Hepatitis C: Causes, symptoms and treatment

Treatment for hepatitis C is no longer so difficult. Let's find out how to get rid of this dangerous disease through the article below.

Things to know about hepatitis C

  • What is hepatitis C?
  • Stages of hepatitis C
  • What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?
  • Treatment of hepatitis C
  • Foods that people with hepatitis C should and should not eat
    • What should people with hepatitis C eat?
    • People with hepatitis C should not eat?
  • Prevention of hepatitis C
    • Never share needles
    • Avoid direct contact with blood
    • Do not share personal care products
    • Choose a tattoo address and piercing reputation
    • Safe sex

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a liver infection that can cause serious liver damage, caused by the hepatitis C virus. About 3.9 million people in the United States have the disease. But the symptoms of this disease are few, so most patients do not know they have it. The virus spreads through the blood or body fluids of an infected person.

There are many types of hepatitis C virus, the most common in the United States is type 1. The types of hepatitis C do not differ in severity, but they require different treatments.

Picture 1 of Hepatitis C: Causes, symptoms and treatment
Know how to treat hepatitis C properly to quickly recover.

Stages of hepatitis C

The hepatitis C virus affects people in different ways and has a number of stages:

  • Incubation : This is the time between the first contact and the first onset. It can last anywhere from 14 to 80 days, but the average is 45 days.
  • Acute hepatitis C : This is a short-term illness that lasts for the first 6 months after the virus enters the body. Afterwards, some people may remove the virus themselves.
  • Chronic hepatitis C: If the body does not clear the virus itself after 6 months, it will become a permanent infection. This can lead to serious health problems like liver cancer or cirrhosis.
  • Cirrhosis: This disease leads to inflammation, replacing healthy liver cells with scar tissue over time. This condition takes 20 to 30 years to complete, but it can occur faster if the patient drinks or is infected with HIV.
  • Liver cancer: Cirrhosis increases your risk of liver cancer. The doctor should make sure the patient is checked regularly because there are usually no symptoms in the early stages.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?

Many people with hepatitis C have no symptoms. But between 2 weeks and 6 months after the virus enters the bloodstream, the patient may notice:

  • Clay colored stools;
  • Dark urine;
  • Fever
  • Tired;
  • Jaundice, yellowing of white eyes;
  • Athritis;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Nausea;
  • Stomachache;
  • Vomit.

Symptoms usually last for 2 to 12 weeks.

Treatment of hepatitis C

Treatment for hepatitis C is possible. But healing the disease is not always easy.

For decades, patients needed painful injections of interferon and an oral drug called ribavirin. These drugs did not work to kill the virus. Instead, they will improve the immune system for patients to fight the disease. But treatment does not always help the patient to be completely healthy. The cure rate ranges from about 50%. And people who are accustomed to long-term treatment will have to live with the same side effects as chemotherapy.

Today, more and more people can get rid of the hepatitis C virus just by taking medicine at home for a few weeks.

There is no one size option suitable for all. There are many different types, or "genotypes," of hepatitis C. Type 1 is the most common. This is important to understand when you talk to your doctor. Not all meds work on all types. Which medicine is best for you depends on your level of scarring (cirrhosis).

These drugs cannot be used in all cases. So it is necessary to have a careful examination before giving medicine. They depend largely on the degree of cirrhosis of the patient.

Doctors call these new drugs antiviral drugs. They will zoom in and check out the virus that causes the disease and prescribe the right medication. Each drug works in a quite different way. But in general, drugs that interfere with the protein are helping the virus to grow or spread.

In most cases, these drugs will remove all traces of the virus from the blood within 12 weeks. This is called a 'sustained virological response' (SVR), and that is what doctors need when re-examination to make sure the patient has recovered. The duration of treatment depends on the individual, and can range from 8 to 24 weeks.

Foods that people with hepatitis C should and should not eat

What should people with hepatitis C eat?

  • Vegetables, tubers and fruits: These foods are capable of providing fiber, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Patients should eat at least 5 servings a day. Change your fruits and vegetables often to get a variety of nutrients. When buying canned fruits and vegetables, choose those that don't add salt or sugar.
  • Protein: Protein foods are very important, they help repair and replenish liver cells damaged by hepatitis C. Great options to provide protein include: fish, seafood, chicken leather, nuts, eggs, soy products, .
  • Dairy : This food is a rich source of protein and calcium. Adults should consume 1 to 3 servings of milk each day
  • Whole grains: They contain lots of fiber, B vitamins, zinc, iron. If you have Celiac disease, eat only gluten-free grains. Recommended whole grains include sprouted whole wheat bread, whole wheat, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, oats, etc.

People with hepatitis C should not eat?

  • Calories : Increasing calories means gaining weight or being obese, while increasing the risk of diabetes. To cut calories, limit foods: high in fat, processed, canned, and fast foods.
  • Salt: Salty foods can lead to water retention, thus increasing blood pressure, which is extremely dangerous for people with cirrhosis.
  • Sugar : Foods that contain sugar are often high in fat, which can easily cause weight gain.
  • Raw or unpasteurized products: Sushi or other raw foods may contain bacteria that aggravate hepatitis C. You should also avoid raw eggs, unpasteurized milk and cheese.

Prevention of hepatitis C

Never share needles

People who have received intravenous injections are most at risk of getting hepatitis C, because many people share needles. In addition to medical needles, the virus can also appear in needles used for illegal purposes. Sharing a straw to cocaine can also spread the disease.

Avoid direct contact with blood

If you are a health care worker, avoid direct contact with the patient's blood. Any tools used to collect blood should be disposed of in a safe place or disinfected to prevent hepatitis C infection.

Do not share personal care products

There are many things we use every day that can get bloody, like razors or toothbrushes. Even small amounts of blood can spread hepatitis C to others. Therefore, do not share personal belongings with others.

Choose a tattoo address and piercing reputation

Choose a licensed tattoo and piercing artist to perform artwork on your body. A new, disposable needle is a priority when tattooing.

Safe sex

Hepatitis C is rarely transmitted through sex, but your risk of getting hepatitis C is high if you have HIV.

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