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Last Updated: Sep 03, 2019
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Hepatitis C - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Hepatitis C? What are the symptoms of hepatitis C? How is hepatitis C transmitted? What causes hepatitis C? How is hepatitis C diagnosed? What is the best treatment for hepatitis C? Who is eligible for the treatment? Who is not eligible for the treatment? What are the side effects of hepatitis C treatment? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover from hepatitis C treatment? How do you prevent hepatitis C from spreading? What are the complications of hepatitis C? What is the cost of hepatitis C treatment in India? Is Hepatitis C Curable? What are the alternatives to hepatitis C treatment?

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis c virus that primarily affects the liver. It is a viral strain that can cause chronic symptoms and can affect your liver. It predominantly attacks your liver making them vulnerable, and after a period, a complete failure of the liver can occur. Such conditions can be life-threatening and can be fatal in most cases. The major way by which the virus transmits is through unsafe sex where your partner might be having the viral strains.

This condition takes place after the liver gets infected and inflamed as 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 ongoing.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C symptoms:

Most of the people do not know if they have the viral strain as it rarely shows symptoms. During the initial infection, people often have mild or no symptoms. and the virus damages the liver and these are the symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark-coloured skin
  • Bleeding easily
  • Bruising easily
  • Discolouration of skin and eye
  • Swelling of legs
  • Confusion
  • The buildup of fluid in the abdomen

Symptoms of chronic Hepatitis C:

If a person is suffering for a long time then it may convert to chronic hepatitis C. The symptoms cannot be diagnosed and can remain in the body for several years and you may not even know it. The symptoms of chronic hepatitis C are as follows:

  • Easy bleeding
  • Bruises
  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Weight loss
  • Slurred speech
  • Spider-like blood vessels under the skin

The overall health of the person is affected due to liver infection and the quick damage in the liver occurs and there is a possible progression of cirrhosis. This can make the liver collapse.

How is hepatitis C transmitted?

Hepatitis c transmission:

  • An infected mother transmitting it to the baby at the time of birth
  • A needle prick injury
  • Close proximity with someone having HBV
  • Engaging in oral, anal and vaginal sex
  • The use of an infected razor or toothbrush

What causes hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C causes:

  • Blood transfusions
  • Hepatitis C prevailed Travel destinations
  • Non-sterile injection usage
  • Hemodialysis
  • Tattoos and piercings
  • Sexual partners

How is hepatitis C diagnosed?

Hepatitis C tests:

  • Physical examination
  • Laboratory tests
  • Imaging tests

What is the best treatment for hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C treatment:

Antiviral Medications: Antiviral medication is given during hepatitis C to clean the virus from the body of the person. The main aim of the treatment is to get your body clear from all the virus of Hepatitis C after the 12 weeks. By taking antiviral medications people get better results, fewer side effects, and the treatment can be done in a shorter time.

Liver transplantation: It affects the liver and sometimes damages it completely thus leaving only one option that is liver transplant because it can create more complications in the body of the patient. While doing liver transplant the doctor takes out the damaged liver then it is replaced with a healthy liver.

Vaccination: There are no vaccinations for hepatitis C and the viruses of hepatitis C cannot be cured with hepatitis A and B vaccinations. Therefore one must keep the liver healthy if diagnosed with hepatitis C.

Who is eligible for the treatment?

People with hepatitis c may not know that they have the virus as it rarely shows symptoms. So, every individual who is diagnosed with hepatitis c virus, need to undergo the treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

In some cases, drugs and the treatment are not advised as the virus might have gone to the advanced stages. In those stages, the liver would have been damaged beyond repair and transplant may be the only option available. Also, hepatitis drugs are of very strong dosages, and they can leave with side effects. Hence please check with your doctor about your general health and the type of dosages suitable for you.

What are the side effects of hepatitis C treatment?

Hepatitis C drugs are of very strong nature, and you will be experiencing side effects. They also do not work for everyone and being diagnosed with such a condition can change your life and your life patterns. Do consult with your doctor in detail about your health and discuss the potential side effects that may occur.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

As a whole when you are undergoing the treatment, your life patterns would change. You might be asked to adhere to a particular lifestyle, and your diet habits will be altered. You might not be in a position to do all the work you have been able to do before. Severe liver damages can make you bed-ridden, and you might have to take the help of palliative care in some extreme cases.

How long does it take to recover from hepatitis C treatment?

The recovery period depends on the type of symptoms you have and how advanced the hepatitis virus is in your system. A combination of antiviral medications can prevent liver problems, and they might have to be taken for a longer period. You would be required to take periodic tests with your doctor to check how well your liver is performing.

How do you prevent hepatitis C from spreading?

  • Avoid sharing the same needles: People who are intravenous drug users are at the risk of getting it because they may use the same needle many times. If the person snorts drugs cocaine this can also transmit the disease if the same straw is being used by another user.
  • Direct exposure to blood and blood products should not be done: If a person is a doctor or medical worker then they can get transmitted with infection if they come in direct contact of the blood. Therefore the equipment that is being used must be sterilized properly to prevent direct contact with blood and stop spreading it.
  • No sharing of personal care items: People must not share items of personal care with other people because they can be exposed to blood while shaving, or normal cuts thus it increases the danger of spreading it. If a person is already suffering from then they must take care that they do not spread it to other people by sharing the items.
  • Practising safe sex: It can be spread or transmitted through sexual activities or intercourse. The chance of getting hepatitis increases if you have HIV, multiple sex partners, or if you are engaged in rough sex. Therefore while having sex person must stay cautious and practice safe sex.

What are the complications of hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is the kind of infection which is related to the inflammation or swelling of the liver. Therefore it is important that the liver must be kept healthy.

  • If a person is suffering from chronic hepatitis C then he/she can experience liver damage. The symptoms of infection are seen at the time of liver damage and before that they are unknown.
  • Due to hepatitis C, 60-70 people can develop chronic liver disease and cirrhosis is developed in 5-20 people which is again a disease related to the liver. Overtime 1-5 people die from liver cancer or cirrhosis.
  • Chronic hepatitis C can get developed due to hepatitis C virus. When there is cirrhosis then the patient liver stops functioning and the scars get developed and if this situation is not treated then it can lead to liver failure.
  • Once cirrhosis gets developed it can get developed into life-threatening complications and becomes the most common cause of liver transplant.

What is the cost of hepatitis C treatment in India?

Hepatitis C treatment is extremely costly. A full course of medicines and medications can cost about INR 4, 00,000. Apart from these, the drugs have serious side effects and treating them or keeping them under control can be added. There are talks between pharmacy companies to introduce them as low-cost medicines in the price ranges of INR 50,000. So in the future, we can expect these drugs to hit the market with a reduced price tag.

Is Hepatitis C Curable?

Hepatitis c cure:

The cure depends on how well your body reacts to the medicine and how well your liver has fared. After the course of medicines, you can definitely see improvements, and it can be a permanent fixation. However, even after the treatment, you have to go for periodic check-ups to check how well your liver is now faring. The treatment also has its chances that it may not work for everyone.

What are the alternatives to hepatitis C treatment?

Currently, there is no alternative to hepatitis treatment and medications. In advanced stages, if your liver is completely damaged, then a liver transplant may be the only option available. There can be some homemade herbal remedies that can be beneficial in the long run, but they would be unable to cure the symptoms completely.

Key Highlights about hepatitis C treatment:

Safety: Medium

Effectiveness: Medium

Timeliness: High

Relative Risk: High

Side Effects: High

Recovery Time: High

Price Range: RS. 4,00,000 and above

Popular Questions & Answers

Sir meri mummy ka hcv rna 6750 h or genotyping 3b h unki sovihep 100/400 mg m chel rhi h sovihep khane se unka pet ful gya or pesav ka bend leg gya lekin unka pet phele bhi is hi terha ful jata tha ab aap he koi upaye btao jis se unka pedab ka bend na lege or pet bhi na fule please sir help me.

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Hepatology
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Is medicine se urine band usually nahi hota. Pet phulne ka karan dekhna hoga ki kahin pani to nahi agaya. Iske liye ek usg abdomen karwa sakte hai. Usi hisab se urine ke liye dawai di jayegi.
2 people found this helpful

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...
1 person found this helpful

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 weig...

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 ble...
1 person found this helpful

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