Hepatitis is a potentially life-threatening disease and represents a major global health problem. This viral disease is caused by inflammation of the liver, which damages and ruptures liver cells. Hepatitis is a communicable disease caused by an infectious and non-infectious virus. There are five variants of the hepatitis virus, the types are A, B, C, D and E. It is estimated that more than 354 million people in total are living with hepatitis B or C, and most of them are undiagnosed and have no access to treatment. WHO study.
Understanding hepatitis C and how it differs from other types
Hepatitis C is one of the most common types of liver infections caused by the transmission of the hepatitis C virus. It can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a long-term chronic illness. The condition can be a serious condition that results in long-term health problems, including liver damage, liver failure, cirrhosis, liver cancer, blood clotting, skin bruising, thyroid problems, sleep loss, hypertension, and even death. Usually, hepatitis C can turn into a serious condition because there is no such cure for it yet. It is also known as silent hepatitis because it damages the body silently, sometimes showing no symptoms at all.
Because hepatitis C is transmitted through infected blood, the risk is higher for a baby born to mothers who are infected, for those who have unprotected sex, and for people with blood clotting problems such as hemophilia. It can also be spread by sharing needles, syringes, or any other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs. Each stage of chronic hepatitis begins with acute hepatitis. The acute stage usually remains undiagnosed because the disease remains undetected. By the time symptoms are visible, hepatitis C may have already caused damage to most parts of the patient’s body.
Effect on the liver:
The liver is the first organ of the body to be attacked by the hepatitis C virus. The infection causes swelling and inflammation of the liver. If left untreated, it can further lead to the formation of fibroids. Fibroids can turn into a serious form and cause cirrhosis. This condition limits the overall functioning of the liver. In chronic situations, the patient may suffer from tumors or even result in lung cancer or death.
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Effects on the digestive system:
The basic function of the liver is the production of bile, which helps in the digestion of fatty foods. However, the liver stops producing bile due to inflammation, which causes severe indigestion. People with liver damage may experience abnormal weight loss, abdominal pain, restlessness, weakness, nausea, and vomiting. In the chronic stage, a few people may even suffer from ascites, which is a build-up of fluid in the abdomen. Ascites can make the abdomen appear bloated or bloated.
Effect on the nervous system:
Improper liver function can lead to damage to the central nervous system. The patient may experience personality changes, loss of concentration, confusion, disturbed sleep patterns, and difficulty performing fine motor skills. In the chronic stage of hepatitis C, the patient experiences more severe CNS symptoms, abnormal body tremors, slurred speech, and coma.
Effects on the circulatory system:
The circulatory system is damaged when a person is infected with hepatitis C. Damaged liver affects blood flow and increases blood pressure in the large veins. As the pressure increases, blood flows through the smaller veins, causing them to burst. This condition is known as variceal bleeding. It is a condition of serious internal bleeding.
Effects on the endocrine system:
HCV can attack thyroid tissues and the patient may experience unexpected weight loss or gain. This condition is known as hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), which can cause sleep disturbances and weight loss, or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), which can cause fatigue and weight gain.
Precautions that can help reduce serious damage:
There is no specific way to prevent hepatitis, but here are some preventative steps that can prevent serious damage:
- Frequent hand washing is key to preventing hepatitis
- Avoiding contact with people who are sick
- Educate children to take precautions such as covering coughs and sneezes and reminding them not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth
- Ensuring safe blood transfusions and using fresh injections
- Ensuring adequate rest and a balanced diet for a quick recovery
- Use of alcoholic liquids for cleaning purposes
- Stay away from alcohol and tobacco
- Screening, early detection and initiation of treatment
- Blood transfusion, liver transplant are some other methods to stop the progression of hepatitis.