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Fight Hep C Fatigue

Try these tips to stop the energy drain

The research isn’t clear about whether the hepatitis C virus causes fatigue. But if you have cirrhosis, you’re more likely to get tired. And interferon, a common part of some therapy, can sap your energy, too.

The good news: This is temporary. Once you’ve completed treatment and are cured, your fatigue will end. Meanwhile, if you’re having trouble functioning because you’re too tired, talk to your doctor about other treatment options. Some newer medications have shorter treatment periods, so you don’t have to deal with side effects for so long.

Note, too, that you could be suffering from depression, like anyone with a long-term illness. You may be anxious or sad about the changes you’ve had to make or the way your medications make you feel. Talk to your doctor about how you’re feeling. He may prescribe an antidepressant or help you find a therapist or support group.

Give these six fatigue stoppers a try:

-Exercise. When you’re already tired, a workout may sound like the last thing you want to do, but physical activity can actually give you energy. Get your doctor’s approval first, and then start with a 10-minute walk. Build up to 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week.
-Don’t overdo it. You will have good days—when you feel fine—and bad, when you’re too tired to continue your normal activities. Pay attention to your body and rest when you need it.
-Don’t drink. Alcohol is bad for your liver, and it also makes you tired.
-Manage stress. Try meditation, yoga, massage or other relaxation techniques regularly.
-Eat smaller meals. This gives you a regular fuel supply. Keep it healthy, with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Processed, fatty, fried and fast foods will suck your energy stores dry.
-Get enough sleep. Some people find their hep C medicine interferes with their sleep cycle. If you’re one of those people, try these tips:

-Use your bed for sleep and sex only. Don’t watch TV, read or fiddle with electronic devices in it.
-Go to sleep and get up at the same time every day.
-Keep your bedroom cool, quiet and dark.
-Avoid caffeine late in the day.
-If all else fails, talk to your doctor about sleeping pills. They may give you some short-term relief.


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