Hepatitis c symptoms are somewhat of an enigma because frequently they never appear and, when they do, they can take years to present themselves. There are three different types of hepatitis, namely A, B, and C. All affect the liver by causing severe inflammation. Causes may include poisons or toxins, certain medications, and alcoholism. Hepatitis c is a result of the C virus (HCV).
If the inflammation can’t be controlled, the condition will be termed ‘chronic’. This means that it’ll turn into a long-term problem. When it reaches this stage, patients are at risk of severe liver disease which can lead to death. Of all hepatitis infections, seventy-five percent are hepatitis C. The condition can cause liver failure and, if this occurs, a liver transplant is the last hope .
Hepatitis C, like A and B, is very contagious. Transmission occurs via blood and the most common cause is the sharing of contaminated needles by drug addicts. An individual could have injected a recreational drug intravenously just once in their lives and be at risk of developing the condition.
Other reasons for transmission, even though less widespread, are from mother to child during childbirth, having multiple sex partners, or having sex with an infected partner. Sharing personal things like nail clippers, eating utensils, and razors with an infected person will put you at risk of developing the disease. On the other hand, you can not get it by living with, or touching, someone with hepatitis .
The disturbing factor about hepatitis C is that 80 percent of people with it have no idea that they are infected. That is mainly because it doesn’t usually present symptoms and, when it does, these could possibly occur as long as 20 years after initial exposure. Also, the symptoms might be mild, vague, and erratic. By the time they do appear, serious liver damage has already occurred.
Occasionally, symptoms are shown within the early phase of infection. They normally happen 5-12 weeks after exposure to the virus. They can very best be described as typical flu symptoms. Typical ones consist of vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, pain under the right side of the rib cage, fatigue, pale stools, dark colored urine, and jaundice.
Cirrhosis of the liver can typically occur with chronic cases of HCV. This is a condition that generally affects alcoholics. If cirrhosis develops, further damage occurs simply because tough fibrous tissue replaces the liver’s healthy tissues. Over time, this will cause complete liver failure and loss of all the organ’s functions. Symptoms of cirrhosis include confusion, hallucinations, vomiting blood, fluid retention, weight loss, persistent jaundice, itchy skin, swelling of the limbs and belly, and sleep disturbances .
As mentioned earlier, hepatitis c symptoms don’t always present themselves early, if at all, as a result this disease might be known as a silent killer. Anybody who has it can manage it with some necessary lifestyle changes. A healthy diet is important, as is regular exercise, and medical support. Additionally, alcohol need to be avoided completely. Further liver damage may be prevented if this regime is adhered to. It is also advisable to be vaccinated against the B and A viruses.
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