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What are the symptoms of Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and mostly affects the liver. Although a large part of the population today has the disease, not many people are aware of it because there are very few symptoms of the disease in the initial stages. The HCV virus is mainly transmitted through blood-to-blood contact. It can also be transmitted from mother to child during child birth. Although not common, the sharing of personal care paraphernalia, such as razors or toothbrushes, or having sexual intercourse involving anal penetration with an infected person can lead to transmission of the virus.

There are two types of hepatitis C infection:

1. Acute Hepatitis C infection. This is a short-term infection and it occurs in the first six months of getting infected with the HCV virus. In most cases, an acute infection later leads to a chronic infection. During this stage, the virus cannot be easily detected in the patient’s blood, but they can transmit it to another person.

2. Chronic Hepatitis C infection. This is a long-term infection that happens when the HCV remains in the body of the victim for a significant period of time, usually for a few years. Infection in this magnitude, unless cured, almost always lasts a lifetime leading to fatal liver problems like liver cancer and liver cirrhosis.

Symptoms of hepatitis C during acute infection

This is an asymptomatic state where very few people exhibit any symptoms. In those who do exhibit symptoms, they are always mild and may go away after some hours or a day. Life threatening effects never occur at this stage and millions of people continue with their daily life without knowing that they are infected with this disease.

Although rarely observed, the symptoms may include:

  • A decrease in or loss of appetite.
  • General body fatigue.
  • Mild joint pains.
  • Nausea.
  • Minor flu-like infections for example mild fevers that go away after some time.
  • Grey colored stool
  • Hepatitis C symptoms during chronic stage

    After the first six months of infection with the HCV, the condition turns into what is called chronic Hepatitis C. It does not show any symptoms immediately and in some people it may take years for any of the following symptoms to develop.

  • Body fatigue. This may range from mild to very severe in different people.
  • Constant nausea that almost always results in vomiting.
  • Increased depression and moodiness.
  • Swelling of joints that is severely painful.
  • Occurrence of mild cognitive problems in patients. The most common cognitive impairment disorder that has been seen in patients with hepatitis C is hepatic encephalopathy.
  • Constant appearances of skin rashes. Although not very severe, they may cause lots of discomfort to the victim.
  • Abdominal or stomach pain. This may be due to the acclamation of fluids in the abdomen, caused by different factors, but the most dominant in hepatitis C patients is liver cirrhosis.
  • Regular fevers that are very severe.
  • Upset stomach
  • Drastic loss in appetite.
  • Steatohepatitis. This is also called fatty liver disease. It is a disease of the liver that is characterized by liver inflammation coupled with accumulation of fat in the liver. Alcoholics who suffer from hepatitis C are most likely to suffer from this condition.
  • Tenderness and acute pain in the area around the liver.
  • Permanent liver damage. Liver damage is the main effect of the Hepatitis C virus and, if left untreated, your liver may incur damages that it can never heal from. For people who take too long to seek medical attention, constant liver failure may occur, which is most often fatal for the victims.
  • Liver Cancer. This is a common symptom but it occurs after very many years of infection.
  • Liver Cirrhosis. This is scarring of the liver. It is not a very common symptom but there have been reported cases of liver cirrhosis in patients chronic Hepatitis C.
  • Hepatitis C symptoms in men

    Men have been found to be more likely to develop chronic hepatitis C after the initial infection compared to women. Although there is still no conclusive reason why men have a low HVC clearance rate, there are known factors that could contribute to this phenomenon. Clearance rate is the ability of the body to get rid of a virus so that it is no longer detectable in the body. Factors that could reduce men’s HVC clearance levels include:

    The age of the man during infection. When growing up, chances of clearance of the virus increase up to mid adulthood. However, as men near old age, their bodies’ ability of clearance decreases very fast with very old men having an almost zero percent chance of clearance.

    Method of infection. Blood transfusion tops the list of the most dangerous ways of getting infected with HCV. Although there is still no conclusive explanation, it has been found that the method by which a man acquires the hepatitis C virus is an important factor affecting whether or not they will be able to fight it off.

    Presence of other diseases. Other diseases, especially HIV/AIDS have been found to reduce the ability of a man’s body to get rid of the HCV virus. In late stages of HIV/AIDS infection, most people have no chance of getting rid of the virus.

    All in all, it can be said that hepatitis C symptoms in men are identical to those observed in women and, therefore, the list we have provided above is the same for people of both genders. Don’t hesitate to consult it if you have any strange conditions that you suspect could be associated with hep C.

    Although it doesn’t show clear signs and symptoms like other diseases, Hepatitis C is a dangerous condition especially during the chronic stage. However, even with its very dark side, it is important to note that hepatitis C sometimes resolves itself without any intervention for about 20% of victims. However, if this does not work, proper medication may be just what you need to cure yourself of hepatitis C.

    If you notice any of the above symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Over the years, researchers have come up with different ways to prevent permanent damage of the liver by the HCV virus. Additionally, in the case that you are diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C, there is a combination of three drugs that have been found effective for intervention. They are sofosbuvir, peginterferon and ribavirin. Don’t hesitate to read more about them if you or someone you know are currently in need of reliable hep C treatment.

    Treatment hepatitis C in

    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Germany
    • France
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Canada
    • United Kingdom
    • United States of America

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