Tessalation (hystericalrealm) wrote in hepatitis_c,

hep c & autoimmune disease & advice

Hi all. My name is Tess and I'm 22. Just a few days ago, I was told that my third annual STD blood tests came back Hep C positive (the qualitative/antibodies test if I understand this right). My gyno (who recently added HCV to her testing) referred me to get more extensive testing (the quantitative one I believe) to see where the disease is. My appointment with my GP is next week.

This news is completely crushing for me, as another health problem is the polar opposite of what I need right now. The past three months I have been recovering well from a surgery to cure Conn's Syndrome (caused by a tumorous, cyst-producing, hemmoraging left adrenal gland, which is now gone). In addition, I have two autoimmune diseases that have developed over the past 5 or 6 years - Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and lichen planus (in my gums). I was tired of these problems already... now there's more on my plate.

Previous to this week's news, I had been trying to figure out a connection between my various medical conditions. I see an endocrinologist, and she has been great in helping me get my thyroid back on track and she helped me find a surgeon who was willing to remove my adrenal gland. But neither she nor my other doctors have ever sought to put what I'm convinced is a puzzle together. Has anyone here had autoimmune problems with their HCV? Is anyone familiar with evidence supporting these ideas?

In addition, I have been trying to deal with the feelings of anger I have been experiencing - toward myself for putting loved ones at risk because I didn't know and toward the universe. I also feel ashamed, and I don't want many people to know. I know that sharing health issues is a very personal decision, but any advice on breaking news such as "I have HCV" would be appreciated. I am also terrified of future relationships, as I don't want to break news to someone that I have something they could catch potentially.
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