A comprehensive list of today's common ailments and health conditions.
By Shannon Pierce
Hepatitis C is a disease that impacts the liver. It is a virus that lives in the cells of the liver. Chronic hepatitis C can cause liver issues such as cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer. Hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver. Most people experience chronic hepatitis C while others may only have it for a short time, known as acute Hepatitis C. With the acute version our bodies are able to fight off the virus on it’s own. While it can be a serious virus, some people can manage their symptoms and live a normal life.
Even when people develop chronic hepatitis C they still may not have symptoms. Some people may have it for years and years before they are diagnosed. When people do experience symptoms they often report extreme fatigue, stomach pain, itchy skin, dark urine, and jaundice. They also report soreness in their muscles, and joint pain.
Hepatitis C is commonly spread through sharing contaminated needles when injecting drugs into the body. Sexual contact transmission is possible, but is less common. You cannot get hepatitis C from normal day-to-day contact and activities such as sharing food and drinks, hugging or kissing. Sometimes healthcare workers can accidentally become exposed to the blood of someone infected, or accidently become pricked with a needle by someone infected. Do not share anything that may have blood on it, such as a razor, toothbrush or other personal hygiene tools such as nail clippers.
Doctors may take a liver biopsy in order to determine how much, if any, liver damage has been done due to hepatitis C. They may also run blood tests to determine if hepatitis C is present.
Treatments and drugs
Treatment depends on a few factors including your current health condition, the genotype of hepatitis C, how much hepatitis C you have, and your liver function and damage. Acute or short-term hepatitis is not typically treated and long-term hepatitis patients must determine if the side effects of medicine are greater than the issues of the disease.
The goal of treatment is to reduce scarring and inflammation of the liver. Healthy nutrition, plenty of water, and exercise are recommended, as well as steering clear of drugs and alcohol. They may further damage the liver. Pegylated interferon, ribavirin, and Victrelis are common drugs used to treat hepatitis C. However, some people may relapse or not respond to treatment.
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