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2016 Hepatitis Testing Day Tweet Chat with Dr. Talal Adhami

Thursday, May 19th was National Hepatitis Testing Day, and we were fortunate to have Drl Talal Adhami from the Cleveland Clinic to join us in a Twitter Chat about Viral Hepatitis, with a focus on Hepatiitis C. Scroll down to read a transcript of the full conversation, which was full of good information and helpful links! Dr. Adhami's text is in bold.

Dr. Adhami from @clevelandclinic with us. For the next hour, he'll be answer some of the most commonly questions about #hepatitis. #hepchat

Hi Everyone, I'm Dr. Talal Adhami from the @ClevelandClinic. For the next hour I'lll tweet from this handle. #hepchat

Note: Tweeted comments & responses from the doctor will start w/ MD, tweets from Liver Foundation will start w/ ALF #Hepchat

Quick ground rules, the Dr. will not be referencing specific branded medications or specific names of patients, per HIPPA #hepchat

ALF Q1: What is #hepatitis and what are the symptoms? #hepchat

MD A1: #hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver & can be caused by alcohol, drugs, autoimmune diseases or a virus or infection #hepchat

MD A1: Symptoms range from fatigue & joint pain to fever & itchy skin #hepchat

MD A1: Many patients (70 to 80%) don't experience any symptoms until they already have liver damage #hepchat

ALF: Learn more about the symptoms that occur with liver diseases like Hepatitis A: #hepchat

MD A1: There are 5 types of #hepatitis: A, B, C, D and E. While they vary, all can cause liver disease #hepchat

MD A1: The most common types of viral #hepatitis are hep A, B & C, which together infect more than 4.5 million Americans #hepchat

ALF: To find out more about different types of #hepatitis, visit our #hepaware page here: #hepchat

ALF: Everyone with liver disease has their own experiences, read about their journey's on our honor wall: #hepchat

ALF: Do you know anyone in person that has #hepatitis C? Or do you have any questions so far? Let us know! #hepchat

ALF: Let's move on to the next question. #hepchat

ALF Q2: How do people know if they have #hepatitis? Is there a test? #hepchat

MD A1: Many people living with hepatitis don't know they have it. More than 50% of people w/ #hepC are unaware #hepchat

MD A2: Nearly 2 out of 3 people with Hepatitis B do not know they have it #hepchat

ALF: There is much more to learn about Hepatitis B, learn about this disease through this brochure: #hepchat

MD A2: The 1st step is to see if you're at risk- take a quick assessment to find out: #hepchat

MD A2: intrevenous drug users, baby boomers, healthcare workers exposed to infected blood are at a higher risk of HCV #hepchat

MD A2: To get tested for #hepatitis, visit your doctor and ask for the simple blood test #hepchat

ALF: Okay, great. Thanks. Let's move on- #hepchat

ALF Q3 : How is viral #hepatitis spread? Is it contagious? #hepchat

MD A3: #HepA is most commonly transferred through contaminated food or water #hepchat

MD A3: #HepB is transferred through blood and body fluids #hepchat

ALF: Don't have a Dr. who can help you w/ liver disease? Visit & find a helpful clinic nearby! #hepchat

MD A3: Blood to blood contact can happen when sharing needles to inject drugs, giving birth or sharing razors or toothbrushes #hepchat

MD A3: #HepC can be transmitted thru blood-only, so its not contagious through kissing, hugging, sneezing or sharing food #hepchat

ALF Q4: Here's a popular question: What should I do if I am diagnosed with viral #hepatitis? #hepchat

MD A4: Hep A will typically clear on its own in a 1-2 months. Rehydrate, avoid alcohol & rest. A vaccine is available! #hepchat

MD A4: There are antiviral meds for chronic hep B & montiring for liver damage is advised. Learn more: #hepchat

MD A4: Unlike #hepA & #hepB, there is no vaccine for #hepC #hepchat

MD A4: Recent advances in medicine mean more people with #HepC can be cured. #hepchat

MD A4: Keep all your medical & insurance info organized in one place like test results, doctor notes, medication list, etc. #hepchat

ALF Q5: Okay, big question- What types of things should I ask my doctor if I am diagnosed? #hepchat

ALF: Learn about #HepA and how to avoid contracting it #hepchat

ALF: Learn about #HepB and how to avoid contracting it #hepchat

MD A5: That's a good question. You may start with "Do I need treatment?" "If so, what is available and can I be cured?" #hepchat

MD A5: Another good question would be: What should I do to minimize damage to my liver? #hepchat

MD A5: Should my family be tested for viral hepatitis? #hepchat

RT @liverUSA MD A5: Another good question would be: What should I do to minimize damage to my liver? #hepchat

MD A5: Are there organizations that provide information and support? What other resources do you recommend? #hepchat

MD A5: Finally I'd ask: Are there organizations locally that provide information & support? What other resources do you recommend? #hepchat

ALF Q6: Moving on to the big one- How is #HepC being treated today? Am I eligible for treatment? #hepchat

MD A6: In the past, #HepC treatment usually consisted of interferon and ribavirin, causing major side effects #hepchat

MD A6: Today, there are interferon-free treatment regimens with high cure rates and fewer side effects #hepchat

MD A6: Tell your doctor about possible conflicts with #HepC meds like kidney disease, pregnancy, anemia or other medical conditions #hepchat

MD A6: ALF's HepC123 website is a good source of information about #Hepatitis C treatment and support options #hepchat

ALF Q7: Great, thanks so much: Moving on-How can I help my liver if I have viral #hepatitis? #hepchat

MD A7: First, I would say to avoid alcohol and drugs. Seek help if you cannot quit #hepchat

MD A7: Next, prioritize healthy habits: Sleep 7-9 hrs, maintain healthy weight & low fat/high fiber diet, stay hydrated & be active #hepchat

MD A7: Finally, find support through friends, family or a hepatitis support group and try to minimize stress! #hepchat

ALF: Great tips! We strongly encourage everyone to join our active, online #liver disease support group: #hepchat

ALF Q8: We get this a lot, & it's a popular page on our website: How long does it take for #Hepatitis to progress to liver damage? #hepchat

MD A8: Every person can have a different experience with hepatitis, and not everyone will develop liver damage or disease #hepchat

MD A8: However, because we cannot predict how the liver will react over time, it's safest to get tested and treated ASAP #hepchat

ALF: There are many types of liver disease, the damage to your liver is likely to progress similarly. #hepchat

MD I would strongly suggest several websites: first the @AASLDNews #HepC Guidelines Page: #hepchat

MD Another great link, of course would be the @liverUSA #Hepatitis C123 resource site: #hepchat

ALF: We hope you can find a helpful community with the ALF, here is a link to the type of support we offer: #hepchat

MD Finally I would recommend the @cdc pages on #Hep C and Viral Hepatitis, as they are very helpful: #hepchat

ALF: Great! Thx for joining our #hepchat today & special thanks to Dr Adhami for his insights! Hope you found it to be informative! #hepchat

We had fun chatting with Dr. Adhami on #hepchat, and hope you found it informative! @liverUSA

MD: Thank you all, glad that I could attend and answer questions. Glad to help everyone become more #Hepaware #hepchat

ALF: Reminder: our helpine's available for liver info, financial assistance, crisis support- 1800-465-4837, open 9a-7pET, mon-fri. #hepchat

ALF: Please remember to visit our website at & follow us on Twitter & FB for daily content & conversation! #hepchat

We'll post follow-up chat information & a summary from soon, in the meantime have a great day and be #hepaware! #hepchat

Page updated: May 26th, 2016


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