Hepatitis C is a viral disease that typically causes inflammation of the liver, and at times completely damages the organ as well. The virus of hepatitis C usually spreads through contaminated blood and is one of the hardest of its class to treat.
Unlike its cousins, hepatitis C is most likely to become an ongoing and chronic disease, causing unexpected conditions to develop and persist. As per a report published by one of the leading medical associations of the world, hepatitis C virus stands among the most common blood-borne viral infections across the globe. Nearly 5 million people are diagnosed with his chronic condition every year and about a quarter of them lose their lives to hepatitis C as well.
Until recently, a person with hepatitis C required weekly injections and oral medications to keep the virus in check. However, the treatment was not so effective as it infringed with a person’s existing health condition and showcased unacceptable side effects. Today, scientists and physicians have developed effective medications which can cure hepatitis C condition in a matter of weeks.
A bigger matter of concern here is that half of the people are still unaware about the implications and complications of hepatitis C. Most of them are even unable to detect that they have been infected with the virus of hepatitis C, mainly because they do not experience symptoms. For this reason, physicians recommend that individuals must get tested against the hepatitis C virus at least once a year.
Studies prove that hepatitis C does not showcase any signs of its existence, especially at its early stage. It is only after a matter of months or years that the condition becomes prominent. Chronic hepatitis C – a long-term infection with hepatitis C virus is usually a “silent” infection until it starts damaging the liver. Some prominent signs and symptoms of Hepatitis C are as follows:
As the name suggests, the infection of hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus. It typically spreads when contaminated blood enters the bloodstream of a healthy individual.
Physicians state that the virus of hepatitis C exists in a variety of distinct forms, called the genotypes.
Genotype 1 and 2 is most commonly found in regions of North America and Europe, which have now spread through other continents as well. Other known genotypes showcase their prominence in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Though the infection of hepatitis C follows a similar course of growth and destruction regardless of its genotype, treatment against the condition still depends upon the viral genotype.
Hepatitis C Complications
Hepatitis C infection, typically chronic hepatitis C causes significant complications. Some of these are as follows:
Today, the infection of hepatitis C is typically treated with antiviral medications, which aim to wipe clean the virus from the body. The main objective of the treatment is to completely eliminate the problem from its roots.
Many recent and significant advancements in the field of medical science have revealed a classic, new-age treatment for hepatitis C – the direct acting anti-viral medications. These medications have showcased better results with fewer side effects and shorter treatment time. Here, the length of treatment and choice of medications depends upon the genotype of hepatitis C, any existing liver condition, other medical problems, and prior treatments.
In case an individual has developed serious hepatitis C complications, liver transplantation usually becomes the go-to option.
During the liver transplantation process, a surgeon carefully removes the damaged liver from the body and replaced it with a healthy one. Most of these transplanted livers generally come from deceased donors and a small number from living donors who agree to donate a part of their liver.
In the majority of cases, liver transplantation alone does not cure the problem. It is supported with over-the-counter medications and proper check-ups completely eliminate the condition and even prevent it from returning.
If you’ve been diagnosed with hepatitis C, your physician is most likely to recommend you to bring about certain changes in your lifestyle and eating habits. These small yet effective measures can significantly aid in keeping you healthy and protected against chronic viral infections including hepatitis C.