Hepatitis is one of the most prolific diseases on the planet. There are so many different types of hepatitis illnesses, but they all have one thing in common: They attack the liver. Without your liver functioning properly, there are a variety of potentially fatal consequences. The liver filters many different fluids in the bloodstream so they can be used properly.
Hepatitis has different potential effects depending on the type we are discussing. Hepatitis B and C are strongly associated with eventually developing liver cancer. Due to this, hepatitis B and life insurance do not go hand in hand very easily. We’ll discuss how you can curb your illness enough to convince a life insurance company you are a viable customer for them.
Getting vaccinated and having clean blood transfusions are just some of the ways to prevent the disease. Staying away from alcohol as much as possible is one of the main ways to prevent these illnesses from getting worse. You can even develop alcoholic hepatitis if you drink too much, and we’ll talk about ways to stop this from happening before it starts.
What is hepatitis?
The way you contract hepatitis is different depending on the type of hepatitis you have. Hepatitis A is contracted through dirty water. This means if you live in a poverty-ridden area with no access to clean water, you need to test regularly for hepatitis A. There is no vaccine available for hepatitis A.
Hepatitis B is typically contracted through bodily fluids. Sexual intercourse and transmission from a mother to her child is the most common way that people get hepatitis B. Fortunately, the hepatitis B vaccine has done a lot to prevent and protect against hepatitis B.
Hepatitis C is usually contracted through blood transfusions and needles. This means people who take drugs through a needle, like heroin, are at high risk for contracting hepatitis C. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, but there are medications doctors prescribe to limit the effects of the illness.
It can be a little confusing to understand how to avoid hepatitis. All children should be vaccinated against hepatitis B immediately after they are born. After that, the only thing you need to do throughout your life is check up on your vaccination record.
Hepatitis A is very difficult to avoid depending on where you live. Clean drinking water is not accessible in many parts of the world. If possible, move to a place with cleaner drinking water so you’re not exposed to hepatitis A.
Hepatitis C is the easiest to avoid through lifestyle choices. Make sure you don’t start abusing drugs, as needles are the foremost cause of the illness. Drugs lead to other health issues, too, and it will make it harder to get life insurance policies. Companies will see that you not only have a chronic illness, but you aren’t taking the steps to mitigate the illness.
Other Conditions That Make Hepatitis Worse
Because hepatitis is a liver disease, all types of illnesses are made worse by drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. The liver is what filters out the toxins in beer, wine, and other liquor. Alcoholics are at the highest risk of developing liver cancer and other diseases if they also have hepatitis.
Having hepatitis doesn’t mean you have to eliminate all alcoholic drinks from your life forever. It means if you have struggled with alcohol use, it is more important than ever to go to a support group or a therapist. Get help with your addiction so you can help make living with hepatitis easier, too.
Obesity is another underlying issue that makes living with hepatitis even more difficult. Life insurance companies will view this the same way they do being an alcoholic. Trying to lose weight should be a priority for any overweight person with a chronic disease. Exercise by doing fun activities out in the sun or at the gym. Eat fruits and vegetables.
Talk to your doctor about the ways you can make the rest of your life healthier, and in turn, this will make your hepatitis much easier to handle. You will then be less likely to develop fatal consequences from your hepatitis. This means life insurance companies will be more willing to work with you on providing a policy.
The peace of mind that life insurance will bring to a hepatitis patient will improve the mental health of the person. People who are in a good state of mind are more motivated to manage their chronic illnesses.
Mental Health and Hepatitis
Hepatitis is one of those diseases some people hear the name of and immediately wonder what the patient did wrong to contract it. This leads to a lack of sympathy from the outside world.
It is important for hepatitis patients to keep themselves optimistic about the future. Even if you didn’t protect yourself to the fullest from hepatitis, you have to forgive yourself and move on.
This is similar to how some negligent people who contract COVID-19 have to handle their situation. Patients who didn’t mask, distance themselves and take the virus seriously have to live with the repercussions.
Since both COVID-19 and hepatitis B have vaccinations available, others may look at those who have either illness in a judgmental way. No matter whether you got your hepatitis vaccinations, you need to move on and accept the consequences.
Taking Action With Hepatitis
If you didn’t do enough to protect yourself before, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go the extra mile now to improve your condition.
Get exercise, don’t drink, and see the doctor when you have an acute case of hepatitis. See if your provider can recommend a mental health specialist if you are still struggling with guilt, anxiety, or sadness over your hepatitis status.
It is important to know that hepatitis is not a death sentence if you are fully educated about your condition, and if you take the steps to participate in preventative care. Mental health and physical health are tied together, so if you have an optimistic mindset, you will be more likely to take care of yourself. This works vice versa, as well.
There’s no reason you have to think about your hepatitis diagnosis daily if you follow these tips. Enjoy the time given to you, and understand that life isn’t over just because you have a chronic disease.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, EffortlessInsurance.com. He wants to help people understand the ways they can improve their lifestyle choices while living with a disease like hepatitis.