The liver works in the body to fight infection, remove chemicals from the blood, and plays a part in digestion. Without it, the body cannot survive. When a person contracts hepatitis C, it leads to an inflammation of the liver – it becomes red and swollen and can cause damage. Though for some people treatment is not necessary, for those suffering from chronic hepatitis C, there are treatment options out there that can relieve symptoms and sometimes eradicate the virus from your bloodstream altogether.
For most people, symptoms do not show up until quite some time after infection. Hepatitis C causes damage to the liver and the symptoms people notice will be symptoms of liver damage. Some people are lucky enough to be able to fight the virus off by themselves, though most are not. When the body cannot fight the virus, it becomes chronic hepatitis C and symptoms will be relevant to cirrhosis. When it gets to this point treatment is crucial in preventing cancer and liver failure. There are different symptoms to liver damage and cirrhosis:
Liver damage – dark urine, bloating and stomach pain, diarrhea, no appetite, fever, and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eye whites).
Cirrhosis – Loss of weight, jaundice, spider-like blood vessels visible on the skin, and nausea.
Hep C does not need to be treated unless it is chronic. If you are not chronic, you should rest, eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of fluids, do not drink, and avoid anything that has potential to damage your liver.
If you are chronic, you will need to seek treatment immediately. There is usually 2 different drugs administered that aim to slow down the virus and its damage of the liver. There are new treatments that have been recently approved by the FDA and these aim to eradicate the virus within 3 months.
If you are past help with medication, a liver transplant is an option. Once you have received your new liver you will be put on drugs to eradicate the virus as there is a possibility it will come back and cause more damage.
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