You might have heard already about Hepatitis B, the infectious disease that affects liver. But you may not be too familiar with this Hepatitis C thing, which is yet another liver disease caused by the infection of Hepatitis C virus.
In this disease liver becomes inflated, swollen and stops functioning normally, which ultimately leads to liver transplants in many cases. In fact, this disease is the most common reason of liver transplants around the globe.
Hepatitis C nearly destroys the liver in its chronic form and causes cirrhosis, which may eventually lead to death.
Studies suggest that 75% – 85% people who develop this infection suffer from its chronic stage. But a slightly good part of this horrible story is that less than 5% of them die due to this disease.
In this article we’ll try to understand some basic things about Hepatitis C.
The primary causes of Hepatitis C
There’re several things that can cause the infection of Hepatitis C. These things include:
• Getting prickled by an injection needle contaminated by infected blood, whether mistakenly or intentionally
• Getting blood from someone who’s infected with the disease
• Improperly sterilized dialysis instrument
• Getting a tattoo or piercing with dirty tools or ink
• And lastly, sharing things like razor or toothbrush with someone who’s suffering from the disease.
It’s worth noting that Hepatitis C is not a sexually transmitted disease – rarely someone gets infected from it by having unprotected sex with an infected person. This happens only when infected person has any other sexually transmitted disease. You also don’t get infected by hugging or doing handshakes with an infected person.
Symptoms of chronic Hepatitis C
The worst part about this disease is that it doesn’t leave any symptoms for years. Until it comes into chronic form, you won’t see any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may include:
• A decrease in appetite
• Pain in joints and muscles
• Stomach problems
And when things become too severe and you start suffering from cirrhosis, the symptoms may also include:
• Dark yellow urine
• Bleeding or bruising
The only way of detecting this disease in early stage is to go for a medical checkup, especially if you recently received blood from someone or have a habit of sharing things like razor etc. with someone. And if unfortunately you find yourself suffering from Hepatitis C, don’t be scared. It can be cured in most cases, especially if detected in early stage. As I said above, less than 5% of patients die due to this disease.