One of the common problems for patients with hepatitis C is overwhelming fatigue. If you've been diagnosed with hepatitis C, it's important that you understand this fatigue and how to deal with it. The only way to truly overcome hepatitis fatigue is to face it and actively fight it. Here's a look at a few things that you can try to combat the fatigue and reclaim your day-to-day life.
Understanding Why You're Tired
Sometimes it's hard to understand why hepatitis C can lead to so much fatigue. In fact, the fatigue is often caused by other symptoms and complications. Things like cirrhosis of the liver will cause fatigue because the body is striving to recover, so it uses a lot of energy. In addition, some of the medications that are used to treat the condition have also been known to cause fatigue. The good news is that once you complete hepatitis C treatment, your fatigue should improve.
Learning to Overcome the Fatigue
Especially if you're used to living a fast-paced lifestyle, dealing with fatigue can be challenging. Having strategies at hand to address the problems pf fatigue can make a big difference in how easily you recover or can face those struggles. Here are a few things you can do to combat fatigue from your condition.
Don't Push the Good Days - One of the things that you'll find is that you'll have some days when you have more energy than others. You might be tempted to try to "catch up" on all the things you haven't gotten done on those days when you feel better. Pace things. The more that you try to do on those days when you feel good, the more you're taxing your still-recovering body. Keep your activity levels consistent for the best recovery chances.
Stay Active - Even on those days when you're feeling exhausted, make an effort to be active when possible. Moving around can be a struggle on those days, but the activity will actually help to boost your energy levels. If you haven't been overly active recently, start with ten-minute walks and gradually increase your activity until you reach a half-hour or more of active time a day.
Plan Your Meals Carefully - A common side effect of hepatitis C is a lack of appetite. That means that when you do eat, you need to maximize those meals. One of the best ways to do that is to eat small amounts frequently throughout the course of the day instead of trying to eat three main meals. That way, you can focus on the fruits and veggies as well as some lean proteins while still being able to minimize your carbohydrate intake without sacrificing nutrition because of your limited appetite.
Don't Drink - Hepatitis C does enough damage to your liver that you don't want to contribute to that problem. Not to mention, drinking alcohol will make you tired, which can intensify the overwhelming fatigue your body is already struggling with.
Practice Active Stress Management - Stress can increase your body's hormone reactions, leading to a problematic shift in your fatigue level. Avoid that effect by working hard to manage your stress. Meditation, yoga, and active breathing techniques are all effective for minimizing stress. In addition, taking time out to do activities that you enjoy or simply get some decent rest can also do the same.
Talk to Your Doctor - If you're still struggling with fatigue despite these steps, you should talk with your doctor about your concerns. He or she can evaluate your current hepatitis treatment and help you find other alternatives that may help to either ease the fatigue or boost your energy.