Symptoms of Hepatitis C You Should Know
Our liver is one of our hardest working organs. It’s not a glamorous organ and doesn’t get the attention that the heart of lungs do. However, the truth is that without our Liver working at full capacity, we are vulnerable to a lot of different health issues.
The various forms of Hepatitis are some of the worst possible liver problems. They may seem to lay dormant for a long period of time and many people don’t even know that they have been infected. This is dangerous because the longer the Hepatitis is infected in the body, then the longer it has time to do damage to the liver and create complications. The best options for most people is to be well educated about Hepatitis and all that it means.
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a contagious disease that will attack the liver. There are two different forms of Hepatitis C. The first type is a mild acute version. It’s the short-term version and not nearly as bad as the chronic on. If someone contacts the Hepatitis C virus, they will likely show the acute form approximately 6 months later. The downside to the acute version of the virus is that it doesn’t just stay acute. It will often develop into the chronic form.
Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious issue. This viral infection remains in the body and causes intense liver problems. It can last for the entire life of the person who is infected.
The actual virus for Hepatitis C is referred to as HCV for short. This is because there are multiple different versions of Hepatitis. Currently, in the United States there are almost 3 million people who have contracted the chronic form of HCV. It’s very common for people to not even recognize that they have contacted HCV.
Hepatitis C Transmission
Hepatitis C isn’t the most easily spread virus. It’s not the airborne or waterborne. The most common way that Hepatitis C is spread is through blood to blood transmission. This means that the most common places to get Hepatitis C is through needles. This typically happens through drug users sharing their needles between each other. However, it can also happen in an accidental method. People may accidentally be stuck with needles in many different settings, but especially if proper needle safety isn’t followed in hospitals.
There have also been cases where hepatitis C has been contracted through sexual intercourse with someone who has the virus. It’s rarer however since there needs to be blood transmitted as other fluids do not transmit the virus.
Hepatitis C Symptoms
One of the problems of Hepatitis C is that the symptoms are often very mild. Those with the acute version often won’t show any symptoms at all. Those people with Hepatitis C symptoms will often just feel like they are ill with the flu. Most of the symptoms overlap and most people choose the most obvious choice when they show symptoms. Here are things to look out for:
- Joint and Muscle Pain
- Lack of Energy
- Dark Urine
- Stomach Issues
- Complete Lack of Energy
People with these symptoms may assume it’s flu, but it’s not a bad idea to get checked out by a doctor who can help you determine if you need to get tested for Hepatitis C as well.
Hepatitis C Treatment
Not everyone is eligible for treatment if they contact Hepatitis C. If they can be treated, doctors will work with each patient to determine what they need to do. The amount of damage that is done to people’s livers will be different. Treatments will also be affected by the amount of virus that is within the body. Less virus uses less treatment.
Typically, treatments will consist of antiviral medications. These medications work to try to calm the virus before the Hepatitis can cause serious problems like cirrhosis.