Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
192 Doctors are Online

Cirrhosis with Hepatitis C infection - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 13-Jan-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Liver and Gall Bladder
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1764 Questions

Doctor :   hi
Doctor :  
how can i help you?
User :   Hello
User :   I'm a 32 year old female who has been diagnosed with Hep C a few months back even though I dont do drugs, drink, gotten a tattoo or had a blood transfusion
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :  
It is an infectious disease affecting the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus
Doctor :  
which is often asymptomatic
User :   My doctor tells me that my blood tests looks good and that my liver functions very well but after undergoing a biopsi, they show that I have cirrosis
Doctor :  
ok
User :   How is that possible?
Doctor :  
please provide your age, location, and occupation
Doctor :   it is one of the causes for cirrhosis of liver
User :   32, live in Sweden and I'm a student
Doctor :  
may i ask you how the diagnosis of Hepatitis C was confirmed for you?
User :   what do you mean, by blood tests
Doctor :  
i mean to ask was any serological test done on your blood sample that confirmed it?

Doctor :  
this usually spreads with blood to blood contact
Doctor :   hi
Doctor :  
are you back?
User :   yes
User :   I have never gotten a blood transfusion
User :   I dont drink, never!!!
Doctor :  
i was telling you about the various ways of this spreading
User :   And my doctor says that even with treatment I have a 30% shot of fighting this virus
User :   virus
Doctor :  
ok
Doctor :  
there is chance that you would have got it through some injection prick sometime in your life,
User :   I'm very scared and confused. What can I do????
Doctor :  
and the virus would have remained asymptomatic
User :   I understand
Doctor :  
causing gradual liver damage, leading to cirrhosis
Doctor :  
i will expain you the various treatment options
User :   ok
Doctor :  
1. antiviral drugs like ribavirin
Doctor :  
is known to cure this
Doctor :  
and the cure rates vary from
Doctor :  
50-75%
User :   ok
User :   please go on
Doctor :  
2. lifestyle changes to avoid further damage to liver: Doctor :  
like stopping alcohol consumption and smoking
Doctor :  
3.
Doctor :  
3. there are combine antiviral drugs that have better cure rates, but have lot of side effects too
Doctor :  
they are PEG-Intron combined with ribavirin
Doctor :  
4. there are alternative treatments also that aim to maintain funtional status of liver
Doctor :  
slowing the course of the disease to retain quality of life.
User :   which are, no: 4
Doctor :  
however they do not treat the virus infection
Doctor :  
so what you can do is
User :   yes
Doctor :  
start the treatment for this
Doctor :  
with the antiviral drugs
Doctor :  
ask your doctor if he can prescribe the combinations drugs
User :   which are?
Doctor :  
and also have good diet to support liver funtion
Doctor :  
drugs include Ribavirin and PEg-Intron, which are o=not OTC, and wil require prescription by a
User :   I am on a healthy diet and have shed over 20 kg the past 4 months
Doctor :  
registered medical practioner
Doctor :  
ok
Doctor :  
you can continue the diet, but please be sure to take enough of vitamins and minerals
Doctor :  
they will support the liver
User :   ok. Let me ask you this, considering the fact that I'm 32 and have cirrhosis which can only detoriate, do you think a liver transplat is neccassary in the future??
Doctor :  
A person with cirrhosis should not eat raw shellfish, which can contain a bacterium that causes serious infection
Doctor :  
in case the liver functions do detiorate, and you develop ascites and liver failure
Doctor :  
you can control the damage to liver
Doctor :  
by following a healthy diet
Doctor :  
avoiding alcohol
Doctor :  
and liver damaging drugs and food
Doctor :  
A liver transplant is considered when complications cannot be controlled by treatment.
Doctor :  
have you followed what i have said?
User :   I believe so. Maintain a healty diet with vitamins, stay away from alcohol, let the doctor prescribe the necassary medicine and avoid shellfish???
Doctor :  
coffee assissts in halting liver damage
User :   so coffee is a yes or a no, just to be sure???
Doctor :  
drinking about 3 cups of coffee a day, has been found to stop disease progression by 53%
Doctor :  
so you will benefit from drinking cofe
Doctor :  
in controlling the liver damage
Doctor :  
Is there any thing else I can help you with?
User :   Black coffee or with milk, sorry but I want to be sure. Can the cirrohsis develop into cancer by time.
Doctor :   you can take either of them
Doctor :  
black coffee would be better though
User :   Well I'm afraid that with time the condition can develop into cancer
Doctor :  
cirrhosis developing into cancer happens in advanced stages, when the damage continues, and there is no halt
User :   yes I understand but a couple a months ago my doctor noticed the Hep C, now after the biopsi they say I have cirrhosis, so isnt it developing very fast????
Doctor :  
and it generally happens with continued alcohol intake, poor diet and hepatotoxic drug use over the time
Doctor :  
see the Hepatitis C virus would have been there for a long time, it is just diagnosed now
Doctor :  
and which means that the liver damage too has happened over a period of time
Doctor :  
and not short time
Doctor :  
Not all patients with hepatitis C have an increased risk of cancer.
User :   Then why is my blood work good if the condition of my liver is not.???
User :   Iä
Doctor :  
this means that you liver is still not got into advanced cirrhosis and damage.
Doctor :  
what was the report of your liver function tests?
Doctor :  
you can also do a test called 'alphafetoprotien test' which will determine the risk of you developing liver cancer as it is a screening test
Doctor :  
are you there?
User :   The doctor told me that my liver is functioning very good. That I should start with treatment of 48 weeks
Doctor :  
yes
Doctor :  
you should
Doctor :  
to avoid further damage
Doctor :  
and as your liver is in good condition
User :   ok
Doctor :  
the chances are that if you do develop
Doctor :  
liver cancer
Doctor :  
it will be very late in life
Doctor :  
you have to maintain
Doctor :  
good nutrition
Doctor :  
avoid drinks
User :   The doctor said that I have a 30% chance and that I should be prepared for a though patch in my life
Doctor :  
and also be very very careful of taking any medications that wil damage liver
User :   what medications
User :   should i avoid
Doctor :  
you can always mention to any doctor before he prescribes, not to prescribe any drug which might injure liver
Doctor :   i will tell you very simple equation
User :   ok.
Doctor :  
if you have acute hepatitis, you have 15% chance of developing chronic hepatitis
Doctor :  
and if you have acute hepatitis not treated , there are 25% chances to develop chronic hepatitis
Doctor :  
and not all develop into cirrohis
Doctor :  
and not all cirrhosis develops into cancer, there is a time delay
Doctor :  
and in your case you should be happy
Doctor :  
that liver functions are good
Doctor :  
which is a very good sign
Doctor :  
to halt and stop further liver damage
User :   yes but she has said that I do have cirrohis. What is my outlook ?
Doctor :  
just start with the treatment with the antiviral drugs
Doctor :  
and continue with good nutrition, and vitamin supllement
Doctor :  
be very careful not to get prescribed any liver damaging drugs
Doctor :  
avoid all kinds of OTC drugs from now on
User :   You have stilled my worries. My doctor said that I should not take vitamin supplements?
User :   OTC DRUGS?
Doctor :  
OTC: Over the counter drugs
Doctor :  
Vitamin deficiencies are very common in the bodies of people with cirrhosis because the liver is the organ responsible for converting vitamins into a usable form within the body; a malfunctioning liver affects the synthesis and metabolism of vitamins.
User :   OK. How about Levaxin for thyroid
Doctor :   To protect the liver from damage, supplements such as choline and methionine (amino acid) are strongly suggested for use by patients with cirrhosis of the liver.
Doctor :   are you taking levoxine?
User :   yes
Doctor :  
The liver also deals with all dietary fats and is the site of storage for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E, till proper liver function is regained, supplements of these vitamins must also be included in a daily or regular basis.
User :   should i stop
User :   taking them?
Doctor :   in cirrhosi
Doctor :  
of liver
Doctor :  
there is reduced conversion of thyroxine in the peripheral blood
Doctor :  
for action
Doctor :  
so do not stop them
Doctor :  
continue to take
Doctor :  
and ask your physician to adjust the dose of levoxine.
User :   So do you think I have a good outlook. what vitamins should I take?
Doctor :  
yes you do as your liver functions are normal
User :   is there any chance that they've messed up with the results, should I get a second opinion?
Doctor :  
you should take multivitamin with vit A, D, E, b-complex, cholinem methionine
Doctor :  
for your satisfaction yes, you can take a second opinion about these, now that you know more about your condition
Doctor :  
Is there any thing else I can help you with?
Doctor :   Please fill the feedback form say done when done.

User :   Thank you very much doctor for your time and for all your good advice. I feel a lot better. Have a great day and take care.
Doctor :   Thanks for consulting HealthcareMagic. Bye for now. Please chat with our doctors 24/7 for medical queries. Please refer your friends to our service.
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Drug/Medication
Medical Topics
© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor