Hepatitis C, caused by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), is an infectious viral disease. It spreads primarily through the exchange of body fluids or blood with the infected individual. Since the virus can also get transmitted through sexual intercourse, Hepatitis C is labeled and known as a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD).
The virus predominately affects and influences the working and normal functioning of the liver. However, in extreme cases, the disease can progress to an extent with no return. In such instances, signs of the ailment may appear on the skin and other parts of the body, indicating that considerable damage to the liver has followed.
Symptoms of Hepatitis C:
In most and general cases, Hepatitis C has little to no indications in the initial stages of the ailment. However, as the disease advances and progresses to later phases, a few symptoms may appear. Hence, Hepatitis C is also sometimes labeled a silent killer.
Some of the symptoms of the disease include the following:
- Continual bleeding
- Fatigue, nausea, and dizziness
- Dark-colored urine
- Confusion, headache, and incoherent speech
- Light or clay color of stool
- Fever and weakness
- Red or purple spots on the skin
- Itchy skin and red palms
- Easy bruising
- Yellow discoloration witnessed in the skin and the eyes
- Swelling and pain in the abdomen and surrounding region
- Loss of appetite
- Abrupt weight loss
Transmission of Hepatitis C:
The Hepatitis C Virus can transmit itself from an affected individual to a healthy person, inflicting the latter with the Hepatitis C disease.
This transmission or communication of the ailment can take place through the following methods and means:
- Unprotected sexual intercourse
- Sharing of personal items like toothbrush, cutlery, razer, towels, and so on with the affected individual
- Blood transfusions
- Placental transmission from the affected mother to child
- Organ transplants
- The passing of body fluid through kissing, and used needles and bandages, etc.
Risk Factors Associated With Hepatitis C:
Although Hepatitis C falls under the category of effortlessly curable diseases compared to others of its kind, it can, nevertheless, be lethal if left untreated for long.
A few factors exist that can make one susceptible to developing the ailment. If not eliminated in the early stages, these elements can lead to a worsened condition of Hepatitis C. Some of them include:
- Steroid treatments
- Autoimmune disorders
- An undue and unwarranted buildup of fat in the liver
- Excessive intake of alcohol and injection drug use
- Coronary artery diseases
- Liver inflammation
- Excessive buildup of copper and iron in the blood
- Genetic disposition
- Continued exposure to radiation
Perils and Complications of Hepatitis C:
Hepatitis C has a severe effect and influence on the body in untreated cases. The disease starts with the extreme and complete impairment and infection of the liver. Then, it progresses to affect other parts of the body. They can include the abdomen, eyes, skin, and even the brain.
If untreated for extended periods, Hepatitis C can develop into a more critical state and lead to a barrage of complications. These can even turn lethal for the infected individual.
As such, the complications that can result from this disease comprise the following:
- Abrupt body mass and health loss
- Liver cancer or failure
- A buildup of toxins in the brain
- Multi-organ failure
- Internal bleeding
- Type 2 diabetes
- Toxin buildup in the brain (hepatic encephalopathy)
- Loss of bone strength and weight
- Fever and confusion
- High pressure in the blood veins of the liver (portal hypertension)
- Spleen enlargement (splenomegaly)
- Fluid collection in and infection of the stomach (ascites)
- Blood discharge from mouth or rectum
- Disproportionate swelling of the abdomen and legs
Protection from and Prevention of Hepatitis C:
Although one can prevent or minimize the transmission of the Hepatitis C Virus, it is imperative to apply and maintain some preventive and precautionary measures to do so. They help in the proficient treatment of the disease as well.
The following are six ways to seek protection from the development and spread of Hepatitis C:
Diagnosis and Treatment
The most significant way to curb the transmission of Hepatitis C is by eradicating it in the early stages. To do so, one must get immediate medical attention at the onset of the symptoms. A precise and prompt diagnosis can aid in planning out an effective and efficient treatment regime to treat the affected person. It helps considerably as the disease in its early stages can be treated effortlessly and with minimal resources. With the speedy cure, the chances of transmission would automatically get reduced.
Hepatitis C spreads through the contact of body fluids through means of sneezing, copulation, kissing, transfusions, and so on. Among all of its transmission methods, sexual intercourse serves as the primary reason for the spread of the Hepatitis C Virus. Additionally, raw or unprotected sex can make one exceedingly prone to contracting the ailment. It is for this very reason that doctors recommend the use of condoms to ensure protected copulation. It would safeguard the individuals from developing the disease in case their partner is suffering from Hepatitis C.
Use of Separate Items
To curb the transmission of the Hepatitis C Virus, affected individuals must always have and use wholly distinct and separate personal items. It can include pillows, plates, cutlery, razors, towels, toothbrushes, bandages, food, glasses, and manicure and pedicure tools. The complete cessation of splitting of these items with anyone would help protect each member of a household.
Transfusions and Transplants
Although all hospitals carry out transplants and transfusions carefully, errors may arise. In case of emergencies, a family member or an acquaintance may have to supply blood or organs. In such instances, a person with Hepatitis C might be the one to provide any of the two. It can lead to the development of the disease in the recipient due to obvious reasons. Thus, the donor must ensure prior testing and negative results for HCV before going with the procedure. If testing before transfusion or transplant is not feasible, it is best to look for alternatives.
Health and Hygiene Maintenance
As the saying goes, precaution is better than cure. Hence, the best method to prevent the contraction of the Hepatitis C Virus is by maintaining and retaining proper health and hygiene. Adequate protection can nip the issue in the bud, and a robust immune system can conquer most diseases. They can also reduce the pain, suffering, and consequent complications that may arise due to the ailment and aid in its successful treatment.
One can prevent the development of Hepatitis C by taking the vaccine for the Hepatitis C Virus. It would significantly minimize the chances and possibility of the initial contraction of the ailment, protecting the vaccinated individuals from its hazards and liabilities.
Doctors recommend the use of MyHep All Tablets for the treatment of chronic Hepatitis C. It comprises two antiviral medicines, Sofosbuvir (400mg) and Velpatasvir (100mg). MyHep All fights against the Hepatitis C Virus to resolve the HCV infection.
Affected individuals must take the tablets in prescribed doses and duration, with or without food. However, they have to be consumed at the same time daily. It can have side effects like headache and weakness but, overall, work wonders in curing Hepatitis C.