How to Find a Doctor that Specializes in Hep C
Nov 06, 2020
Doctors who treat hepatitis C include primary care providers, physicians, doctors who specialize in liver diseases (hepatologist), doctors who specialize in stomach and intestinal diseases (gastroenterologist), and doctors who specialize in infectious disease.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with hepatitis C or feel you may be at risk for hepatitis C, request an appointment below to meet with one of our hep C doctors in Wichita and learn more about our integrated approach to hep C treatment.
What is Hep C?
Hepatitis C is a viral liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C spreads through contaminated blood from an infectious person.
Until recently, hep C treatments required weekly injections and oral medications that many people infected with HCV were unable to take due to other health problems or unacceptable side effects.
Now, chronic hep C treatment is performed with oral medications prescribed by hep C doctors. These medications are taken daily for two to six months. This new form of hep C treatment cures most patients of the HCV virus and is available at HealthCore, which is a hep C clinic.
About half of people with hepatitis C don’t know they are infected, mainly because they are currently living without hepatitis C symptoms, which may take decades to appear. This is why we encourage adults over the age of 18 to be screened for hepatitis C, even if you do not have symptoms or liver disease. Those born between 1945 and 1965 are five times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C Symptoms
When a person has a long-term infection with the hepatitis C virus, it is known as chronic hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is often referred to as a “silent” infection because symptoms may not form for decades, during which time the virus causes damages to the liver. Once the liver has been damaged, the hepatitis C symptoms and signs begin to show.
Hepatitis C symptoms and signs include:
- Bleeding easily
- Bruising easily
- Poor appetite
- Yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Dark-colored urine
- Itchy skin
- Fluid buildup in your abdomen (ascites)
- Swelling in your legs
- Weight loss
- Confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech (hepatic encephalopathy)
- Spiderlike blood vessels on your skin (spider angiomas)
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment today to be screened by one of our hep C doctors.
Hep c causes predominantly include blood transfusions and the sharing of used needles and syringes. When contaminated blood from an individual with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) enters the bloodstream of an uninfected person, this causes a hepatitis C infection.
The hepatitis C infection (HCV) exists in multiple different genotypes with more than 67 identified subtypes. The most common HCV genotype in Wichita is Type 1 Hepatitis C.
While chronic hepatitis C follows a typical course regardless of what type of genotype the infecting virus is, there may be a different hep C treatment depending on the type of hepatitis C genotype. May patients ask, “Can your body cure hep c?” With the help of a hep C clinic like HealthCore and our hep C doctors, many patients are cured of hepatitis C and hepatitis C symptoms in just a few months.
Your risk of hepatitis C infection and the need for hep C treatment is increased if you:
- Are a health care worker who has been exposed to infected blood, which may happen if an infected needle pierces your skin
- Have ever injected or inhaled illicit drugs
- Have HIV
- Received a piercing or tattoo in an unclean environment using unsterile equipment
- Received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
- Received clotting factor concentrates before 1987
- Received hemodialysis treatments for a long period of time
- Were born to a woman with a hepatitis C infection
- Were ever in prison
- Were born between 1945 and 1965, the age group with the highest incidence of hepatitis C infection
Hepatitis C Long Term Effects
A hepatitis C infection that continues over many years can cause significant complications, such as:
- Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)
- Liver cancer
- Liver failure
It is important that all adults ages 18 to 79 years be screened by hep C doctors for hepatitis C, even those without symptoms or known liver disease. While hep C treatment can cure chronic hepatitis C, long term damage to the liver may be irreversible if not diagnosed early. Seeking screening and treatment from a hep C clinic can reduce your risk for chronic liver issues.
At HealthCore Clinic, we treat hepatitis C using our integrated approach. We combine medical and behavioral health with your treatment to remove barriers and ensure each patient is able to complete the treatment successfully. We treat the hepatitis C infection with antiviral medications and regular check-ins with your healthcare team for 3 months on average. The goal of the treatment is to eliminate the hepatitis C virus from your body.
Our integrated approach to hep C treatment provides you access to improve your whole health and wellness all under one roof. Patients are more actively engaged in improving their health and living hepatitis C free through a team-based approach. You are the leader of your hep C treatment team.
Our integrated approach to hep C treatment includes:
- Free Transportation
- Free transportation to all medical, behavioral health, pharmacy, lab, and office visits related to the hepatitis C treatment at HealthCore Clinic are available.
- 24-hour Access
- You have 24-hour access to an on-call medical and behavioral health provider.
- On-site Lab
- Any lab work required is conducted on-site so you don’t have to visit multiple locations.
- On-site Pharmacy
- Your antiviral medications will be provided by our staff so you don’t have to visit multiple locations.
- Medication Reminders
- Our staff can contact you daily with medication reminder calls to help ensure you take your antiviral medication on time.
Looking for the best hep c doctors? Searching for a “hep C clinic near me?” HealthCore Clinic is the top choice for hep C treatment in Wichita. Asking yourself, “I’ve been diagnosed with hep C, now what?” We can help.
Financial concerns should not be a barrier to receiving high quality healthcare services and hep c treatments. Many people infected with hepatitis C search for “free hep c treatment near me.”
At HealthCore Clinic, we accept KanCare / Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance. We offer sliding scale fees and prescription assistance for those not covered by insurance.
View our Hep C Awareness Month article for more details on opportunities to raise awareness about, recognize the impact of, and decrease the stigma associated with viral hepatitis in the United States.