What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis Hepatitis C is a disease caused by the associated virus and specifically attacks the liver. Over half the cases of those infected with hepatitis C show no signs of liver disease. Signs and symptoms of the condition can be difficult to identify, and often go unnoticed for prolonged periods of time.

Symptoms

Symptoms include mild flu-like symptoms, which continue for two weeks to six weeks after exposure:

  • Nausea
  • Appetite loss
  • Tenderness in the liver
  • Mild fatigue
  • Restlessness, irritation

Liver problems associated with hepatitis C include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • Fever up to 102°F

Causes

Hepatitis C virus spreads through contact with an affected person’s blood. Sharing needles or syringes, and taking intravenous (IV) drugs, heightens the likelihood of exposure to hepatitis C. Nurses, lab technicians, doctors, and other healthcare professionals are also at risk of getting infected by the virus, as they are consistently exposed to devices which probe for the disease.

Direct contact with infected blood is needed to contract the disease, or through items which can penetrate the skin such as razors, nail files, scissors and toothbrushes.

Treatment

There is currently no cure for hepatitis C. However, taking the appropriate medicine for 6 to 10 months, 45% to 70% claim remission of symptoms. If you think you have hepatitis C, you should consult with your doctor before taking any medications.

  • Antiviral treatment is also a standard method for treating hepatitis C. After a blood test, your doctor will prescribe you a full course of medication. You need to complete the treatment regimen, and if the virus remains, your doctor may prescribe a new medication or increase dosages of the current one.
  • Good health and regular exercise is another treatment for hepatitis C. The affected person needs to avoid alcohol as well as medicines which may increase stress on the liver.

Side effects of treatment

You may face side effects during treatment. In the beginning, side effects will get worse, but will subside over time . If side effects are too intense,  you should discuss this with your doctor. They can offer methods for relieving these side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Depression

Do not deviate from your prescription, unless otherwise recommended by your doctor

Facts about hepatitis C

  1. Currently in the U.S, around 3 million people are infected with the hepatitis C virus.
  2. Hepatitis C virus does not spread through sexual contact or breastfeeding.
  3. In most cases, liver replacement was required due to hepatitis C virus.
  4. Because of the development of antiviral medications, 90% to 95% people are cured.

Living with hepatitis C is quite difficult. You may become sad, feel angry or you become confused as to whether or not you actually have the disease. Consult your doctor if you feel as though you’ve been exposed to the hepatitis C virus.

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