Hepatitis C is a disease caused by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) which primarily infects the person’s liver. This is a curable disease but, with no constant treatment it can still cause severity of the disease which can lead to a life-long liver infection and even death. Throughout the world, there are over 150 million individuals who suffer with Hepatitis C. It may be acute or chronic which is accountable for at least 19,000 fatalities every year in the U.S.A. alone.
Causes Of Hepatitis C :
One can acquire Hepatitis C by having contact with the blood of an infected person. However, studies also show that body fluids can also cause the acquisition of HCV. Among the several causes of this disease is listed below:
- Sharing the same needle when injecting drugs
- Having tattooed or pierced using a non-sterile syringe or needle
- Receiving organ implants which have HCV
- Sharing personal hygiene materials including razor, scissors, nail clippers and toothbrush from an infected person
- Having sexual intercourse with multiple partners
- Failure to use condoms during sexual activities with an infected person
Hepatitis C Signs and Symptoms :
Among the Hepatitis viruses, the Hepatitis C is the most serious. However, 80 percent of the victims of HCV have no visible signs and symptoms. And if there are any, these people have already been infected. Below are some of the most common symptoms of HCV:
- Having fever
- Always feeling tired
- Poor appetite
- Frequent vomiting
- Stomach pains
- Joint and muscle pains
- Unusual urine discharges
- Unusual bowel movements
- Yellowish eyes and skin
Testing for a Hepatitis C infection can be made if you suspect yourself from having the disease. The tests involve collection of blood samples or undergo a biopsy. Below is a more accurate description of tests for HCV:
- Antibody Testing – This can detect HCV through the blood samples and a viral load test.
- Viral Load Testing – You will be tested for a quantitative HCV RNA test if the virus is present in your blood.
- Genotypic Testing – This refers to the tests in the genetic structure of the living organisms. This is important to determine what kind of treatment you need and how long your treatment will last.
In the event that you suspect yourself from being exposed to the Hepatitis C virus, it is best for you to undergo necessary tests and if proven positive have yourself treated at the earliest stage. Again, this disease has no visible symptoms. Below is a list of high risks individuals prone to acquiring Hepatitis C:
- Drug users
- Infants whose mothers have Hepatitis C
- Persons who received tattoo and piercing which have unsterilized equipment
- Sexual partners exposed to HCV
- Anyone who accidentally exposed themselves to the virus particularly nurses, doctors, and other medical workers
If you ever feel like something unusual with your body, immediately ask for medical advice and get a test.
Hepatitis C can cause severe damage to a person’s liver. Since most infected persons of HCV are asymptomatic, many people have lived without knowing they have this kind of disease. However, when they learn they have this kind of disease, it is already serious and have already caused damaged to the liver.
Prognosis for this kind of disease usually is subject to the severity of the damage of the liver. The more damaged it is, life expectancy is decreased. Moreover, the early treatment stages also matters and how well the body responds to the medication being given.
HCV can only be transferred through the transfer of blood to another. However, even small amounts of blood contact can cause this infection as well. For now, no vaccine is available to prevent HCV. But, there are helpful steps in preventing you to acquire the infection.
- Do Not Share Common Needles – Illicit drug users are more prone to having HCV because they usually share the same syringe and needle.
- Avoid Getting Exposed To Blood – If you work in a medical institution, avoid getting physical contact with any blood. Always use hand sanitizer and gloves to protect yourself at all times.
- Never Share Personal Hygiene Materials – Sharing the same razor, toothbrush and nail clippers can be the source of transmitting the infection. Even small amounts of blood can cause the transfer of infection to other people when you have HCV.
- Never Get A Tattoo or Body Pierce Anywhere – Choose an artist that you know follows healthy service and practices clean and healthy procedures such as using new and sterilized equipment and materials such as new needles and syringes.
- Practice Safe Sex – Always use condom if you are not sure your partner is not cleared from Hepatitis C. Never engage in multiple sex partners, but if you do use condoms.
Is Hepatitis C Contagious?
Yes, Hepatitis C is very contagious. It is a disease in the liver which ranges in different severity which can cause fatality in the long run if not properly treated. This infection can either be acute or chronic which can rapidly spread throughout the bloodstream of the victim.
Hepatitis C has 6 known genotypes in the entire world. These types are classified according to the genetic material in the RNA of each virus. This kind of virus can quickly multiply inside the blood vessels of the patient without even knowing.
When a person has Hepatitis C and no treatment is being made, it can certainly cause severe complications. Among the serious complications that this infection can bring the following:
- Liver Cirrhosis
- Liver cancer
- Liver failure, which will eventually result to death
Hepatitis C Home Remedies :
Home remedies is not always bad, in fact self-medicating can also help you in treating or preventing from getting Hepatitis C. Listed below are some of the common natural remedies for this infection:
- Milk Thistle – This natural herb can help in promoting liver health however; it comes with a few side effects such as diarrhea, nausea and abdominal bloating.
- Zinc Supplements – It is believed that the intake of zinc supplements is a good therapy for persons with HCV. But, there is no precise evidence on the effectiveness of this. Remember that too much zinc can be toxic.
- Probiotics – This live micro-organism is already active inside the human body. However, taking foods and supplements rich in probiotics can still benefit your total health.
Although there are no medical researches that can suffice any evidence of the treatment of HCV using these remedies, there is also no problem with you taking all available means of treatment.
This common disease can be treated by combining all medical remedies given by the doctors such as medicine and other treatments which involve:
- Reduce the risk of increasing the infection inside your body. Stay healthy always and avoid drinking alcohol and consider changing your lifestyle to prevent any damage to your liver.
- Ask for medical tests and follow all medication prescribed by the doctors to combat the HCV inside your body.