For people with Hepatitis C there are several phases, or stages, that we go through.
First, and usually the most traumatic phase, is when we learn we have Hepatitis C.
After that we go on that steep learning curve of finding out what having Hep C actually means and what the treatment options are.
Then there is the actual treatment, after which, hopefully, we are cured.
The final phase is healing, repair and recovery. Its all about claiming our lives back and getting healthy again.
The fantastic news about the modern Hep C cure is that once the Hep C virus is removed the liver is generally capable of a 100% recovery from the damage inflected by the Hep C virus. Good health returns if your body is given half a chance.
Once the Hep C virus is removed from your body your liver will heal profoundly (For more information on how well the liver heals please click here)
So what do we actually need to do to ensure a return to good health after Hepatitis C Treatment?
Firstly, just to give an insight into what is possible, I would like to share this email I received today from a guy in Romania who I helped get generic Hepatitis C medication a couple of years back.
At the time we made first contact he was very sick. Now, almost 2 years after his Hepatitis C treatment, he is as fit and healthy as he ever was and competing in marathon running!
Attached to this e-mail I am sending you a photo with the marathon medal that I recently obtained after having successfully finished the marathon in Vienna with a time which is usually the average time for a running marathon.
Of course I was never able to run a marathon while I still was sick. The life after HCV is wonderful and being able to achieve such results makes me feel indeed like a normal & healthy person.
This would not have been possible without your support to treat my HCV with generic medication!
Thank you very much for all your support in my journey in getting cured and thank you very much for all the work you are doing to support the sick people in getting treated!
So to give your liver the best chance of healing post-treatment there are some obvious things.
After Hep C treatment a normal healthy diet containing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is very important. Keeping the diet low in sugar and processed foods is also important.
Anything that stresses the liver should be avoided or kept to minimum. Remember that the liver is largely responsible for removing toxins and other foreign substances from the body. For example many artificial food additives and preservatives require the liver to clear them away.
Too much red meat puts stress on the liver. So red meat should be taken in small quantities. Try for quality rather than quantity when ordering a steak.
White meat, such as fowl or fish, is easier on the liver than red meat. Not saying you need to give up red meat or become a vegetarian, rather mix your diet up.
The most important thing is lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The most important thing is plenty of fresh water. But not so you are over doing it to the point you have to take a pee every half hour.
For most people around 6 to 8 glasses of fresh water daily is recommended.
There is a lot of research showing that coffee, particularly black coffee is good for the liver. Up to four cups of black coffee (without sugar) per day seems to actually promote liver health and assist with the healing of Fibrosis.
I read about the benefits of black coffee more than forty years ago when I was studying Edgar Cayce’s dietary recommendations. Up until then I had been a white coffee, with two sugars, guy. But these things are just habits and I changed to black coffee back then and enjoy it as much as I ever enjoyed a white coffee.
Here we step into murky waters where some people have strong views; some folk are totally against any alcohol consumption after Hep C.
Certainly when I had Hep C I gave up alcohol completely and after the cure I did not drink any alcohol for about 9 months to give my liver a chance to get some serious healing don.
However, my current position is that I am 65 years old and I may live another 20 years. I intend to enjoy those last 20 years. My plan is to remain fit, healthy and active. I plan to see my grandchildren grow into young adults and to enjoy an occasional glass of wine or beer with friends over a good meal.
I sincerely doubt that total abstinence will add any extra years to my life. In fact the science suggests the opposite… people who enjoy wine in moderation live longer, healthier lives that teetotalers.
But, of course, this is something you need to make up your own mind about. We are all different.
Certainly alcohol places stress on your liver and there is no doubt that too much alcohol will cause liver damage. But in small amounts it should be no problem for most people once the liver has healed. BUT… if you can not be moderate with alcohol you should just give it up
Exercise and Hepatitis C
The importance of exercise for organ health is an exciting new area of developing research.
Recent research has shown that an hour of walking every day has profound benefits for all the body’s organs particularly the liver.
It appears that there are a number of reasons for these benefits, which include improved blood circulation around the organs as well as a “massaging” effect arising from the actual motion of walking.
Another area of growing interest is the relationship between muscle tissue and organ health. Its seems that the development of new muscle tissue sends signals to the organs that also stimulate production of new cells and other beneficial reactions.
In my own experience I found that including regular muscle tissue work outs into my weekly exercise program had really profound effects.
I have never been interested in gym work or weights, more interested in yoga and Tai Chi and martial arts generally. I considered that was enough and that I was pretty fit. However when I got some information about the beneficial effects of adding, or growing, muscle tissue I thought I would give it a try and the results were a major surprise. I very quickly felt a number of improvements in my health that were obvious and profound.
So I would strongly recommend including weight or resistance training into any exercise program for people in a Hep C post-treatment situation who want to get back to 100% good health. You will be surprised what an improvement this will bring if you make the effort!
To read the rest of this blog and learn more tips on what to do after treatment, click here.
Greg’s blog is reprinted with permission, and the opinions expressed are entirely his.