Can Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis cause Bruising? The answer is YES. I love summertime in my neck of the woods. Oklahoman’s are used to high heat and humidity. Most of us wear lightweight clothing and barely there shoes during the hot months. For me, that means a sleeveless shirt, cotton dress, or shorts with flip flops. It is a matter of survival this time of year. The downside to that is the bruises that dot my legs and arms. It is so unattractive!
Your Best Friend with cirrhosis has a few tricks up her sleeve to help you out. It is important to know the causes and also a little treatment that can help a bruise to fade quicker. Don’t you know by now that I will try anything to minimize the effects of the Hepatitis C Virus and the damage it causes? And I share it with my Besties.
I am sure that many of you noticed that you bruise easily – probably for years and did not know why.
Bruising can happen during a trauma which breaks the blood vessels under the surface of your skin. Bruises can also form spontaneously if conditions are right. If you form bruises that are greater than the impact that happened, or if you find a bruise and do not know what even caused it, you can assume it is a symptom of liver disease or Hepatitis C Treatment.
Liver Disease such as cirrhosis, Nash, or fatty liver all have side effects that can include bruising. In the case of liver disease, bruises can usually be traced back to a platelet problem, such as low platelets in your bloodstream or low production of platelets.
Spleen sequestering is where the spleen is taking on too much work and becomes enlarged. It hoards your platelets and keeps them from circulating in your bloodstream. Low platelets = easy bruising.
Interferon is known to reduce platelet production in your bone marrow. If you take Interferon injections during treatment, you may end up getting a rescue drug like Promacta to help boost platelets and allow you to finish treatment. In the meantime, be aware that not only is bruising more likely to be visible on your body, you are at a greater risk of having spontaneous bleeding internally.
Autoimmune problems are often associated with Hepatitis C Virus and liver disease. Arthritis and Lupus can also cause you to bruise easily, especially if you already have Hepatitis C or Cirrhosis.
Yeah. It sounds scary and looks awful if you are bruised. This is one of those things you cannot change. You have to let your doctor manage your platelet count. Show them or call if you are having excessive bruising. I have dealt with it for years before being diagnosed with Hepatitis C. It got really bad during 43 weeks of Hepatitis C Treatment and I took Promacta when my platelets got down in the 20’s.
How long does will a bruise last? Some of my bruises have been so deep that they took several weeks to heal. I have a dark colored places where the bruises formed permanent scars. Many of them have faded, but I do not think one spot will ever go away. Most bruises go through a stage where they are dark blue, then black, finally purple and then, when it becomes yellowish green – you know it is almost gone. When I hit the side of my face with a door, it took almost 2 months to go away. I was able to cover it with make up…. Kinda.
What will make bruises go away quicker? The bruise on my face got my attention. I looked like a prize fighter! After some research, I learned that Arnica Gel had the potential to fade a bruise quicker. I had to look all over town and finally found some at a pharmacy. I crushed up Vitamin K and mixed it with the Arnica Gel. I kept it in an old contact lense case. I would apply it every few hours whenever possible. The gel is clear, but the Vitamin K leaves a white chalky residue on your skin. It would hasten the coloration of the bruise to the yellow stage a little quicker. I keep both of those items for bruises that show when I am at work.
Is there anything you can add to your diet or foods that help with bruising? It is good to get a well balanced diet with plenty of Vitamin K. My doctor approved a supplement when bruising is severe. But over the last several years, even before diagnosis, I did NOT see a huge difference. I still take a supplement of Vit K and eat all of the right foods for sure. I am ever hopeful.
The last several weeks, I have been going through items that belonged to my mom and grandma. My mom passed away just before I started treatment and I did not have the heart or energy to deal with all of that. In the process of lifting and moving boxes and furniture, I got real bruised up. The bruise on my left arm is about 3 inches by 2 inches. Yes, that is my pic above. lol. Really attractive in a tank top. It swelled out and hurt. Today, it is almost yellow! I have about 6 on my legs, but they are quarter size or less. If I wear a longer pair of shorts, they do not show. In a swim suit? Oh well… For real, my address is ACCEPTANCE with JOY!
My BEST Advice for Bruising – Be careful when you are moving around. Even a careless bump into furniture may leave you with a big goose egg! If something falls on you, or you run into something that hurts a lot, it may bruise. Try and elevate the area above your heart and put some ice on it as real quick. A bag of frozen vegetables, like corn, works good if you do not have an ice bag. Just wrap it in a towel and leave it on until it starts to thaw. Put it back in the freezer and get it cold again.
Gosh I am sounding like such a redneck. I promise this is what I do. I am NOT going to tell you whether the corn actually gets eaten. Let’s just say that when I tried it with frozen peas, it was NOT pretty in the pan. Corn holds up a little better.
It is something we have to live with when we have cirrhosis or are on Hepatitis C treatment. I was told that my platelets would never be normal again. I have been hovering in the 80’s for months now.
You know me and my philosophical approach. I look at the discoloration of my skin as a reminder – a symbol. Maybe like some people would look at their tattoo. It reminds me that I have to take good care of my body in order to stay alive. While there is no specific food that will help with low platelet Thrombocytopenia, I know that a well balanced diet is my key to longevity.
So go ahead with your mental image of your Best Friend Karen with white chalky stuff dotted on her bruise and a bag of corn on her arm. I am chillin (literally w/ the frozen corn) on the couch and taking care of myself. I want you to also. Hepatitis C Treatment and Cirrhosis is no fun. We take control where we can! Mostly though, we know we are in this together. If you have been wondering: Can Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis Cause Bruising and how can I get them to fade faster? ….. I hope this little blog gave you some answers.
Be careful…. Xoxo Karen:)
Blog posts by Karen Hoyt are written from a Best Friend’s view point. I always advise you to talk with your doctor about any changes you make regarding your health care.
pics via Karen’s left arm, walmart.com, walgreens.com