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Overview

Hepatitis C - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) that primarily affects the liver. During the initial infection people often have mild or no symptoms. Occasionally a fever, dark urine, abdominal pain, and yellow tinged skin occurs.

What happens in Hepatitis :

The liver gets infected and inflamed in hepatitis C. This condition takes place after getting infected by HCV or hepatitis C virus, which may either be chronic or acute in nature. The acute hepatitis C symptoms have quite a rapid onset and may last for some weeks. The chronic hepatitis C on the other hand has symptoms which develop through a period of few months which might not be apparent initially. Hepatitis C unlike A and B does not have a vaccine, even though efforts for creating one are still on going.

Hepatitis C can be highly contagious, which explains the high incidence of people having this disease. This disease can happen to anyone all across the globe. The doctor might not have sufficient evidence for diagnosing you with hepatitis C, solely based on symptoms of this disease. So it is necessary to inform your doctor if you have had a hepatitis C exposure recently. If the doctor thinks that you might have the virus, they might ask you to get a few blood tests to look for traces of HCV. Blood tests are used to measure the presence of HCV in the blood. Genotyping tests can be done to check the best treatment option for you, if you have been infected with this disease.

An LFT or a liver function test may be prescribed by your doctor if they think that you might have a damaged liver. This test is done for checking the blood and urine for traces of elevated enzymes. Liver biopsy is another test done for checking the imminent liver damage. For this, the doctor takes a small piece of tissue from the liver and tests it for any cell abnormalities.

Not everyone having hepatitis C infection will require treatment as the immune system in some people might overcome infections of their own accord.

There are quite a few treatment options for hepatitis C. Treatment is generally reserved for those having severe liver scarring and damage. Previous hepatitis C treatments needed weekly injections continuing over 48 weeks and had the risk of near fatal side effects. Newer antiviral medicines have greater cure rates and lesser harmful side effects. They also need a reduced treatment period.

The doctor is the only person who can decides if anti-viral medicines are more beneficial or harmful for your overall health. Normally, your doctor would ask you to get bed rest for saving energy for fighting off this disease. You should also ask your doctor for a diet plan for preventing dehydration and malnourishment. In some cases of hepatitis C, treatment may not be needed as the liver abnormalities are minor in case of this disease.

hepatitis C Treatment
Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test always required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Spread by sexual or direct blood contact
Symptoms
Yellowing of the eyes and skin. Fatigue, nausea and loss of appetite.

Popular Health Tips

Liver Transplant Surgery - Everything You Need To Know About It!

MS - General Surgery, DNB - Surgical Gastroenterology, MBBS
Surgical Gastroenterologist, Ghaziabad
Liver Transplant Surgery - Everything You Need To Know About It!

As you might already know, the liver performs some important functions for the body such as removing toxins from the blood stream, regulating the immune response, processing hormones, nutrients, and medications, production of bile, production of protein, etc. That’s why the liver is considered to be the most important organ of the human body, and it’s vital to have a healthy, functioning liver. However, in some cases, a person needs a liver transplant. This is a complex surgical procedure that aims at replacing a non-functioning liver with a healthy liver from a donor.

Why is liver transplant done?
Liver transplant is mostly done in cases where the conditions cannot be controlled with conventional treatment or people suffering from cancer. A liver failure generally happens over a period. But, there are cases where the liver might fail in a matter of days. This condition is termed as an acute liver failure.

Chronic liver failure, on the other hand, happens gradually and can be a result of a lot of factors; the most common being liver cirrhosis. The latter can befall due to reasons such as hepatitis C and B, liver fat, Wilson’s disease, alcohol abuse, etc.

When do you need a liver transplantation?
The liver carries various functions important function in the body. Any disease or damage to it can affect the functioning of many other organs and total body functioning. However, the good thing is that liver can regenerate itself and only when it is damaged to an extent that affects this regeneration process; that one needs to look at the various treatment options. Liver transplant is recommended as the last resort in case of serious life threatening liver diseases like the following-

  1. Chronic liver failure
  2. Liver cirrhosis
  3. Acute hepatic necrosis
  4. Auto immune hepatitis
  5. Viral hepatitis
  6. Cancerous tumors in the liver
  7. Other metabolic disorders caused by the liver

For you to be eligible for a liver transplantation it is a must to remain sober for at least 6 months before the procedure happens.

Who can donate healthy liver for transplantation?
Ideally, a healthy liver is available for transplantation once the organ donor has died. However, due to the shortage of cadaver livers, transplantation of a portion of a healthy liver from a living donor was first attempted in the late 1980s. Today living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) is a common practice in quite a few medical institutes where up to 70% of the right side of the healthy liver is taken from the donor. 

Apart from the liver portion, a small part of a blood vessel in the leg is also removed from the donor’s body to connect the donated liver portion to the recipient. Due to this complex process, the donor may need a hospital stay for a week or longer. During this time the donor’s liver begins to heal and regenerate itself. Full regeneration generally takes six to eight weeks. In case of the recipient, it takes a bit longer for the transplanted portion to reach full function and the appropriate size. Thus the ability of the liver to regenerate helps both the donor and recipient to have a normal functioning liver in some time.

Risks and Benefits of Liver Transplantations
A good transplant centre ensures that all the safety measures are followed during the liver transplantation by the transplant surgeon and there is no risk of complications like bleeding, infection, blocked blood vessels bile ducts in the liver. A successful liver transplant increases the life span of the donor by a few years. However, the new liver can also get infected with hepatitis if it is not treated alongside. Also, relapse to alcohol use after transplant causes damage to the new liver, so stay sober and stay healthy.

What are different phases involved in the process?

  1. The first part of the process involves identifying a transplant centre that is reliable, trustworthy and performs enough transplants in a year. It is important to figure out the survival rate, factor in the cost, access the additional support that the centre can extend, etc.
  2. The next part is the evaluation. Any hospital evaluates a person with three things: A. whether the body is healthy enough to support medications for the rest of the life. B. Whether there exists any pre-medical condition that can jeopardize the procedure. C. If the patient is willing to follow the treatment plan for the rest of the life.
  3. Another phase that enters here is the testing phase. Some of the typical tests that are conducted include imaging test of the liver, basic laboratory tests, nutritional counselling, heart tests, routine health exam, financial counselling, etc. Once these procedures are over and done with, the selection panel of the centre meets to discuss the case and put the patient on the waiting list.

Is there a post-surgery procedure?

Once the patient is matched and the surgery takes place, a patient is likely to be in the intensive care unit for a few days followed by frequent check-ups for the first few months and the medicine continues for the rest of the life. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3865 people found this helpful

Hepatitis C: Can Be as Dangerous as Hepatitis B

Panchkula & Delhi
Mother and Child Care, Panchkula
Hepatitis C: Can Be as Dangerous as Hepatitis B

Hepatitis C is a Viral Infection That is Little Talked About, But Can Be As Dangerous As Hepatitis B

Most people have head or what became in the 1980s and '90s the dreaded AIDS virus. With time and the availability of medicines, it ceased to be a killer. However, the knowledge of it helped stem its spread. Most people, unfortunately, don't realize that hepatitis C is also a killer, simply because not much has been said about it. In fact, it is also a virus, but is 10 times more infectious than HIV.

Hepatitis C is transmitted through the blood, and is usually passed on to women through infected needles and sex. At-home glucometers are often shared, or sometimes a woman's own lifestyle or her partner's lifestyle before marriage may put her at risk, because the virus can stay in the blood for years. It is also transmitted through blood products, like in the case of a transfusion, though in the case of pregnant women, this is not so common.

The dangers
The virus affects 1 in every 100 people in India, while globally 180 million are infected with it. Sometimes, it may just pass through the body, like many other viruses do, but sometimes, it can remain. If detected quickly, within six months or so, cure rates are high. the problem is that it is often not easy to detect, as symptoms resemble those of a regular seasonal viral infection: fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite. If it remains in the body, becoming chronic, then it may progress to liver disease. But the hepatitis C virus (HCV) doesn't have to be a killer. You can conquer it with these moves. 

What you should do before
A number of couples who come to me have planned pregnancies-they opt for a baby, rather than the baby just 'happening' to them. This not only helps family planning, but it also helps us rule out infections or treat them if present. Usually, in the first trimester, your gynecologist will ask you to do a simple blood test for HIV, hepatitis B and C. In the case of a planned pregnancy, visit your doctor beforehand and ask if you need to take these tests before you conceive. However, there is no vaccine for HCV yet.

What you should do after
If a woman find out in the first trimester that she is hepatitis C positive, there's nothing much that can be done, as anti-viral medications cause birth defects, so a mother can only be put on them after delivery. She is advised to continue the pregnancy. A baby's chance of acquiring the infection in utero is between 5 and 7%. While this is not high, parents may like to avoid the risk. However, co-infection with HIV (if the mother is HIV positive) pushes the risk up to 19.4%. The pregnancy itself will not be hampered by the HCV infection. Nor does the risk of transmission to the child have anything to do with the mode of delivery-either vaginal or C-section. In India, there is little data on HCV transmission from mother to child. However, once the baby is born, the pediatrician may not do an immediate test to check for the virus, as it generally clears out from the baby's system in a year or so. Testing may only be done at 18 months.

4515 people found this helpful

Ayurvedic Remedies For Hepatitis C!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), BTCM, DTCM
Ayurveda, Bargarh
Ayurvedic Remedies For Hepatitis C!

Hepatitis C is one of the five forms of hepatitis infection that is known to afflict the liver. Hepatitis C is one of these infections and is caused by the Hepatitis C virus, also known as HCV. It spreads through the blood of the individual who has been already affected by the disease. The infection can be mild in nature lasting for a few weeks, or severe that causes a lifelong disease. When the infection turns chronic, it can lead to liver cirrhosis.

Hepatitis C is diagnosed through a blood test and though the symptoms are not very clear, the infected individual may experience fever, dark urine, abdominal pain, swelling in the legs, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, decreased appetite, nausea, and muscle or joint pain. As of now, there is no vaccine available to counter hepatitis C but research is underway in this direction. There are allopathic medicines to fight the infection but Ayurvedic remedies are preferred by a good number of people as they do not lead to any side effects and are known to give desirable results in time. So, here are some effective remedies to treat the infection.

  1. Panchakarma: Panchakarma, the holistic Ayurvedic detox remedy, is very helpful in curing the inflammation of the liver and it eliminates the pitta dosha, considered to be responsible for causing the infection. It involves five steps and in the first step Abhyanga, the body is given a massage with warm herbal oils. It is followed by Shirodhara, Garshana, Swedana, and Pizichili. In the subsequent steps, medicated oil is poured over the forehead and then the body is rubbed with silk gloves or wool. Later, it is given a steam bath and then a combination of massage and oil pouring is administered.
  2. Andrographis paniculata: Also known as Kalmegh, this herb is a prized liver tonic that is known to carry anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It relaxes the inflamed intestines and gives relief in abdominal pain and fluid accumulation.
  3. Boerhavia diffusa: Also known as Punarnava, this herb is very effective in controlling the swelling and fluid retention in the abdomen. It possesses anti-inflammatory action and diuretic properties which relax the liver walls and also flushes out toxins from the body by increasing the flow of urine.
  4. Phyllanthus niruri: Also known as Bhumi Amla, this fruit is very effective in fighting infections of the liver and has the potential to treat all forms of liver diseases. It also carries analgesic, anti-bacterial, and anti-spasmodic properties. It cures the inflammation of the liver and also rectifies the pitta imbalance, which is the primary cause of liver problems as per Ayurveda.

These Ayurvedic remedies are a reliable and rich treatment method and can cure the liver infection from the root. The herbal medicines can be taken in any form and they work in all stages of hepatitis C but it is always advised to consult a credible Ayurveda practitioner before going for any of these remedies. A thorough diagnosis is a must before prescription of appropriate remedies and treats the infection.

3 Reasons Behind Hepatitis!

MS - General Surgery, Membership of The Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), Diploma In Laparoscopy, FICS, FACRSI
Gastroenterologist, Salem
3 Reasons Behind Hepatitis!

Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver, which may often progress to dangerous complications. There are many types of Hepatitis and each has its own particular set of causes, symptoms, mode of contraction and treatment procedures. Here are the main types of Hepatitis as well as some of the factors which may cause Hepatitis:

Types

  1. Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A virus infection causes this condition. The Hepatitis A virus comes from food or water contaminated with the feces of someone contaminated with Hepatitis A. This is not a chronic form of Hepatitis.
  2. Hepatitis B: This is a chronic form of Hepatitis. It is spread through body fluid, such as blood, saliva and semen. The possible causes of Hepatitis B include use of drugs through injections, having sex with an infected partner and sharing razors or other intimate articles with someone who is infected.
  3. Hepatitis C: This is also a chronic form of Hepatitis.The most common causes of Hepatitis C are injection drug use or having sex.
  4. Hepatitis D: This is a not a chronic form of Hepatitis and is also very uncommon. It is usually contracted along with Hepatitis B. It is usually caused due to puncture wounds or contact with infected blood.
  5. Hepatitis E: This is the most uncommon form of Hepatitis. It is due to poor sanitation and ingesting fecal matter. It is usually found in developing countries.

Causes

  1. Virus: This is the usual way of contracting Hepatitis. The virus attacks the liver and causes inflammation leading to the breakdown of a number of body systems.
  2. Alcohol and other toxins: Alcohol and certain prescribed medications cause the liver to swell and that is why this form of Hepatitis is known as alcoholic Hepatitis.
  3. Autoimmune disease: This is the rarest cause of Hepatitis. The immune system malfunctions and begins destroying its own tissues. It attacks the liver because it perceives the liver to be a foreign object.
1761 people found this helpful

Ayurvedic Remedies For Hepatitis C!

BAMS, MS - Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Hyderabad
Ayurvedic Remedies For Hepatitis C!

Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and it can spread from one person to another through infected blood. In the initial stages, the symptoms of the disease are very mild and therefore, the infection goes undetected most of the time but when the symptoms turn serious, they need to be treated as turning a blind eye could prove dangerous. It can lead to liver cirrhosis and even liver failure. So, specific symptoms such as dark urine, fever, weight loss, fatigue, and pain in the abdomen should not be ignored and one must go for diagnosis. If hepatitis C is detected, the treatment should be started immediately and if one takes recourse to Ayurveda, then he or she can be sure of a “side-effects free” treatment.

Ayurvedic medicines help balance pitta
Ayurveda supposes that any liver disease or liver infection is caused by pitta vitiation because this life energy governs the liver. It is believed that when pitta becomes aggravated, it affects the functioning of the liver. The liver becomes inflamed and is unable to remove the poisonous substances from the body, leading to a buildup of toxins. So, Ayurveda deals with the aggravated pitta at first. It prescribes medicines and foods that calm the pitta. For example, medicines such as katuki, kalmegha, haritaki, and guduchi eliminate the excess pitta from the body. The Ayurvedic therapies such as abhyanga and panda sveda also aim at removing the pitta and toxins from the body.

 

 


Ayurveda heals the liver
In hepatitis C, the liver is affected by the infection. It undergoes swelling and scarring. So, the Ayurvedic medicines try to repair this damage done to the liver walls. The herbal medicines prescribed by the Ayurvedic doctor such as punarnava and bhumi amla have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that relax the inflamed liver walls. They also repair the damaged tissues and restore the liver to its normal state. Light food items such as oats, barley, and fruits get digested easily and do not put strain any strain on the liver. They are highly conducive to the recuperating body and during the treatment procedure, enhance the efficacy of the medicines

Ayurvedic treatment boosts immunity
Hepatitis C, being an infectious disease, directly impacts the immune system of the body. So, Ayurvedic treatment also focuses on strengthening the immunity of the patient. An easily digestible diet and medicines such as turmeric, bhringaraj, and bhumyalaki work at restoring immunity. The therapies also give the immunity a boost and when this happens, the body can fight the infection more effectively.

So, Ayurveda uses a multi-pronged treatment strategy for hepatitis C, which proves helpful in treating the infection from the roots. It works at different levels because the motive is to provide permanent relief and not temporary comfort. This is why, diet restrictions, lifestyle regulation, and abstinence are given so much importance. Ayurveda is a holistic science that cures any disease by dealing with all the problem areas. This is why, in case of hepatitis C, the patient not just gets relief from the symptoms but their liver also recovers to its original healthy state.

 

 

Popular Questions & Answers

Is anti Hep C antibody test conclusive on 8th week mark. I had vaginal exposure with a call girl. 1. If not conclusive, how much reliable on 8th week mark. Doctors are requested to give views. 2. Should I plan to do a PCR test. 3. What are chances to get Hep C during vaginal sex. I am feeling anxiety in this regard. Please help me. Regards.

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FCPS, DGO, Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning (DFFP)
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
There are a number of diagnostic tests for hepatitis C, including HCV antibody enzyme immunoassay or ELISA, recombinant immunoblot assay, and quantitative HCV RNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR). HCV RNA can be detected by PCR typically one to two weeks after infection, while antibodies can take substantially longer to form and thus be detected.

HCV RNA report 6000 is it serious what is the cost of medicine diet to be given and is it curable the patient too have fatty liver what r the precaution to be taken.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
The cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is unknown. Risk factors include obesity, gastric bypass surgery, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Most people have no symptoms. In rare cases, people may experience fatigue, pain or weight loss. Over time, inflammation and scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) can occur. No standard treatment exists. Instead, doctors will treat the underlying condition, such as obesity.

My concern is about hepatitis c. I have been unfortunately pricked by allpin multiple times. I have tested in the past for HIV and hepatitis b but not hepatitis c. What's the risk.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user. Thanks for the question. I can understand. HIV spread through Contact between broken skin, wounds, or mucous membranes and HIV-infected blood or blood-contaminated body fluids. Deep, open-mouth kissing if both partners have sores or bleeding gums and blood from the HIV-positive partner gets into the bloodstream of the HIV-negative partner. HIV is not spread through saliva. Take care.
1 person found this helpful

I have hcv infection. Doctor advised for liver biopsy. I have done fibroscan which is 7.3 kpa. Is it safe. Is fibroscan normal or not.

FIMSA, MD-Nephrology, DM - Nephrology, MD-Medcine, MBBS
Nephrologist, Delhi
Your fibroscan score is suggestive of mild abnormality. You can avoid biopsy. Continue treatment and precautions for HCV disease. If you want a detailed advice then please consult me online/audio/video at the earliest.
5 people found this helpful

If a mother passes her HCV positive to born baby what are the chances for surviving the baby And please give advise what should we do as she is only 2 months pregnant we got married in 2010 and having a son of 6 years of age.

MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Delhi
If mother is hcv +ve then there are 1 in 25 chance of transmitting the infection to the baby .you can get your wife's hcv RNA qualitative test .if low or -ve then chances of transmission of infection is very low. Once the baby is born he is tested for hcv infection at 12-18 months.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is Hepatitis C?

What happens in Hepatitis :

Play video
Hepatitis B & C
Diagnosis and Treatment for Hepatitis B & C


Hello. I am Dr. Somasekhar Rao, gastroenterologist, and hepatologist at Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad. I have been working as a a gastroenterologist for the last 8 years and the most common cause which I felt was that people are not aware was Hepatitis B and C. So, I thought I will talk to about these viruses in short. So, basically, there are two chronic Hepatitis viruses, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. We can talk about them together because they have similar symptoms most of the times and similar modes of transmission. So, these viruses when they infect a given body they don t harm any other organs of the body except the liver and these viruses are hepatotropic viruses and this damage the liver.

The damage caused by these viruses can be detrimental, can cause cirrhosis of the liver and cancer of the liver. So, all these things are avoidable when we can treat them adequately at the right time. Most of the time if you do a simple test called HBsAg, we will be able to detect the virus called Hepatitis B and if you do a test Anti-HCV, we will be able to detect a virus called Hepatitis C. So, when we detect these viruses based on the patients other parameters and the liver function test, we will decide if the patient needs treatment and If the patient needs treatment, then there are good drugs available for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, it can cure the disease. so, if we treat the virus then there is no chance of liver damage like Cirrhosis and cancer of the liver.

The mode of transmission of this virus is very important to know. Most of the times it is not only it is always intravenous. It can be transmitted by intravenous injections or needle sharing. It can be transmitted by blood products. It can be transmitted by sexual transmission. And, most of the time we see this IV drug abuser sharing needles. Therefore, these are the chances of transmission. The most important root of transmission is mother-child transmission which is another possibility of these viruses. So, we should be aware of these viruses and modes of transmission so that we can avoid the transmission of these viruses.

So, Hepatitis B is a treatable disease whenever there is a necessity. Whenever the liver function tests are high or the Hepatitis B viral load is high, we need to treat them. There are very good anti-viral tablets available for Hepatitis B and you are preventing the liver from going into Cirrhosis or cancer of the liver. Hepatitis C is a curable disease based on the Hepatitis C RNA count and Hepatitis C genotype. There are various drugs available in the markets which are newly available where the cure rates for Hepatitis C are more than 90%. So, I would suggest a simple blood test for Hepatitis B that is HBsAg and for Hepatitis C Anti-HCV can save your liver.

If you are positive, you need to consult your doctor and get treated. You can contact me through Lybrate or I am available at Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice