The word “Hepatitis” literally means inflammation of the liver. There are 5 main types of hepatitis viruses, known as types A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis C is caused by the corresponding hepatitis C virus (HCV), has several symptoms, and is known to cause severe damage to the liver. Due to advancements in modern medicine, the condition can be cured with oral medications if it is diagnosed in the early stages.
Patients with acute hepatitis C rarely exhibit any symptoms and the condition is often left undiagnosed for a long period of time, and is hence referred to as the silent epidemic. If the body is unable to get rid of the virus, the condition escalates to chronic hepatitis C. The following are some early signs and symptoms of hepatitis C.
Loss of appetite
People with hepatitis C are known to report a poor appetite. This is due to an abnormally functioning liver.
Since the liver is unable to perform the function of converting stored energy into usable energy, people suffering from the condition are known to display chronic signs of fatigue and may also sometimes experience nausea and dizziness.
This is the most common symptom of hepatitis C and should be reported immediately when observed. Yellowing of skin, nails, and eyes are some of the visible signs of jaundice accompanied by clay-colored stools, deep yellow urine, etc. This is because the liver is unable to remove toxic wastes from the body, which then gets accumulated in the body itself.
People infected by the HCV often experience severe gastric pains.
The hepatitis C virus is transmitted through limited means, and can only be contracted if the bodily fluids of an HCV-positive person come in contact with the bodily fluids of a healthy individual. It is also important to note that this virus can not be contracted by casual contact like hugging, shaking hands, or sharing food. Hepatitis C can be transmitted from one person to another through the following means.
- Sharing needles
The disease can be contracted by using dirty and used needles or syringes. Hence, it is always stressed that a new needle must be used every time a person is in need of an injection.
- Unprotected sexual interaction
Having unprotected sexual intercourse is one of the most common modes of transmission of the HCV and can also lead to the spreading of several harmful STDs.
This condition can be inherited from the mother, and hence pregnant women with hepatitis C must consult their doctors for ways to prevent the spread of this virus to the child.
- Sharing personal care items
Personal care items like toothbrushes, razors, underwear, etc., can pose as a medium of transmission of hepatitis C.
If a person feels as if theta re prone to the above factors because of their lifestyle, the possibility can be ruled out by a simple blood screening test.