Hepatitis C and Things to Understand

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Hepatitis C and Things to Understand
Hepatitis C and Things to Understand
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Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver caused by a viral infection. This type of hepatitis will appear mild at first, but over time it can damage the liver. Therefore, it is important to recognize the causes, symptoms, and how to treat hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a disease caused by the hepatitis virus, namely the hepatitis C virus. Every hepatitis virus infection begins with an acute phase. In this phase, hepatitis C rarely causes symptoms. If symptoms appear, they are usually mild and will occur within 1-3 months after exposure to the virus.

Hepatitis C and Things to Understand - Alodokter

In the acute phase of hepatitis C, some people can successfully fight off the viral infection and recover from it. Even so, acute conditions can also progress to chronic. Chronic hepatitis C can persist in the long term and cause permanent damage to organs and liver function.

Beware of Causes of Hepatitis C

The hepatitis C virus or HCV can be spread through contamination of the blood or body fluids of a person with hepatitis C. This means that a person with hepatitis C can transmit the virus if their blood comes in contact with the blood of an uninfected person.

Some of the ways hepatitis C spreads include:

  • Using used syringes by patients
  • Getting a blood transfusion or organ transplant from a patient
  • Undergoing a medical procedure, piercing or tattooing with non-sterile equipment
  • Sharing equipment with sufferers, such as razors, needles or toothbrushes
  • Having sex without a condom with an infected person

In addition to the above ways of transmitting the virus, hepatitis C can also occur more easily if a person has the following risk factors:

  • Born to a mother with hepatitis C
  • Has HIV infection
  • Had more than one sex partner in the last 6 months
  • Do dialysis or hemodialysis for patients with kidney failure
  • Doing injection drug abuse
  • Has a history of sexually transmitted diseases

Although it looks contagious, keep in mind that the hepatitis C virus will not be transmitted through breast milk, food, drink, coughing, sneezing, or touching, such as shaking hands, hugging, or kissing the sufferer.

Know the Symptoms of Hepatitis C

As previously explained, hepatitis C almost does not show typical symptoms in the early stages of viral infection. Most people with acute hepatitis C experience only mild symptoms that last 2 weeks to 3 months and can go away on their own. These symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Exhaustion
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Appetite decreases
  • Jaundice
  • Urine is dark yellow
  • Grey or pale stools

If the body is not able to clean or fight the virus, the hepatitis C virus will still be in the body for years, even a lifetime. Without proper treatment, hepatitis C can cause damage to the liver and the symptoms will get worse.

There are several symptoms that usually appear due to chronic hepatitis C and liver disease, including:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Swollen legs
  • Itchy skin
  • Losing weight for no apparent reason
  • Mood changes, including depression or anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things

How to Treat Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is diagnosed through blood tests, namely hepatitis C antibody tests and viral genetic tests. If the test is positive, the doctor will check the extent of the patient's liver damage with several additional tests, such as liver function tests, abdominal ultrasound, magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), and liver biopsy.

Hepatitis C infection, both acute and chronic, can be completely cured. This condition can even heal on its own if the patient's immune system is able to fight infection well enough. However, the patient's condition and the amount of virus in the body must always be monitored.

If the immune system cannot clear the virus, there are several ways that can be done to treat hepatitis C, namely:

Drugs

If hepatitis C develops chronically, the doctor will prescribe several combinations of antiviral drugs. The goal of hepatitis C treatment is to relieve symptoms, eliminate hepatitis C virus until it is undetectable in the body, while preventing liver damage.

The treatment of hepatitis C may also involve the use of direct-acting antiviral drugs, such as daclatasvir. This treatment has mild side effects, the success rate is also good, and the duration of treatment is shorter, which is about 12 weeks.

Surgery or liver transplant

Hepatitis C can cause serious, even life-threatening, he alth problems. Various dangerous he alth disorders, including cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer.

In patients who have experienced complications from hepatitis C, such as cirrhosis or liver cancer, the tissue damage cannot heal by itself. Therefore, the doctor will recommend surgery or a liver transplant.

In addition to taking medication, doctors will also recommend hepatitis C patients to make lifestyle changes to become he althier, such as having a he althy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining an ideal body weight, and avoiding the consumption of alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs.

So far, there is no vaccine available to prevent hepatitis C virus infection. Therefore, it is recommended that you always take precautions to prevent hepatitis C virus infection.

If you feel symptoms of acute or chronic hepatitis C, especially if you are classified as a person who is at risk of contracting hepatitis C, immediately consult a doctor to get the right treatment.

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