Living with Hepatitis
- A diagnosed hepatitis infection is no reason to panic: even an infection with chronic hepatitis allows a largely normal life.
- An acute infection often runs without symptoms, but flu-like symptoms and yellowing of the eyes and skin can occur.
- A chronic hepatitis C infection is often accompanied by severe fatigue, and pain in the limbs and joints, as well as pain and pressure in the right upper abdomen can also occur.
- Discuss treatment options with your doctor: There are highly effective therapies available today that control the virus (hepatitis B) or bring it to a cure within a few weeks (hepatitis C).
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis A or B. An additional infection with one of these hepatitis viruses can further damage the liver.
- In the case of an infection with hepatitis A or B, vaccination protects the environment from infection.
Getting diagnosed with hepatitis is no reason to panic. As long as the illness has not progressed, you can lead a normal life. But it is important that you know as much as possible about the disease. Get advice on treatment possibilities and on how you can protect yourself from secondary diseases and protect your environment against contagion.
An acute hepatitis infection often passes unnoticed. Sometimes the following complaints are noted: It feels like the start of the flu, you may feel tired, have a headache and a temperature. Feeling nauseous is also a common symptom. Constipation, diarrhoea or flatulence can follow. Sometimes the eyes and the skin turn a yellow colour. The symptoms usually go away after a few weeks. Hepatitis B and C infections can become chronic. Fatigue is a common symptom of a chronic hepatitis. Hepatitis C infection can also cause concentration difficulties, pain in limbs and joints, and pain or pressure in the right upper abdomen.
There are only very few restrictions in everyday life. Everything can be eaten, but alcohol should be avoided as much as possible. There are no impediments at work, in leisure activities or when travelling. Physical activities and sport are recommended. You can kiss and have sex as long as you keep some rules in mind, which you should discuss with your doctor. Hepatitis A patients must be aware that their excrements are contagious and, to protect the people around them, adhere to strict hygiene measures on the toilet and always carefully wash their hands. Sexual partners and family members of hepatitis B patients should be vaccinated. Pregnancy is possible, but you should discuss the necessary precautions with your doctor.
It is also recommended that you have regular check-ups with your doctor to prevent further complications. Get vaccinated against hepatitis A or B if you do not already have a vaccination. An additional infection with one of these hepatitis viruses can further damage the liver.
- SHCV Swiss Hepatitis C Association
Swiss Association for Liver Patients