If you are worried that you may have been exposed to hepatitis C, the uncertainty can be more stressful than actually knowing you have the virus itself. If you have been unwell, taking a test will eliminate hepatitis C as a possible cause. If you do receive a positive result it can also explain your symptoms. Knowing why you feel the way you do can be a big relief. And once you do know, there is a range of options available for you to address the disease.
Taking responsibility for your health
Although hepatitis C is a serious health issue, treatment is now available. In a significant number of cases it can clear the virus. Treatment can also slow down the disease’s progression. Hepatitis C is a progressive illness and the sooner you know you have it, the sooner you can take action. And the sooner you take action the more success you can have in alleviating symptoms, slowing progression or even clearing the virus.
Once you have received a diagnosis you will be referred to a specialist experienced in hepatitis C. This means that your condition will be monitored closely and your treatment options considered. It will also enable you to ask important questions, gain further information and make choices about how you can best manage your condition and any physical or mental symptoms you may be experiencing.
Simple lifestyle changes such as reducing your alcohol intake, cutting down on smoking and improving your diet can make a significant difference to your health. See caring for yourself.
Knowing about your condition will enable you to take more control over your life in general. This is very important for your psychological health. You may now feel more able to make plans for both the short and long-term future.
If your test result is positive, you can take appropriate measures to ensure that you do not transmit the virus to others. See transmission prevention