A Complete Guide on Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus. The liver inflates more than the normal range in this case. Hepatitis can last either for an extended period, or sometimes it lasts for a shorter term. Hepatitis C virus can cause both chronic and acute hepatitis.

Acute hepatitis C occurs within six months of being exposed to the hepatitis C virus. In most cases of acute hepatitis C, the infection leads to chronic disease.

Chronic hepatitis C is a chronic liver disease that can be fatal to human health. It can cause many health problems like liver cirrhosis, liver damage, liver cancer, and even death.

Transmission

The hepatitis C virus or HVC is bloodborne. That means you can get infected by HVC only if the virus comes in direct contact with your blood. The few possible ways through which you can be exposed to the HVC virus are:

Unscreened blood or blood product transfusion
Using used injection needles or blades
Improper health care
Sexual practices leading to blood exposure.

Hepatitis C can also be transmitted from a mother to its newly born child at the time of birth. This will happen if either of the parents of the baby is HCV positive. These modes of transmission are less common.

It should be noted that HCV spreads only through blood contact and not by casual touching like shaking hands, hugging, or kissing. It also does not spread through breastfeeding or through sharing food and drinks.

The studies estimate that more than half of those affected by the Hepatitis C virus develop a chronic infection. Many people are diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and even liver cancer among the chronically affected population.

Symptoms

Most of the people do not exhibit any symptom of Hepatitis C in the initial period. The incubation period of the virus can range from two weeks to six months. Those who have acute infection might develop pale yellow skin symptoms like jaundice, vomiting tendency, stomach upset, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, constant fatigue, dark urine, and light-colored feces.

As the disease becomes more and more chronic over time, many people develop serious liver diseases, which can range from being mild to being severe. Chronic liver diseases caused due to HVC occurs slowly and take decades to show any signs or symptoms.

Diagnosis

Due to the hepatitis C virus’s asymptomatic nature, only a few people get to address the disease at the early stages and start their treatment. For those who develop a chronic disease, the infection may lead to severe liver damage.

Hepatitis C is a very deadly disease, and protections must be taken to avoid it as much one can. Unlike hepatitis A or hepatitis B, the vaccine for hepatitis C is still not available in the market. However, antiviral medicines are there, which can reduce hepatitis C infection and decrease the number of deaths due to liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. Due to the vast resource requirement and other various causes, the rate of people accessing this diagnosis and treatment is very less.

Distribution

The hepatitis C virus is spread all over the world. The world health organization has found the significant dominance of HCV in the Eastern Mediterranean region and the European region. In the historical era, when the immense practice of being aware of a transmitted disease was not there, there was no sign of abstinence from various activities, which today would have caused a great stir.

6 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Your immune system is quite complex. The ability of your body to fight off different types of infections and illnesses depends on the strength of your immune system. However, it should not be too strong or it may overreact, which may result in autoimmune disorders and allergies. In this article we have shared 5 simple ways to help you boost Your immune system.

Follow a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is of paramount importance as far as your immunity is concerned. In other words, you may want to go for healthy fats, lean protein, whole grains, legumes, fruits, and green vegetables on a daily basis.

With a healthy diet, your body can get plenty of micronutrients that are important for maintaining your immunity. Some of these micronutrients include vitamin E, vitamin C, and Vitamin B6. If you eat a healthy diet, you can get enough of these vitamins.

According to many experts, vitamins obtained from dietary sources are easy to absorb for your body.

Exercise Regularly

Physical activities are important as far as helping your muscle-building efforts are concerned. Apart from this, physical activity helps you reduce your stress levels. Exercising on a daily basis improves blood circulation in your body, which gives a boost to your immunity.

According to many research studies, if you spend 30 minutes exercising on a daily basis, it can stimulate your immune system. Therefore, it is important to get regular exercise.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is important for your body. In your body, lymph is a type of fluid that transports infection-fighting immune cells across your body. And this fluid consists of water. Therefore, it is important that you stay hydrated all the time.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Although sleep does not seem to be an active process, your body repairs itself while you are asleep. For example, your body creates specific molecules that help fight infection in your body. And this process begins only after you fall asleep.

If you don’t get enough sleep, you may be more prone to different types of viruses and bacteria. Therefore, you may want to do yourself a favor and go to bed at the same time each night.

Minimize Stress

Stress can have a very negative impact on your health, especially the immune system. If you have been suffering from chronic stress, your body initiates a stress response that suppresses your immunity. As a result, you are more prone to illness or infection.

Different people suffer from different levels of stress. Since it can have a negative impact on your health, you may want to identify the source of stress and eliminate it. You can also follow some stress reduction strategies, such as deep breathing, exercise, prayer, and meditation.

Take Supplements

Lastly, you can buy some over-the-counter supplements. They can help you boost your immunity at a fraction of the cost of many expensive alternatives. Therefore, you can try these supplements. Just make sure they are approved by the FDA. Some of these supplements include Vitamin C.

Long story short, these are just some of the tips that can help you boost your immune system. By following these steps, it will be a lot easier for you to lead a healthy life.

Hepatitis C Viral Infection Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

Hepatitis C causes liver inflammation. The virus can cause serious damage to the liver. The infection is spread when one comes into contact with infected or contaminated blood.

In the past, hepatitis C medicines included oral medications and weekly injections. Many people could not use the medications because of the side effects and other underlying health issues.

Today, the virus can be treated using oral medications prescribed to be taken a day for 2-6 months. The worrying part is that most people who have the infection are not even aware of it. This is because symptoms are not always present and can take a long time before they appear.

Therefore, it is recommended that all adults who are within the age bracket of 18-79 years be screened for the virus even when they do not have liver disease or any symptoms. The group with the highest risk of catching the virus are those born anywhere between 1945 and 1965.

Symptoms

Hepatitis C can be chronic, meaning that it can last for many years until the liver is damaged enough to cause symptoms and assigns associated with liver diseases. Some of the symptoms may include:

Poor appetite
Fatigue
Easy bruising
Bleeding easily
Weight loss
Legs swelling
Ascites or fluid buildup within the abdomen
Itchy skin
Dark urine
Jaundice
Spider angiomas or blood vessels that are spiderlike on the skin
Drowsiness
Slurred speech
Confusion

Before getting to the chronic stage, infections are acute first. Hepatitis C is usually undiagnosed because, in most cases, there are no symptoms involved. The acute symptoms may appear months after exposure.

The infection does not always get chronic. The body can clear the infection by itself in some cases. Antiviral therapy usually helps with acute hepatitis C.

Causes

HCV or hepatitis C virus causes the infection, and it spreads when contaminated blood enters the body of someone who is not infected. The virus exists in different genotypes. Seven genotypes are quite distinct. Other 67 subtypes have also been identified. In the United States, type 1 is the most common.

Chronic infection usually follows the same course. However, the treatments used can vary with the genotype involved.

You are at a higher risk of infection if you have ever:

Inhaled or injected illicit drugs
You are HIV positive
Have been tattooed or pierced in an environment that is not clean or unsterile
Gotten an organ transplant or blood transfusion before the year 1992
Have been receiving hemodialysis kind of treatment
Your mother had the infection
Or you ever received any clotting factor concentrates before the year 1987

Infection can cause liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.

Treatment

Diagnosis may be made through MRE, transient elastography, blood tests, or liver biopsy.

Hepatitis C can be acute or chronic. There are different risk groups, and screening is recommended even when one does not have any signs. The complications can be severe and sometimes fatal. Getting treatment is highly recommended.