Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis is caused by a virus named Hepatitis C virus (HCV). The virus infects the liver, which results in inflammation of the liver. The virus is highly dangerous for the human body, and once it ...

Symptoms

3/4 of the population suffering from hepatitis does not experience any signs and symptoms in the beginning. Over the time as the inflammation progresses, the persistent swelling may increase and some of the following symptoms may occur:

  • Loss of appetite and weight.
  • Aches in muscles.
  • Fever.
  • Yellowish tint in the eyes.
  • Severe weakness and fatigue.
  • Enlargement of breasts in men.
  • Rashes on the palms.
  • Difficulty in clotting of blood.
  • Blood vessels become spider-like.

 

 

Causes

Blood is the main transportation mode for HCV and it can be transmitted in one of the following ways:

  • Using an already used needle while injecting drugs.
  • Using needles that are not sterilised.
  • Getting the organ from a person who is already infected with HCV.
  • Blood transfusion.
  • Sharing personal care items (razor, nail clippers, toothbrush, etc.) with a person infected with the virus.
  • Sexual intercourse with an infected person.

 

 

Risks

The following conditions may increase the risk of disease:

  • Drug addiction.
  • Tattoos and piercings.
  • A blood transfusion or an organ transplant.
  • Treatment with hemodialysis.
  • Being born to a woman with HCV.

 

Prevention

To prevent the occurrence of Hepatitis C, these are certain things one should take care of:

  • Avoid sharing personal items such as razors and toothbrush.
  • Practice safe sex.
  • Adopt healthy lifestyle.
  • Avoid alcohol and consumption of drugs.
  • Avoid sharing needles while using intravenous drugs.

How is it diagnosed?

At Medanta, the following technologies are used to find the existence of Hepatitis C:

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How is it treated?

At Medanta, our doctors may employ the following methods to treat the disease:

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  • Medication

    Antiviral medicines are generally used to clear out the virus from the body. The doctor can advise a combination of medicines that have to be taken over some days or weeks. While you are taking the medicines, the doctor will monitor the response.

  • Liver Transplant

    If the liver is severely damaged because of the virus, liver transplantation is an available option. During the procedure, the surgeon replaces the injured liver with a healthy liver. Most of the healthy livers for transplantation come from deceased patients, although, some of them come from patients who are living, but they donate a portion of their liver to the receiver. For a person infected with the virus, transplantation is not the ultimate cure. The patient will have to continue taking antiviral medicines as the infection may recur in the healthy liver too.

When do I contact the doctor?

You should immediately consult a doctor, if you suddenly start to notice the symptoms such as fatigue, fever, jaundice, loss of appetite, sore muscles, nausea, dark urine, bleeding, vomiting, or yellow-gray stools. If you feel extremely confused or start to hallucinate, this could also be a probable sign of Hepatitis C.

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How does Medanta provide care?

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Consult with experienced doctors

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