The Need to Monitor Your Chronic
Hepatitis In general, chronic viral
hepatitis is a relatively slow progressing disease that can extend over
many years. However, regular checkups with one's doctor should be
maintained, especially if certain symptoms worsen or new symptoms surface
that indicate advancement of the disease. Below is a list of symptoms that
require careful checks on your liver condition by your doctor.
1. Extreme fatigue that prevents you from carrying out normal daily
activities or functioning.
2. Anorexia due to loss of all the appetite
3. Continually bloated stomach, especially at night.
4. Jaundice, dark urine, pale stool, extremely itchy skin, yellowish eyes
and skin, and persistent dull pain in the liver area. (These are possible
signs of bile retention or problems in the gallbladder.)
5. Tendency to bleed easily, including gum and nose bleeds. Black and blue
bruises in the skin, bleeding spots on the skin and mucus membrane, blood
in stool causing blackish stool. (Continuous and uncontrollable hiccups is
usually a warning sign of gastrointestinal bleeding.) This requires
immediate attention by your doctor.
6. Water retention in the ankles, face and stomach regions. (Signs of
edema and ascites)
7. The quantity of urine reduced to less than 500 ml per day. (Sign of
8. Persistent low-grade fever with WBC elevation.
9. Mental fogginess, memory loss, dizziness, and mood instability.
10. Low blood sodium, low blood potassium, and low blood sugar
Most of these symptoms only occur only in the advanced stages of liver
disease, during cirrhosis. If your condition was stable and without most
of these symptoms, it is very important to have a detailed check up once
some of them appear or become noticeably worse. Generally, as a chronic
hepatitis patient, regular blood work is highly recommended to monitor
your condition. This should include a complete blood count (CBC) and blood
chemical panel (including liver profile) every three months and HCV RNA
PCR every six months. If you are in the cirrhosis stage, it is important
to check your AFP every six months. Proper monitoring will allow ample
time to adjust your treatment protocol and prevent advancement to more