So your loved one or friend just came to you and said they have been diagnosed with hepatitis C. This may have been a surprise, or may have been the result of a test because they thought this might be the case. Either way, your friend or loved one, who has just been diagnosed, will need your support.
We have put together a list of 5 ways you can support your loved one after they learn about their diagnosis.
- First and foremost, help you loved one move forward with their life. This includes helping them start or maintain a healthier diet, establish an exercise routine, set up a routine to avoid smoking and alcohol usage.
- You can also help by understanding the diagnosis, and helping your friend or loved one know they are not alone. We created an infographic that will help you better understand the hepatitis C epidemic in the US so you are more familiar, as well.
- Next, be sure your loved one continues to work with their doctor on their hepatitis C diagnosis. It is crucial to continue treatment to prevent the disease from developing into a more serious illness.
- If you’re living with someone diagnosed with hepatitis C, know when to call a doctor. You can help them the most by understanding changes in their health and knowing when it’s time to reach out to a professional. Some indicators include dizziness, changes in vision, chest discomfort, fatigue, or swelling in the lower extremities.
- It is important that you take care of yourself as a caregiver or supporter. We found a helpful resource for family and friends to read to help them through this as well.
Remember, over 5 million Americans are infected with the hepatitis C diagnosis, and there are over 17,000 new hepatitis C cases each year in the United States. Your friend or loved one is not alone with their hepatitis C diagnosis. It’s important to learn about the disease, and what to look for to make sure you are aware of possible disease state changes for your friend or loved one.
We invite you to download our list of hepatitis C resources and our custom infographic to learn more about hepatitis C in the United States.