Do You Suffer from Hep C-Related Fatigue? | Hepatitis Central

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Do You Suffer from Hep C-Related Fatigue?

The Editors at Hepatitis Central
May 25, 2017

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If you have Hepatitis C, supporting your adrenal glands can help you recover from fatigue, but it requires a long-term commitment.
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We live in a fast-paced society that seeks quick fixes for nearly every challenge faced, including the desire to quickly restore low energy levels. Unfortunately, reaching for a quick fix for fatigue rarely works in those with chronic liver disease, such as Hepatitis C.

Extreme tiredness is one of the biggest symptoms reported in those with chronic Hepatitis C. Varying sources differ on the specific. Some allege that 50% of people with Hepatitis C are fatigued daily, and others claim that nearly 90% suffer with extreme tiredness every day. Once the quick fix strategy is abandoned, there is plenty of hope for boosting a person with Hepatitis C’s energy levels.

Hepatitis C Fatigue

There is no simple explanation for why a majority of Hepatitis C sufferers feel fatigued. Most believe the extreme tiredness results from a combination of the following physiological and psychological issues:

  • Hepatitis C is a viral infection. Some studies suggest that fatigue may be due to your body’s immune system being engaged in a continual battle against the Hepatitis C virus. The virus increases your body’s cytokines (part of the immune response), which causes fatigue similar to when sick with the flu.
  • Hepatitis C causes injury to liver cells, which help store energy in the form of glycogen. Liver cell injury impairs your liver’s ability to release glycogen when energy is needed. Fatigue is especially pronounced in those with cirrhosis, a marker of advanced liver disease.
  • It is common for people with Hepatitis C to experience depression, a separate condition also known to cause fatigue.
  • A majority of the medications used to treat Hepatitis C include fatigue as a common side effect.

Quick Fix and Crash

Fatigue with Hepatitis C is complex, and requires a commitment to health for its defeat. Downing a mid-afternoon coffee, energy drink, or consuming a sugary snack may provide a short burst of energy, but these quick fixes are frequently followed by a substantial energetic crash. This crash leaves you even more tired, leading you to reach for another quick energetic fix. The high and low energy cycle that follows repeated attempts to quickly boost energy levels depletes your adrenal glands – which leads to lower levels of necessary hormones and neurotransmitters throughout your body.

Adrenal Glands

The adrenal glands are part of your endocrine system – and they play a key role in balancing your hormones.

The adrenals:

  • Release glucocorticoid hormones in reaction to stress, digestion and immune response.
  • Help balance blood sugar with glucocorticoids, which influences energy levels and food metabolism.
  • Release adrenaline in fight-or-flight situations – which assures your body can receive blood and convert glycogen into glucose in your liver.

There are many possible causes of adrenal gland depletion. However, healthcare practitioners believe that prolonged stress, chronic illness and cycles of energy highs and lows from stimulant use are among the most common. Because those with chronic Hepatitis C can easily fit into all three of these categories, supporting adrenal gland health is a great way to end fatigue.

3 Lifestyle Adjustments for a Long-Term Energy Boost

Supporting your adrenal glands helps combat substantial fatigue, especially when related to Hepatitis C. There is no quick fix to support adrenal health. The lifestyle adjustments that help the most include improving diet, reducing stress and supplementing with adrenal supportive nutrients:

  1. Improve Your Diet – Foods that tax your adrenal glands include caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, processed and microwaved foods, and hydrogenated oils. These should be avoided or minimized. Foods that overcome adrenal insufficiency are nutrient-dense, low in sugar and full of healthy fat and fiber such as good fats (coconut oil, organic butter, olive oil, avocado), cruciferous vegetables, fatty fish, organic poultry, nuts, seeds, kelp and seaweed. Drinking UltraNourish, a superfood protein shake, can help you improve your diet. It’s packed with protein, fruits, vegetables, antioxidants, probiotics, natural herbs, greens and liver nutrients! Learn more.
  2. Reduce Your Stress – Paying attention to your body is extremely valuable to help reduce stress, and thus restore adrenal function. This means resting when you feel tired and prioritizing sleep. It also means finding ways to cope or release feelings of stress. This might include meditation, moderate exercise, deep breathing and taking time for you.
  3. Supplement with Adrenal Supportive Nutrients** – There are a number of nutrients that can help support your adrenal glands, including: ashwagandha, glandulars, fish oil, magnesium, licorice root, Siberian ginseng, cordyceps, astragalus, rhodiola rosea, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D3 and zinc. **Some of these nutrients may not be safe for every individual; ALWAYS consult with a healthcare practitioner prior to beginning any new supplement regimen.

Realizing that supporting your adrenal glands can reduce Hepatitis C-related fatigue is not a new concept, but it does mean abandoning the idea of a quick fix for boosting energy. The majority of people respond to low energy levels by reaching for a cup of coffee, a candy bar or an energy drink. Regrettably, this quick fix mentality is exactly the reason so many have adrenal gland depletion – which exacerbates and prolongs Hepatitis C-related fatigue.

Editor’s Note: StressCare® is natural proprietary herbal formula that relieves stress and reduces fatigue, mood swings and sleeplessness. It also supports normal adrenal function, general fitness and overall well-being., What are the Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?, Retrieved December 11, 2016, Perfect Health, 2016., 3 steps to Heal Adrenal Fatigue, Retrieved December 11, 2016,, 2016., Fatigue & Hepatitis C: A Focus Group Study, SK Afdhal, et al, Retrieved December 4, 2016, Hepatology, October 2016., Coping with Hepatitis C Fatigue, Retrieved December 4, 2016, Healthline Media, 2016., Fighting Fatigue with Hepatitis C, Retrieved December 4, 2016, The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand, 2016., Fatigue: Hep C’s Partner in Crime, Benjamin Ryan, Retrieved December 4, 2016, Smart + Strong, 2016., Natural Treatments for Adrenal Dysfunction, Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN, NP, Retrieved December 11, 2016, Women to Women, 2016.


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