Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV).
HCV is spread when you come in contact with blood contaminated with the virus.
130–150 million people globally have chronic hepatitis C infection.
A significant number of those who are chronically infected will develop liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 500 000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver diseases (WHO).
Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious disease than can result in long-term health problems, even death.
It is considered by the Mayo Clinic to be the most serious of all.
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Symptoms and signs of hepatitis C
This infection often doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged. Symptoms and signs can include:
- developing a fever
- feeling tired
- having a poor appetite
- nausea or vomiting
- pain in your stomach
- joint or muscle pain
- abnormalities in urine or bowel movements
- a yellowing in your eyes or skin
According to Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of chronic infection typically become evident after years and are the result of liver damage caused by the virus. These may initially include the symptoms of acute infection.
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Then, over time, signs and symptoms may include:
- Itchy skin
- Bleeding easily
- Bruising easily
- Swelling in your legs
- Fluid accumulation in your abdomen
- Weight loss
- Confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech
- Spider-like blood vessels on your skin
Note: Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any of the above signs and symptoms.
You can help prevent potential liver damage by acting early.
There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. The best way to prevent this infection is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, especially injecting drugs.
Consider taking up safer sex practices. If you get tattoos or piercings, make sure that the employees use clean and sterile needles.
Hepatitis C is not spread through breast milk, food or water or by casual contact such as hugging, kissing and sharing food or drinks with an infected person.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. Statements made here have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding in supplements or making any changes in your diet. PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.