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 .
Like all cases of hepatitis, the C virus is contagious. It is transmitted through blood and the most common mode is via contaminated syringes used by drug addicts. Even somebody who used a syringe for recreational drugs only once is at risk of developing hepatitis C.
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.
During the early phase of infection, occasionally symptoms are evident. They are likely to occur 1 to 3 months after contact with the C virus. They include jaundice, dark colored urine, pale stools, fatigue, pain under the rib cage on the right side of the abdomen, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and nausea or vomiting .
A chronic case of hepatitis C can develop into cirrhosis of the liver which is a condition related to alcoholism. In the case of cirrhosis, the liver’s healthy tissue is gradually replaced by fibrous tough tissue. When this happens, the liver begins to fail and loses its ability to function. Symptoms of cirrhosis are swelling of the belly and other limbs, sleep disturbances, itchy skin, fatigue, persistent jaundice, fluid retention, weight loss, vomiting blood, confusion, and hallucinations.
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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