Hepatitis Cvirus (HCV) is the cause of Hepatitis C. When the inflammation is not treated, it becomes chronic and can cause chronic liver disease, which can be serious or even fatal. If the disease progresses to the point at which the liver begins to fail, the only treatment is liver transplantation. HCV is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease. HCV is contagious. Sharing of contaminated needles among drug users is the most common mode of transmission, less commonly, from contaminated needles used in tattooing and body piercing. Transfusion with infected blood or blood products, hemodialysis, or transplantation of organs from infected donors was once a common mode of transmission. In 1992, a test became available for checking blood for HCV. Blood and blood products are now tested to ensure that they are not contaminated. As a result, cases of hepatitis C related to transfusion, hemodialysis, or transplantation have dropped to almost zero since then. Transfusion of blood or blood products before 1992 is a risk factor for hepatitis C. A small number of babies born to mothers with hepatitis C acquire the infection during childbirth. Mother-to-infant transmission rates are higher among women infected with both hepatitis C and HIV
Less common causes of HCV transmission include the following:
- From mother to infant at the time of childbirth
- Through sexual intercourse with an infected person
- Having multiple sex partners
- Needle sticks with HCV-contaminated blood
- Sharing a razor, nail clippers, or other such items with an infected person.
Hepatitis C is a virus that often silently attacks our liver. Most people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have no symptoms at all. In fact, most people don't know they have the disease until liver damage shows up, decades later, during routine medical tests. Hepatitis C is one of six identified hepatitis viruses. The others are A, B, D, E and G. All cause the liver to become inflamed, which interferes with its ability to function.
Hepatitis C is generally considered to be among the most serious of these viruses. Over time, if you have a hepatitis C infection, it can lead to liver cancer, liver failure or cirrhosis which is an irreversible and potentially fatal scarring of the liver. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. Researchers hope to find a medication that will slow or stop the growth of the virus and prevent long-term complications, such as cirrhosis and cancer, from developing.
Early-stage signs and symptoms:
- Slight fatigue
- Nausea or poor appetite
- Muscle and joint pains
- Tenderness in the area of your liver
Later stage signs and symptoms:
- Lack of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent or recurring yellowing of your skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Low-grade fever
Hepatitis C can cause damage to our liver, even if we don't have symptoms. We are also able to pass the virus to others without having any symptoms our self. That's why it's important to be tested if we think we have been exposed to hepatitis C or if you engage in behavior that puts you at risk.
A small number of people infected with hepatitis C fight off the virus on their own without any permanent damage. For the rest, the disease settles in and slowly attacks the liver, although even then, the course of the disease can vary greatly from person to person. Most people infected with HCV develop chronic hepatitis. Some people infected with hepatitis C develop cirrhosis, usually within 20 to 30 years after infection. This risk is higher and the progression is faster if you also have HIV infection. Of those who develop cirrhosis, the risk of developing liver failure is about 4 percent a year. In addition, between 1 percent and 5 percent of people with HCV eventually develop liver cancer. HCV also may increase the risk of developing several types of lymphatic system cancers (lymphomas). The risk of non-Hodgkinâ€™s lymphoma, for example, may increase by 20 percent to 30 percent. The hepatitis C virus is linked to an increased risk of porphyria cutanea tarda, a condition that may cause a blistering rash, to cryoglobulinemia, which can cause a purplish rash (purpura) on your lower extremities, and may cause kidney damage.
Because no effective vaccine for hepatitis C exists, the only way to protect is to avoid becoming infected by taking following care:
- Avoid illegal drug use.
- Avoid body piercing and tattooing.
- Avoid risky sexual behavior.
Following measures will help keep you healthy longer and protect the health of others as well:
- Eliminate alcohol consumption.
- Avoid medications that may cause liver damage.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Help prevent others from coming in contact with your blood.
Role of Homeopathy in Hepatitis C:
In cases of hepatitis C the treatment objectives are much focused. If the patient has some symptoms like fatigues and ague after starting the treatment patients finds relief in such symptoms. Apart from this the main target is to slow down the process of liver damage by means of avoiding life style which increases liver damage. Second step is to strengthen immunity by constitutional homeopathic treatment approach.