Hepatitis C, Its Causes & preventions

Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus. Today, most people become infected with the Hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. For some people, hepatitis C is a short-term illness but for 70%–85% of people who become infected with Hepatitis C, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection. Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious disease than can result in long-term health problems, even death. The majority of infected persons might not be aware of their infection because they are not clinically ill. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. The best way to prevent Hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, especially injecting drugs.

Symptoms and signs are

a)      Elevated liver enzymes in the blood

b)      Weakness

c)      Loss of appetite

d)      Weight loss

e)      Breast enlargement in men (gynecomastia)

f)       Redness of the palms

g)      Difficulty with the clotting of blood

h)      Spider-like blood vessels on the skin

i)        Abdominal pain

j)        Clay colored stools

k)      Bleeding from the esophagus

l)        Fluid in the abdomen

m)   Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)

n)      Confusion

o)      Coma

Hepatitis C is not transmitted by breast-milk. However, a child may be inheritably affected by mother at the time of birth.

A very small number of cases of hepatitis C are transmitted through sexual intercourse. Poor infection control practices during tattooing and body piercing potentially can lead to spread of infection. There have been some outbreaks of hepatitis C when instruments exposed to blood have been re-used without adequate cleaning and sterilization between patients.Hepatitis C can be transmitted from an organ donor to an organ recipient. Donors of organs are tested for hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is one of several viruses that cause hepatitis (inflammation of the liver).About 0.3% people are estimated to be currently infected with hepatitis C in the Multan district.

Several tests for diagnose are available to measure the amount of hepatitis C virus in a person’s blood (the viral load). The hepatitis C virus’s RNA can be identified by a type of test called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) that detects circulating virus in the blood as early as 2-3 weeks after infection, so it can be used to detect suspected acute infection with hepatitis C early infection.

Hepatitis C infection can cause the body to produce abnormal antibodies called cry globulins. Cry globulins cause inflammation of arteries (vasculitis). This may damage skin, joints, and kidneys. Patients with cryglobulinemia (cry globulins in the blood) may have

a)      joint pain,

b)      arthritis,

c)      a raised purple rash on the legs, and

d)      Generalized pain or swelling of their bodies.

Primary ways to control

  • Not sharing household items
  • Do not inject drugs
  • Eat a diet low in saturated and no trans-fat.
  • Drink 8 to 12 eight ounces of water daily,
  • Reduce sugar and high sodium foods.
  • Exercising regularly
  • Avoid fried foods.
  • Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, choose organic if possible.
  • adhering to medication
  • taking an active role in medical care
  • Not using alcohol

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