- by Manipal Hospitals
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- Feb 09 2017
Everything you need to know : HEPATITIS C
Hepatitis C is a liver infection, which is caused by the hepatitis C virus. HEPATITIS C virus is a blood-borne virus.
Symptoms of Hepatitis C:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus and spreads through the blood and fluids of an infected person. Some of the causes of Hepatitis C are:
- Stuck by infected needles
- Sharing drug or needles
- Sex with several partners (especially with an STD) or unprotected sex
- Born to a mother with Hepatitis C
- Have HIV
- Long-term kidney dialysis
- Blood transfusion (unsterilized)
If you notice above symptoms of Hepatitis C, then immediately consult a doctor and get blood test done to check if you have the Hepatitis C virus.
Hepatitis C primarily causes inflammation of the liver, which makes it difficult for the liver to perform vital functions. As the disease progresses, hepatitis C can lead to severe damages:
- Digestive System –
The liver produces bile, which helps the intestine absorb nutrients into the blood. The body stores the pile in the gallbladder. Hepatitis C damages the liver’s ability to produce bile and thus cause inflammation of the gallbladder. The result of which people with hepatitis C may feel unbearable pain in the upper right portion of the abdomen. Other effects of hepatitis C on digestive system are loss of appetite, vomits and nausea.
- Central Nervous System –
Hepatitis C damage the liver’s ability to filter toxins from the blood. The build-up toxins in the brain can lead to a variety of problems; sleeplessness, weakening of small motor skill, personality disorder, amnesia, confusion, poor concentration etc. At the advance level, hepatitis C can also cause coma.
- Circulatory System –
Hepatitis C makes it difficult for the liver to function properly. The poor functioning liver can create blood flow problems due to which the vein can burst out causing serious internal bleeding issues. Hepatitis C can also cause anemia by making the liver unable to extract iron from the blood and store it for later use. It can also make liver unable to convert sugar into glucose. The excess of sugar in the blood can lead to type2 diabetes.
- Integumentary System (skin, nails and hair)–
Hemoglobin, found in red blood cells, transports iron and oxygen throughout the body. Iron is very necessary to keep skin, hair and nails healthy. The poor functioning liver can cause your skin and white of the eyes to turn yellow.
- Endocrine and Immune System –
The hepatitis C can cause the immune system to attack the thyroid tissue and thus lead to weight loss and sleep disorder.
If the infection progresses, it can cause chronic hepatitis C which can lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver.
There are few medicines which can cure the disease in some people. But they can have few side effects such as fatigue, anemia, depression, nausea, diarrhea, and skin rash and anxiety issue. It is very important to use those medicines under a doctor’s prescription. The doctor will be the best person to figure out what’s best for the patient, based on the severity of Hepatitis C.
Below are few precautions which one should take to avoid hepatitis C;
- Use condom every time you have sex
- If you are infected then don’t donate blood or tissue
- Don’t share items like razors
- Be careful if you get a body piercing, tattoo etc.
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