Living with hepatitis C

Below are answers to some questions about living with hepatitis C, including questions about diet, the workplace, travelling and having a baby.

  • Could anything I do make hepatitis C worse?
  • Is there anything else I can do to help myself?
  • Do I need a special diet?
  • How can Iavoid spreading the infection to others?
  • Do I have to tell my boss?
  • Can I travel abroad?
  • Can I have a baby ifmy partner or I have hepatitis C?

Could anything I do make hepatitis C worse ?

Drinking alcohol can increase thedamage to your liver. If you have hepatitis C, you should try to cut out alcohol or limit your intake. If you need advice about this, ask your doctor or contactan alcohol self-help organisation.

Read some tips for cutting down your alcohol consumption and find out where to get alcohol support .

If you're concerned that you're addicted to alcohol and are unable to stop drinking, contact your GP. Treatments are available to helpyou quit.

Is there anything else I can do to help myself ?

As well as cutting out alcohol, it can help to:

  • control your weight with ahealthy diet and regular exercise
  • stop smoking
  • getvaccinated against Hepatitis A and hepatitis B

This is because being overweight, smoking and having more than one type of hepatitis can increasethe chances of your liver being damaged if you have hepatitis C.

Do I need a special diet ?

You won't usually need to change to a special diet if you have hepatitis C, but you will need to make sure you have a generally healthy, balanced diet.

Your diet should include plenty of fruit and vegetables, starchy foods, fibre and protein. Cut down onfatty, friedand processed food. However, the risk is increased if there is blood present, such as menstrual blood or during anal sex.

Condoms aren't usuallynecessary for long-term heterosexual couples, but it'sa good idea touse them when having anal sex or sex with a new partner.

Do I have to tell my boss ?

You don't have to tell your boss that you have hepatitis C, unless you're a healthcare worker.

However, if hepatitis C isaffecting your performance at work and your employer knows about your condition, they maybeobliged to make allowances for you, such as giving you leave of absence for going to the clinic. You may also be entitled to statutory sick pay to cover doctor appointments or time off work.

Therefore, you maywant to consider telling your boss about your condition.

Can I travel abroad ?

You can travel abroad if you have hepatitis C, but you should speak to your doctor in advance.

You may need to have vaccinations and special arrangements may need to be made to ensure you're able totransport and storeyour hepatitis C medication safely.

Itmight also be a good idea to take any documentation, such as details of blood tests or medical records, in case you need medical treatment abroad.

There's also a small risk of the infection spreading to the unaffected partnerwhen havingunprotected sex, but this is very unlikely to happen.

Speak to your doctor for advice if you're planning to have a baby and you or your partner has hepatitis C.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 29 Nov 2016