Another viral liver infection Hepatitis C also lead to serious liver issues if treatment isn’t done as early as possible. After the discovery of Hepatitis A and B ,the HCV virus came around the 1970s.
“According to the WHO, people suffering from acute hepatitis C are around 30% recoverEd within a short period without treatment. And, the rest 70% suffers from chronic hepatitis C with no vaccine discovered till now.”
Without wasting much time, let’s move on to its symptoms, causes, diagnosis,treatments and home remedies.
Symptoms of hepatitis C
Although most people suffering from hepatitis C are asymptomatic ,but still there are few symptoms that some might experience:
•Fever and poor appetite
•Stomach: Bleeding, fluid in the abdomen or bloating
•Skin: Yellowish and itchy
•Swollen web-like blood vessels
Causes of hepatitis C
The main causes of Hepatitis C infection are:
It is spread through coming in contact by somehow with the blood of that person.
Same as hepatitis A and B, it also spread by any sexual contact or unprotected sex.
Sharing needles or personal care items
Syringes, needles and personal items such as toothbrushes, razor blades of an infected person also fall under the main causes of HCV.
Mother to child
Another common cause through which Hepatitis C spreads.
Diagnosis of hepatitis C
In order to identify and confirm the symptoms found in an individual, screening is a vital phase. Here are the list of tests that are done to identify hepatitis C:
At first, the doctor conducts blood tests to identify HCV virus. Here are the two purposes for which blood test is done:
- Antibody test
This test enables to detect the hepatitis C virus antibodies. If the result shows positive, it means that the person is having HCV and need to take further tests. If it shows negative, then it means that the person doesn’t have hepatitis C antibodies.
- Nucleic Acid Test(NAT)
Whereas, it helps to determine the number of viral RNA particles present in the blood.If the result shows negative, it means that the person doesn’t have HCV. Whereas, if the result shows positive, it means that the person currently has HCV.
These are mandatory tests done during chronic hepatitis C in order to examine liver damage. Here are those few tests:
- Liver Function tests
In order to measure the liver enzyme level and examine liver health, five different tests are done which are as follows:
- Liver Biopsy
This test is done by undergoing a medical procedure to take a tiny portion of the liver for further examination.
- Liver Elastography
The main reason behind conducting this test is to check for fibrosis or scarring of liver tissues.Let’s know about the two common elastography tests are as follows:
This determine the stiffness of liver tissue, this technique is the best way to go for. It use sound waves to measure the speed of penetration around liver tissue.
2. MRE(Magnetic Resonance Elastography)
This test can capture images formed by its powerful magnetic and sound waves. It is the only possible way to capture visual image of liver damage with its technology named Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Treatments for hepatitis C
Doctors prescribe medicines according to HCV genotype that the person is suffering from.Let’s have a look at some common treatments and medicines:
Antiviral medicines are only prescribed to people who have chronic HCV. Here are some common medicines that doctors may prescribe:
A capsule-like tablet prevents the virus from multiplying into two more. The most common brand used is Rebetol. However, a person can experience some side effects such as nausea, loss of memory, fatigue and taste changes.
- Other antiviral medicines
Interferons, Direct-acting antivirals(DAAs), Peginterferon medicines are also known for treating HCV.
- Combination medicines
These are the medicines prescribed by doctors that a person usually takes with antiviral drugs.
Now, here are the names of few drugs along with brand names:
Ledipasvir-sofosbuvir (Harvoni): For Hepatitis genotype 1.
Daclatasvir (Daklinza): For Hepatitis genotype 3.
Elbasvir-grazoprevir (Zepatier): For Hepatitis genotypes 1-4.
Sofosbuvir-velpatasvir (Epclusa): For Hepatitis genotypes 1-6.
Please note: Take consultation from a doctor before taking any such medications.
It involves the replacement of old liver with new liver donated by deceased ones.
As we know, Self care is the best care, here are some tips that doctors always advice their patients to do:
It plays an integral part in providing immunity strength to fight with the virus. Thus, never make any compromise on diets that include green leafy vegetables, multigrain, protein rich foods and fresh fruits.
Taking zinc, vitamin D supplements for once a day is must. As because it aids in boosting immunity and regulating all functions of a body.
Practicing yoga or any stretches can keep stress away. As a result , it gives healthy body and mind.
Also Read: 8 Unbelievable Facts About Yoga
What to avoid?
Here are some necessary things to avoid when you are with hepatitis C:
•Sugary or junk food
•Antioxidants in green tea might help in improving liver health.
•Studies found that grapefruits can help in remedying hepatitis C.
•Sylimarin, an extract from Milk thistle plant, may have some proven effect on hepatitis c. Moreover, it remove the toxins from the liver ,thus known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Although hepatitis C has no vaccines till now ,but the chance to recover fast is more than 90%.
What matters at the end is one’s lifestyle, physical and mental health to follow the steps of early recovery. So why to wait? Start doing it from today if you got hepatitis c.
Here’s leaving behind a short FAQs for further reference.
–How many genotypes are there under Hepatitis C?
-There are 7 genotypes and 67 subtypes under HCV.
–What are the common HCV symptoms that are found in females?
-Excessive bleeding, itchy skin, drowsiness and weight loss.
–Can one get Hepatitis C by getting a tattoo or piercing?
-Yes, it can infect a person from a tattoo.
–Who should take test for HCV?
- Are 18+
- Are mothers with hepatitis
- Have HIV
- Have liver disease
- Who come in contact with the person.
–Is there any vaccine to prevent Hepatitis C?
-Currently, there’s no such vaccine to prevent Hepatitis C.
–Are Vitamin D supplements good to take everyday?