– Signs, Symptoms And Treatment Of Hepatitis C
– Keep Your Liver Healthy
Hepatitis C is a type of contagious liver disease caused by a virus. It is spread by blood-to-blood contact from infected persons to uninfected persons. While there are immunizations against Hepatitis A and B, there is none against C. If the virus does not go away naturally after 6 months of a person getting infected, it becomes chronic and only curable with medication. When left untreated, there is an increased risk of liver scarring, cirrhosis, liver cancer and even death.
Signs and symptoms of hepatitis C
Acute Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection is hard to diagnose because it lacks definitive symptoms. It’s symptoms are rarely different from those of any other viral syndrome. These symptoms include nausea, fever, abdominal discomfort, joint pain, fatigue and jaundice. It becomes chronic after the virus stays in the bloodstream after the infection period. This infection becomes lifelong unless it is treated with medication.
In its chronic stage, most people experience no physical discomfort but some report abdominal pain, aching joints and constant fatigue.
After 25 years, this chronic infection may cause significant scarring (fibrosis) of the liver, which advances into cirrhosis, liver failure and even liver cancer. This damage is often not noticed until the liver is close to total collapse.
Treatment and prevention of hepatitis C
The best way to prevent HCV is to not share needles and avoid coming into contact with other people’s blood.
People infected with HCV should get hepatitis A and B vaccines, and make lifestyle changes to promote good liver health. Smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption can accelerate liver fibrosis and so should be minimized. People with HCV should stop smoking, manage their weight, manage any current health problems and stop taking alcohol.
Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are used to treat HCV and target specific steps in the HCV life cycle and disrupt the virus from replicating.