Hepatitis C Survivor Encourages People to Get Tested - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Hepatitis C Survivor Encourages People to Get Tested

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He's been running marathons and triathlons for years, and before 2006 he had no idea he had contracted hepatitis C.  

"I didn't believe it and then the test came back positive," says Hepatitis C survivor Tim Lickteig.

Tim felt like he had the flu. And during a physical in 2006, he was diagnosed with the disease.

"Through the years of my sobriety, this disease had progressed unbeknownst to me all along and not showed any symptoms until it got to the point where it was starting to affect me physically."

Doctors at Sanford Health began treatment immediately through injections, which was no picnic.

"It just got to the point where I was...no energy. Didn't eat well, lost a ton of weight. My hair got too thin, so I got rid of the hair," says Tim.

However, the FDA is on the verge of approving treatments that are all oral, and don't have as many side effects.

"The two oral agents, which we will be using are very well tolerated, few side effects and we have better results  than we have ever had before. Somewhere between 80 and 90 percent," says Dr. Kent Martin, Sanford Health.

Tim says don't be afraid to get tested, if there's any possibility you may have come in contact with hepatitis C.

"Go now. Go find out. Get the blood test. It's a very simple blood test. Because, even if you have it, and you continue to ignore the fact that you may or may not, it's going to progress. It's going to get worse."

With the help of support groups, family, doctors and, of course, treatment, Tim has made a full recovery, allowing himself a second chance at life.

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