Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a viral infection that can cause inflammation in the liver. This inflammation can eventually lead to serious liver damage like cirrhosis and liver cancer. The infection spreads through infected and contaminated blood. This transfer commonly occurs when someone with the disease encounters an unaffected person through sharing of needles, blood transfusion, or through sexual intercourse. The disease can also be transferred by birth from an infected mother to her child. There are many with the disease that do not realize they are infected, as the symptoms aren’t always present.
Causes or Risk Factors for Hepatitis C:
There are a couple of different way to become infected with Hepatitis C. There are certain risks one can make that would make them more likely to contract the disease. The most common risks and causes are below:

  • Those who have injected drugs into their system
  • Those born between 1945 and 1965 are more at risk
  • Those with symptoms of liver disease
  • Those who received blood clotting treatments before 1987
  • Those who have received a piercing/tattoo in a non-sterile environment
  • Those born to mothers with Hepatitis C
  • Those who have received blood from a donor with the disease
  • Those who have had unprotected sex with someone infected

Symptoms of Hepatitis C:
Most that are infected with Hepatitis C do not show any symptoms and are unaware that the disease is present in their body, If the disease goes untreated for a a fair amount of time, then the disease will start to show the following symptoms:

  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pains
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Signs of jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)

Hepatitis C diagnosis and Treatment:

A simple blood test will let you know if you have Hepatitis C. If the test that is run comes back positive the doctor will see if there is extensive damage to the liver. Then come up with a treatment plan. If the disease is caught early, before it develops, then antiviral medications will eradicate the disease within 12 weeks of the treatment starting. For those with more extensive damage to the liver a transplant might be necessary. If you think you might suffering from Hepatitis C, or believe that you might have contracted it, call the Digestive Liver Disease Center at San Antonio and talk to a professional staff member about setting up a consultation.