What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is the inflammation of the liver cells and is a n viral infection of serious nature caused by Hepatitis virus known as HVC. The HCV infects the liver and may in due course of time cause liver damage. The condition may go undetected for a long time due to absence of symptoms.

The condition may be of 2 types:

  • Acute [short term]
  • Chronic [long term]
What are the causes?

Primarily caused by HCV which spreads by contact through blood of an infected person. The mode may be:

  • If there is sharing of contaminated needles by injecting of illegal drugs
  • Blood transfusion or Organ transplant without proper screening
  • Shots through used syringes, where the syringes are used again and again
  • Unclean equipments used for tattoo and piercing
  • In rare cases, by a mother to unborn child and health workers
What are the symptoms of Hepatitis C?

Most of the times there are no symptoms, but when developed, the signs and symptoms include:

Feeling tired and fatigue, Dark Urine, Joint Pain, Belly pain, Itchy skin, Jaundice [which may develop later on]

Many infected people do not develop symptoms for as long as 15 years and they may develop chronic form of Hepatitis C which may be diagnosed accidentally.

How is Hepatitis C diagnosed?

The presence of symptoms may diagnose the condition of acute Hepatitis c but in case where it has become chronic without showing any signs or feeling of any symptoms, then a blood test for some other purpose may detect presence of antibodies and liver enzymes in excess which may be Hepatitis C.

A liver biopsy may show the extent of liver damage.

A Hepatologist is the doctor to be consulted.

Is Hepatitis C curable?

The condition of Hepatitis c is not curable. Acute Hepatitis c resolves on its own but where it has become chronic, then the symptoms can be very well managed by treatment.

Preventive vaccine has been developed that is very effective in curbing the spread of Hepatitis.

There are many famous people and celebrities who have had Hepatitis C and have lived a very active life.

The case of Naomi Judd is an example. She was a nurse and a singer suffering from Hepatitis C but she underwent treatment and since then has been living an active life.

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