Hepatitis C Information
Hepatitis C is a liver disease that causes the organ to be inflamed. This inflammation is red swelling caused by injury or infection. This inflammation can cause organs to stop working properly. The liver is a very important organ. It has a lot of functions such as fighting infections, removing harmful chemicals from the blood, and it helps the body digest food. The human body cannot live without a liver.
This is an essential organ. The cause of hepatitis C is the hepatitis C virus. The virus is similar to the flu virus but can affect the body more severely. There are many symptoms of hepatitis C such as jaundice, loss of appetite and fever but it is best to see a doctor if you think you may have hepatitis C. This virus can be diagnosed with a blood test. The test can also determine if you have chronic or any other type of hepatitis. There is no treatment for this medical issue unless you have the chronic form. If you are diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C, prescription medication will be given to treat this. Since this virus causes the liver to be inflamed medication has to be treated if the virus is chronic.
Hepatitis C Symptoms
There are many symptoms of hepatitis C. Most people do not develop any symptoms until the virus causes liver damage. Here is a list of symptoms that occur once the virus damages the liver:
Jaundice, Fever, Loss of appetite, Diarrhea, Bruising easily, Upset stomach, Fatigue, Swelling of the ankles, or stomach, Dark yellow urine, Bleeding longer than usual.
As previously stated there is a chronic form of hepatitis C. The virus becomes chronic when the body cannot get rid of the hepatitis C virus. Some people can clear the virus from their body in a matter of months but most cases become chronic. Chronic hepatitis C has to be treated immediately. Without being treated it can cause liver cancer, cirrhosis, and liver failure.
The symptoms of cirrhosis are:
Weight loss, Weakness, Nausea, Jaundice, Spider-like blood vessels on the skin.
If you have the hepatitis C virus and these symptoms develop visit a doctor immediately. Chronic hepatitis C has to be treated in order to avoid any serious damage to the liver. If it isn’t treated the condition may lead to damaging the liver so severely that a liver transplant will be needed.
Hepatitis C Treatment
As previously stated hepatitis C is not treated unless it becomes chronic which means that the body is unable to get rid of the virus. The best thing to do if you don’t have the chronic form is to get a lot of rest, drink plenty of fluids, avoid alcohol and do not take any medications that can cause liver damage. All of these are at home treatments that can help your body get rid of the virus before it becomes chronic.
The treatment for chronic hepatitis C is medication that slows or stops the virus from attacking the liver. Chronic hepatitis C is usually treated with a combination of two drugs. The prescription drugs are peginterferon and ribavirin. Peginteferon is given through weekly shots and ribavirin is taken orally. This treatment usually lasts 6 months to a year depending on the patient. A Liver transplant is also a treatment option. A liver transplant is only needed when chronic hepatitis C causes liver failure. The surgery is basically replacing the failed liver with a healthy liver provided by a donor. After the liver transplantation surgery drug treatment usually continues because the hepatitis C virus may return after surgery.