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Hepatitis C

Updated on September 16, 2017

What should you know about Hepatitis C

  • Many people that have Hepatitis C do not have any symptoms
  • Cirrhosis of the liver has usually developed before symptoms begin to show
  • It is a viral disease that leads to the swelling (inflammation) of the liver
  • Hepatitis C is one of the most chronic causes of liver diseases in the US today
  • Approximately 350,000, or 35% of patients in the USA infected with HIV are also infected with the hepatitis C virus, mainly because both viruses are blood-borne and present in similar populations.

Causes

  • Long term kidney dialysis
  • Have a regular contact with blood (for example: health care worker)
  • Unprotected sex with someone infected
  • Sharing needles when using street drugs (most common)
  • Receive a blood transfusion before 1992
  • Receive a tattoo with a contaminated needle
  • Share personal items such as toothbrushes and razor

Most people with this chronic liver disease have liver cancer or cirrhosis.

Some symptoms that might occur may range from:

  • abdominal pain
  • dark urine
  • fatigue
  • generalized itching
  • jaundice
  • loss of appetite
  • low-grade fever
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • clay or clay covered stools

Treatment

  • Antiviral medications                                                                                             Hepatitis C infection is treated with antiviral medications intended to clear the virus from your body. The doctor may recommend a combination of medications taken over several weeks. Once you complete a course of treatment, your doctor will test your blood for Hepatitis C. If Hepatitis C is still present, your doctor may recommend a second round of treatment
  • Liver transplant
    If your liver has been severely damaged, a liver transplant may be an option. During a liver transplant, the surgeon removes your damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy liver. Most transplanted livers come from deceased donors, though a small number come from living donors.
  • Vaccinations to protect against other forms of viral hepatitis

Pros & Cons

  • Treatment isn't always necessary
  • Treatment is not treated unless its chronic
  • Approximately 50% of therapy does not work
  • The treatment is very difficult on the mind and body. Side effects include flu-like symptoms, headaches, and psychiatric problems.
  •  Chronic hepatitis C is most often treated with the drug combination peginterferon and ribavirin, which attacks the hepatitis C virus. Peginterferon is taken through weekly shots and ribavirin is taken daily by mouth. Treatment can last from 24 to 48 weeks.

Do you or someone you know have Hepatitis C

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    • dl53acy profile image

      dl53acy 7 years ago from East Texas

      Hi Figment, my mother suffered with hepatitis B a year ago. She began to be very deydrated, fatigue, had a considerable amount of weight loss and lack of appetite we rushed her to the hospital for treatments and observation and today she's doing okay but I'll tell you, hepatitis (in any strain A, B or C)is a very serious disease. Very informative hub! Noticed that you've lived in East Tx, great to meet another East Texan and I made you a fan! Feel free to stop by my hubpage maybe you'll find something entertaining :) Blessings to you!

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 7 years ago

      I´ve heard that treatment with peginterferon therapy is quite successful. Now when I come to think of it, I know a few people affected by this disease. It´s a pity not to treat it, I know three people who were successful in getting rid of it.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Yes, I subbed for a lady that had Hepatitis C. She showed me a picture of her liver that her doctor gave her, and it was very enlarged and totally the wrong color--sort of a light mushy pink instead of dark red. She was scared, but began treatments and learned how to maintain. Poor woman! She paid for her wild youth very much later on in life.

    • figment profile image
      Author

      Karli Duran 7 years ago from Texas

      Thank you. I know several people in Mississippi. Its infested with it

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      I've known 2 individuals with this terrible condition, and it seems some of the treatments are worse than the disease, much like chemotherapy.

      Well researched and thanks.

    • samboiam profile image

      samboiam 7 years ago from Texas

      figment, my mother has hepatis C. It is painful to watch her as the disease destroys her body. Thanks for drawing attention to this subject.