You may be worried that you have hepatitis C. Chances are if you received a blood transfusion prior to 1992, if you ever used intravenous (IV) drugs, or if you have a tattoo or body piercing, you may be at risk for hepatitis C.
Hepatitis is a disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver. Your liver is the largest organ in your body. It acts as a filter to remove harmful substances, called toxins, and waste form your blood. Hepatitis C may cause serious health issues, even in people who have no symptoms at all. Hepatitis C currently affects about 4 million people at this time. Symptoms may not present for a matter of 20 years.
How Hepatitis C is contracted? You can get the disease by coming in contact with the blood of an infected person. Many people at risk for hepatitis C have done something in their past that they didn’t know was putting them at risk. You should receive testing if you have ever shared a needle, snorted drugs(due to infected blood on shared straw), had a blood transfusion before 1992, underwent kidney transplant, just to name a few. There are currently two types of tests that can show whether you have hepatitis C. They are blood test, which looks for a virus in you blood. The second is a liver biopsy, which is more invasive. This is a surgical procedure, but is the best way to check for hepatitis C.
Some common symptoms of Hepatitis C are flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, blood sugar disorders, indigestion, diarrhea, and depression. Some people have no symptoms at all. There are medications available for hepatitis C that may help reduce the amount of hepatitis C virus in the blood and prevent further damage to the liver caused by the virus. Depending on the type of hepatitis C a person has, treatment usually lasts from 24 to 48 weeks.