Hepatitis C is a form of infectious disease that is known to be caused by the hepatitis c virus (HCV) and mainly causes an infection in the liver.
This is a common form of hepatitis and is seen in millions of people annually worldwide. However, most of the times it can go undetected as there are visible symptoms in very rare cases.
Symptoms of Hepatitis C
Very few people infected with Hepatitis C may show detectable symptoms. These are the various signs and symptoms that indicate towards the presence of Hepatitis C infection:
- Jaundice (yellowed skin-tone and eyes, dark urine)
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
What causes Hepatitis C?
The virus mainly spreads through the blood or other bodily fluid from an infected person.
You can get infected from:
- Sharing needled and drugs
- Sexual intercourse (especially if afflicted with an STD such as HIV)
- Infected by a needle
- Congenital (it can be passed from the mother to child during pregnancy)
Hepatitis C is not known to spread through sharing of food, water or by casual contact with an infected person.
Who is at risk of Hepatitis C?
It is advisable to get tested for Hepatitis C, if:
- You have received blood transfer from an infected person
- You have injected drugs
- You have had a blood transfusion or organ transplant
- You have been on kidney dialysis from a long time
- You are infected with HIV
- Your mother was infected with Hepatitis C
The doctor can detect the presence of Hepatitis C infection with a simple blood test and recommend the best for of Hepatitis C treatment.
What are the Hepatitis C Treatments?
There are various types of treatment methods for treating Hepatitis C infection. The exact type of treatment method suitable for your individual case will depend in various factors such as mainly the type of virus you are infected with.
In rare cases the infection may get cleared without any medical intervention, however, in most cases of Hepatitis C infection treatment is required. People diagnosed with Hepatitis C are advised to avoid alcohol and medications that prove toxic to the liver. They are also advised to receive vaccinations to prevent Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.
These are the common Hepatitis C treatment methods:
Medications – Chronic Hepatitis C can be treated successfully with anti-viral medications in most cases if the person is not suffering from any other underlying fatal medical disorder. Treatment is usually based on the amount of risk of complications resulting from the infected liver.
Several different types of medications are available to be administered according to the type of hepatitis c virus (HCV) infecting the liver.
Surgery – A surgical treatment for Hepatitis C infection is required in case the infection results in liver cirrhosis which requires a liver transplant. There are rare chances of the infection recurring in the grafted liver in less than five years after transplant. Medications can be used to reduce the risk of the infection recurring in the grafted liver.
How to prevent Hepatitis C?
There are various simple precautionary measures that can be adopted in order to prevent the infection from the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), such as:
- Using latex condoms while having sexual intercourse
- Avoiding sharing of personal grooming items such as razor blades
- Sterilizing the equipment before getting a tattoo or manicure as it may be infected with someone else’s blood
- Avoiding blood donation if you are infected
Although Hepatitis C is a common enough infection that affects millions of people worldwide it goes undetected in many cases due to lack of any visible symptoms. It is highly advised to get prompt Hepatitis C treatment in order to avoid further complications from arising that might prove to be fatal.