To Your Doctor
Talk to your doctor about your medications. Some over the counter drugs, including Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Motrin (ibuprofen), can be damaging to the liver – and many common opioid pain meds (like Vicodin and Percocet) contain them. If you regularly take pain medications or herbal supplements, let your provider know you have hepatitis C so he/she can help you make treatment choices that protect your liver’s health.
Get Regular Checkups
It’s important to have a primary health care provider for regular check-ups. Make sure to tell your doctor about any problems or symptoms you have.
Alcohol is damaging to the liver and speeds the progression of hepatitis C related disease. Avoiding alcohol is an important step to protect your liver.
Avoid Recreational Drugs
Drug use is damaging to the liver. If you need to quit using drugs or alcohol, search for Substance Abuse Services.
Never Share Drug Supplies
Sharing drug equipment puts you at risk for spreading or getting hepatitis C and B or HIV. If you inject drugs, always use sterile needles, syringes and preparation equipment for each injection. And if you snort drugs, do not share straws.
Tattoos And Piercings
If you are getting a tattoo or piercing, go to a licensed business. Getting a nonprofessional tattoo or piercing can put you at risk for spreading or getting hepatitis C and B or HIV.
Practice Safe Sex
Although less common, hepatitis C can be spread through sexual contact. Use condoms to prevent spreading or getting hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted infections such as hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia.
City of Columbus Public Health • Hepatitis C Support Project/HCV Advocate, by Alan Franciscus • https://www.immunize.org/