Hepatitis C Specialist

Green Leaf MD

Medical Marijuana Certifying Doctors located in Springfield, MO

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that can affect liver health. With advanced treatment options, hepatitis C can be a short-term medical problem. However, for many, hepatitis C is a lifelong illness that leads to chronic liver disease. The pain and addiction specialists at Green Leaf MD, which includes medical marijuana certifying doctors like Shawn Stranckmeyer, MD, take a holistic and natural approach to the management of hepatitis C. For a consultation, call the office in Springfield, Missouri, or use the online booking tool.

Hepatitis C

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that affects liver health, leading to liver inflammation. The virus is spread through contaminated blood. Today, most people contract hepatitis C by sharing needles. In addition to intravenous drug users, health care workers are also at risk of contracting the virus.

With advances in medical treatment, hepatitis C can be cured within six months of starting treatment. However, many people don’t even realize they’re infected with the virus until they start to show signs and symptoms of liver damage. 

What are the symptoms of hepatitis C infection?

Hepatitis C can remain silent for years, and you may not develop symptoms until the infection damages your liver. At this point, your hepatitis C is considered chronic. Some of the symptoms you may experience with chronic hepatitis C include:

  • Fatigue
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes)
  • Easily bruised
  • Dark urine
  • Itchy skin
  • Buildup of fluid in your abdomen (ascites)
  • Leg swelling

It’s possible to develop symptoms during the acute phase of your infection, which usually appear within one to three months of contracting the virus. These symptoms may include jaundice, fatigue, nausea, and muscle aches. These symptoms may last as long as two months.

How is hepatitis C treated?

Treatment for hepatitis C may depend on whether your infection is acute or chronic. Some people with acute hepatitis C can clear the virus from their body on their own. Others can be cured with the use of antiviral medication. Unfortunately, some of the antiviral medications used for the treatment of hepatitis C can cause unpleasant side effects that can make compliance with treatment difficult. 

If your hepatitis is chronic, treatment focuses on your liver and managing the symptoms. For many, a liver transplant may be the only option. 

How does medical marijuana help my hepatitis C?

Medical marijuana may be used to alleviate the symptoms caused by the virus itself, as well as the side effects of the antiviral medications used to treat the infection. The experienced team at Green Leaf MD can talk to you about the use of medical marijuana for your hepatitis C and determine if it would benefit your quality of life. If you're a suitable candidate, your physician will provide the state-required paperwork so you can be added to the medical marijuana registry.

For an appointment with the specialists at Green Leaf MD to see if natural therapies such as medical marijuana can benefit your hepatitis C, contact the team by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.