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Low grade hep c infection for the past 15 years
Hello, I have been suffering what I believe is a low grade hep c infection for 15 years.
It all began after a short relationship I had with a young lady who was a chronic hep c carrier.
She did not disclose her illness to me until after our relationship ended and we had unprotected sex several times, however I believe it was after sharing my toothbrush with her on a camping trip that I first noticed hepatitis symptoms.
At first the symptoms were very acute, a constant dull ache from my liver and sharp stabbing pains from the liver if I drank alcohol.
I had a prickly heat rash and itchy sensations from my mid section.
Most notable was a twitching sensation from my liver which feels a bit like a frog jumping around inside.
I also had jaw pain seemingly from the same area around the joint.
While I have had many liver function tests to this day including a PCR test, all have been negative however to this day I cannot drink alcohol, and only since my contact with this girl, I get these symptoms even with light alcohol consumption.
1. The twitching returns after drinking, it starts immediately and lasts two to three weeks or longer depending on alcohol intake level.
2.The dull ache from my liver also lasting two to three weeks depending on intake.
3. The itchy sensations, and the rashes in the folds of skin on my stomach.
If I completely abstain, the symptoms slowly abate and I usually feel reasonably well, until I drink alcohol again.
I also get an eczema on my face which is particularly annoying and for these reasons I do not want to drink myself into sickness so that I can obtain proof of my infection.
I really really just want this BS to end so that I can enjoy my life again. I believe I have the hep c virus still active though low level so maybe I wouldn’t need a full 12 week course.
Whatever the risk I am prepared to take it if it means I can have a normal life again and enjoy a few drinks without these damned hepatitis symptoms. I have been immunised for hep b when I was very young, and tests show I’m still immune to hep b.
Can someone please help me?
It is very difficult to get HCV from sex.In order to be infected, blood from someone infected needs to enter the blood stream of another,so unless chainsaws and whips were used it is an extremely rare form of transmission.
"While I have had many liver function tests to this day including a PCR test, all have been negative"
If you had a PCR for HCV and it was negative then you" do not" have HCV. Hopefully at the same time you were tested for HBV.
Also if all your other liver function tests were normal ,as you mentioned (Alt,Ast, Biliruben,Alp,platlets and Albumin ) then it would be doubtful that anything would be going on with your liver.
Possibly you talk with your physcian further about your symptoms to ascertain what might be going on .
Diagnosed: 2001 GT1a , HCV since mid-70's.
Biopsy 2010 F1
Fibroscan and Fibrosure 2018 F2
Treated in trial 2010 with Dac/Peg/ Riba and Relapsed.
Resistance test 2017. Have Ns5a Rav Q30r/H58d enhanced from doing Dac.
Start Tx. Jan 18th/18 w/ Vosevi /Riba 12wks. plus 6 wks.Viekira Pak +Sof/Riba(From Dr Freeman @GP2U)
VL start: 1.6mill.ALT 125 AST 88
Wk. 4 Det @LLOQ <15.
VL Wk.8 UND Alt &Ast 22
Wk. 12 UND
EOT+12 >>>UND (SVR12)! ALT11 AST13
Nov6/18 SVR 24!
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From what you say you definitely do NOT have HVC, and sounds like you do not have any kind of hepatitis. You do however have some kind of bad reaction to alcohol from all your accounts.
So abstinence may be the best course for you given how you describe getting sick every time you try it. Our bodies change over time and possibly what once had no effect on you does now simply due to the effect of life on your metabolism.
That of course does not mean you need you abstain from other things that allow you to change your way of thinking and that help you feel good.
G2, infected maybe in 1971?
Diagnosed HVnon-A non-B 1980s, revised to HVC 1990's.
Treatment naive. Fibroscan & bloods all normal ranges.
Viral load 7million,
began Redemption trial4, 12-week generic Sof/Vel (Incepta) 2017. Week 4 UND, Week 12UND, SVR24
Thank-yous to my doctor for the script, to Jan at FixHepC for wrangling, and to Dr Freeman for courage.
Kia kaha e hoa ma!
Like Songbird says, it would be wise to ask your doc for an annual physical and the usual blood tests. If there is something not right in your liver then the standard liver function blood tests would normally confirm this.
All the best,
Diagnosed Jan 2015: GT3, A0+F0/F1. Fatigue + Brain-Fog.
Started Sof+Dac from fixHepC 10-Nov-2015. NO sides.
Pre-Tx: AST 82, ALT 133, Viral Load 1 900 000.
Week4: AST 47, ALT 58. VL < 15 (unquantifiable).
Week12 (EOT): AST 30, ALT 26, VL UND
Week16 (EOT+4): AST 32, ALT 28, GGT 24, VL UND
Week28 (EOT+16): AST 26, ALT 22, GGT 24, VL UND
Ever grateful to Dr James.
Relapsed somewhere after all that... Bummer!
Jan 2018: VL 63 000 (still GT3).
You seem to be following a common misconception in medicine. In med school they taught it to us in Latin as:
Post hoc ergo propter hoc
The literal translation is "after this, therefore because of this".
The reason it is taught in medicine is that it's a logical fallacy which states "Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X."
While it is true sometimes, ie I give you a medicine, you get a side effect, often it is not true. For example, Bells Palsy was thought to be caused by having a bath and being exposed to a cold draught. Doctors would ask patients "Did you have a draughty bath" and they would say "Yes". The problem was this was true for a whole lot of people so although one event seemingly followed the other, they were not related.
Anyway, you seem to relate your issues to exposure to a girl and unprotected sex. While you can certainly catch all sorts of diseases from unprotected sex, you are very unlikely to catch Hep C and if you have Hep C we can detect that very very very efficiently with PCR. If your PCR is negative then we (and you) can be confident that is not the cause, and that treatment of Hep C will have no benefit.
So while I have no doubt the problem is exactly as you state it, the cause of the problem is not. Once you can accept that, we can move on to looking for the real cause of the problem...
A complete physical examination and blood tests would be the logical starting place.