Hepatitis C: The Facts Everyone Should Know
Hepatitis C is a relatively new medical condition – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of its dangers. Hepatitis C is difficult to diagnose in its early stages, leaving most people without any recognizable symptoms.
Early Warning Signs of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C causes damage to the liver. It manifests in two ways: acute and chronic. Acute hepatitis C generates symptoms that last six months or less while chronic hepatitis C causes prolonged damage. Acute outbreaks can lead to chronic hepatitis C if your body can’t get rid of the virus.
The causes of hepatitis C can include infection, medication, toxins, and autoimmune diseases. Hepatitis C can be contracted from blood products, sharing needles, and sexual contact.
How Is Hepatitis C Diagnosed?
It can take anywhere from six months to 10 years before the symptoms of hepatitis C become recognizable. Simple blood tests as part of a regular medical examination can diagnose the condition.
Once a blood test returns a potential hepatitis C diagnosis, your doctor might also want to perform a biopsy to determine how much damage your liver has sustained.After exposure to the virus, the CDC³ reports that it takes between four to 10 weeks for the virus to show up in blood tests.
How Is Hepatitis C Treated?
Hepatitis C can be cured. According to the CDC⁴, about 15 percent to 20 percent of people who experience acute hepatitis C recover and get rid of the virus completely. Others may develop chronic hepatitis C, which is also treatable.
The following are some of the remedies available:
Antivirals: Antiviral medicines work by targeting the hepatitis C virus. Each drug works differently based on how they interfere with protein synthesis within the virus, but all antiviral medicines usually remove the virus completely within 12 weeks.
Home Remedies: Many people also turn to home remedies, but these mostly work to relieve symptoms and promote general good health. No alternative medicine has proven successful to treat or remove the hepatitis C virus.
Treating Hepatitis C Responsibly
Getting tested and treated when you’ve been diagnosed with hepatitis C is important because the disease can easily be spread through contact with others. You might not see any symptoms, but you could be a carrier who infects others. Hepatitis C is a difficult illness to diagnose, making regular testing the only way to 100 percent sure whether or not you’re infected.
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