Taking Action

How Can I Best Prepare for Treatment?

There are a number of things you can do to improve your health and increase your chances of being able to take your medications as prescribed:

  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.  If you cannot quit, seek help.
  • Talk to your doctor about getting the Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines.
  • Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night and rest when tired.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat healthy meals: Strive for a diet low in fat and high in fiber.  Include fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid trans fatty acids and saturated fats.
  • Avoid dietary supplements that may harm the liver, such as iron or vitamin A, kava, and valerian.  Take only the medications recommended by your doctor.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day.
  • Exercise: Be as physically active as possible on a regular basis, balancing rest and activity.
  • Avoid or reduce stress.  Some people find meditation, prayer, or simply a quiet walk to be helpful.
  • Engage in activities that give you pleasure and make you laugh.
  • Discuss your feelings with family and close friends.
  • Join a Hepatitis C support group.

In addition, it’s important to become an effective healthcare consumer and advocate for yourself.  You can do this by:

  • Learning all you can about your disease and its treatment.  Seek information from Hepatitis C related organizations.
  • Getting all your medical and insurance information organized in one place.  This should include:
    • Recent test results
    • Important doctor’s notes from your medical record
    • A log with dates and results of surgeries or major procedures
    • A list of all the medications you’re taking
    • Your immunization records
    • A list of any allergies to food, medications, latex, etc.
    • Upcoming appointments and reminders for required lab work
    • Contact information for all your healthcare providers
    • Health insurance information
    • Emergency contact numbers