Talking to Your Health Care Provider about Viral Hepatitis

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor or health care provider about your personal risk factors and/or experience with hepatitis. By talking openly and regularly with your health care provider, you can take an active role in your care.

General Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your health care provider:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know .

Specific Questions to Ask Your Health Care Provider

About Hepatitis

  • What type of hepatitis do I have?
  • Is it possible to have more than one type of hepatitis?
  • How might I have contracted hepatitis?
  • What medications should I avoid that may worsen hepatitis?
  • What can I do to avoid passing hepatitis on to other people?

About Your Risk of Developing Hepatitis

  • Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for hepatitis?
  • How do I best prevent hepatitis?
  • Does my job put me at risk for hepatitis?
  • What can I do to decrease my risk for hepatitis?
  • Should I be vaccinated?

About Treatment Options

  • How do I best treat hepatitis?
  • What medication options are available to help me?
    • What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?
    • Will these medications interact with other medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements I am already taking for other conditions?
    • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that will help me?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • Why do I need to avoid alcohol?
    • How do I find help to stop drinking?
  • Should I engage in exercise?

About Outlook

  • When will I stop feeling so tired?
  • Will my hepatitis go away?
  • Will it become a chronic problem?
  • Will I develop long-term liver problems?
  • Will I develop liver cancer?
  • Will I need a liver transplant?
  • How will I know that my treatment program is effective?
  • Am I now immune to hepatitis viruses?

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