Hepatitis C is a viral infection affecting the liver. It is important to note that the liver is one of the biggest organs and has a vital role in the body.
If an individual is diagnosed with hepatitis, the liver ends up inflamed. It might turn tender and swollen. In some cases, sections of the liver tissue might be destroyed. This is a serious and oftentimes serious form of hepatitis that can be life-threatening.
The infection is brought about by the hepatitis C virus. The virus generally spreads via contact with the blood of an infected individual.
What are the signs?
An individual will not have any signs until several weeks, months or years after being infected by the virus. In some cases, there are no symptoms at all.
In case the symptoms manifest, it might include:
- Yellowish eyes and skin (jaundice)
- Joint pain
- Appetite loss
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Dark-colored urine
- Abdominal pain
Management of hepatitis C
The usual form of treatment for hepatitis C is adequate rest and a healthy lifestyle and diet. The doctor will also suggest avoidance of alcohol for at least 6 months. If diagnosed with hepatitis, drinking alcohol hastens the damage to the liver and makes it difficult for the body to fight the infection. In most cases, hospitalization is not required.
Antiviral drugs might be given if the individual has symptoms or the liver function tests have abnormal results. The objective of treatment is to prevent liver damage. Medications might be taken for 6-12 months.
How long does it last?
The signs of the initial infection can last for 1-6 weeks and typically subside entirely. Most who have hepatitis C develop the chronic form of the disease. The damage to the liver can lead to scarring of the liver.