The Danger of Hepatitis C

March 2nd, 2007 by | Category: Others

The HCV or hepatitis C virus is a major problem that affects the human liver. Those who are affected by it once will be continually affected by it for the rest of their lives because it defies the body’s immune defense system. The liver gets inflamed once this virus sets in and can lead to fibrosis and later cirrhosis. The greatest danger is that it can lead to liver cancer or a liver transplant may be required. In the USA alone there are about 10 million people who carry the virus because it wasn’t detected as a threat till quite late in the 1980s.

Mainly, hepatitis C spreads through contact with blood that is infected, which may be through sharing needles to inject or straws to inhale drugs; receiving a blood transfusion or organ that is infected by HCV; being inadvertently in contact with an HCV-infected needle; using toothbrushes or razors that may have HCV-infected blood on them; getting a tattoo or acupuncture with unsterilized paraphernalia; or being in constant physical or sexual contact with HCV-infected patients. A woman with the virus can also pass it on to her baby at the time of delivery.

After the first exposure to HCV it can be detected in the blood within a week or two, but unfortunately since there will be no visible symptoms initially diagnosis takes place very late. Some people will have the virus cleared out of their systems within two months but most people affected by the virus will go on to develop chronic hepatitis C. This is when the symptoms will manifest themselves. Weakness and loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal pain, and jaundice are what you should look out for.

If the disease has reached a chronic stage then the liver will fail progressively and there will be a higher risk of developing cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. If you suspect that you have hepatitis C because of the risk factors mentioned above, see a physician and give him your medical history. You will have to have blood tests or a liver biopsy to determine if you have been affected. You will be put on medications to treat the virus but the infection may not clear up for under a year.

Be aware of the dangers of hepatitis C and take care to not use needles used by others or other personal hygiene materials. Be careful during blood transfusions and do not handle objects that may be HCV infected. And if you are already infected tell your physician or dentist before undergoing treatment and don’t donate blood or organs.

Hepatitis C is an invisible danger to your health. Protect yourself.

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Comment by Lynne Eldridge M.D.
2007-03-05 16:07:09

Thank you for addressing this under-diagnosed, but significant problem!

C. Everett Koop, Former U.S. Surgeon General stated “We stand at the precipice of a grave threat to our public health…It affects people from all walks of life, in every state, in every country. And unless we do something about it soon, it will kill more people than AIDS.

Hepatitis C is currently the number one cause of liver cancer as well as liver transplants in the United States.

It is felt that 1.8 percent of the population is infected with hepatitis C, and the majority of people do not have symptoms until significant liver disease is present.

If you or a sexual partner had a blood transfusion prior to 1989, have ever used IV drugs, or have a history of abnormal liver function tests request a test for hepatitis C. Treatment is available that may lower risk.

For further information, check out

Lynne Eldridge M.D.
Author, “Avoiding Cancer One Day At A Time”

Comment by mitch
2007-04-11 00:35:55

This is good information in regard to prevention. As for treating and coming out clean in a year; I don’t think this a realistic assesmnet and many prescribed treatment sfor hepatitis c create unrecoverable side effects that many deam to be worse than the disease.

Comment by Kirk Hanna
2007-11-30 19:14:15

I have to agree with the other comment, Hep C is not so easily handled to say that it is able to be cleared up in under a year. It often is a much more serious and longer process and there is only a 50% success rate for the most common treatment and for the most common genotype in the US. Other genotypes have a higher success rate but they are in the minority here.

It is a lifestyle disease and it is in changing the lifestyle that symptoms and effects can be minimized while treatment is considered. The side effects must be weighed heavily against the slow progression of the disease in a person the does all the right things too.

Kirk Hanna

Comment by D
2012-02-16 17:12:39

Bit offended you mentioned u can catch through sex , small tiny percentage and it’s not an std by saying having sex with hep c saying your going to get it , if having blood contact through sex then I can see it , but they way you suggesting sex and hep c , you make its like an std , sheeeeeshhh way to misinform and take another blow to the heppers out there thanks ….

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