Stress Management Strategies: Ways to Unwind



8 Stress Management Tips to Try If You Have Hep C

1. Start hepatitis C treatment, and stick to it.

Starting on a medication for hepatitis C can ease many of the symptoms that can contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression — especially, says Sarkar, fatigue. For example, for some people with hepatitis C, the fatigue is so overwhelming that they have to file for disability benefits, he explains. But starting on a treatment can help resolve this symptom and allow people to feel in charge of their lives again — a large psychological boost.

2. Ask your doctor about being screened for depression.

For people with hepatitis C, fatigue and depression can be related. In a study published in December 2019 in the journalArquivos de Gastroenterologia,researchers found that in people with cirrhotic liver disease, fatigue scores were closely associated with depression symptoms.

And the fatigue doesn’t always subside when treatment begins. In fact, research published in January 2019 in theInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Medicinefound that, for some people, the symptoms of depression actuallyincreasedas they underwent treatment.

If you think you might be depressed — before, during, or after your treatment for hepatitis C — your doctor can refer you to a psychiatric specialist. You may be a candidate for an antidepressant, or you might benefit from talking with a therapist.

3. Join a support group.

Interacting with other people with hepatitis C can make you feel less alone. But because not all doctors connect their patients to support groups, says Sarkar, you may have to speak up first.

Try visiting the website for the American Liver Foundation, which maintains an online support forum and has links to in-person support groups in most states. You can also ask your doctor about local support groups that meet regularly, or call hospitals, health centers, and community centers in your area.

4. Increase your physical activity.

Exercise can help fight fatigue, lower your stress, and lead to improvements in mood, says Sarkar. And this is especially helpful for people with hepatitis C.

In a study published in January 2009 in the journalGastroenterologie Clinique et Biologique(before newer treatments were in use), researchers found that exercise led to improved self-confidence and a greater sense of physical capability in people undergoing treatment for hepatitis C.

If your liver disease is advanced or you have severe fatigue, talk to your doctor about how to start exercising in a way that’s safe and effective. Generally, walking and biking are great ways to engage in moderate aerobic activity.

5. Pay attention to your sleep schedule.

About 60 to 65 percent of people with hepatitis C report sleep problems, according to a February 2010 article published in the journalCurrent Hepatitis Reports. The problem: Those sleep disruptions can cause an increase in the body’s levels of stress hormones, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

To improve your sleep, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and turn off all screens at least an hour before bedtime. Relaxation or deep breathing techniques may also help you fall asleep at night.

6. Start writing a journal or diary.

Keeping a journal of your symptoms and mood can be helpful to both you and your healthcare provider. “What patients feel before treatment, on treatment, and after treatment [can go unappreciated],” says Sarkar.

Writing down your symptoms can also be a form of therapy: You may find that recording your thoughts in a journal can help you dwell on them less. And by keeping track of your symptoms and emotions, you might be able to better spot patterns in your mood.

7. Try meditation, yoga, or deep breathing.

These time-tested stress reduction techniques aren’t specific to hepatitis C, of course, but there’s evidence that they may be commonly used and helpful in people with liver disease.

In a May 2010 study published in the journalGastroenterology Nursing,researchers found that meditation and deep breathing were each used by 29 percent of people with hepatitis C to relieve tension and promote feelings of well-being.

The study’s authors conclude that health providers should be aware of and discuss mind-body techniques with their patients, given their widespread use and presumed efficacy in many people. Sarkar also says that he discusses stress-relief measures like meditation and yoga with his patients, and that many of them find these practices helpful.

8. Take charge of your health.

Taking charge of your health as much as possible can help counter any feelings of helplessness that you may have, says Sakar. He says that it’s useful to understand the results of your liver function and hepatitis C genotype tests so you can discuss your treatment options with your doctor.

It’s also good idea to keep track of your symptoms and share this information with your healthcare provider, including symptoms that may be associated with other pre-existing health conditions. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking, and to ask about potential interactions or side effects associated with treatments you may be prescribed for hepatitis C.

After all, knowledge is power.






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Date: 16.01.2019, 13:57 / Views: 63562