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An Overview of Hepatitis C

An Overview of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) that affects the liver. The infection is asymptomatic most of the time but the effect on the liver is eminent. HCV is mainly spread by blood-to-blood contact associated with intravenous drug use, poorly sterilized medical equipment, blood transfusions and sexual contact.

As said earlier, most of them do not exhibit any symptoms during the initial stages. People with symptoms exhibit signs of fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, joint pain, grey colored feces and jaundice. While about 75-85 % of newly infected persons develop chronic disease, 60-70% of chronically infected people develop chronic liver disease eventually. Among them, 5-20% develop cirrhosis and 1-5% die from cirrhosis or liver cancer. In 25 % of liver cancer patients, the underlying cause is hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C has to be treated by a doctor and has to be kept under close observation. A person with hepatitis C should eat good amount of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, pulses, chicken and fish in the recommended amounts and forms. A strict cut down on excess fats and oils are recommended. It is suggested to eat small frequent meals as one's appetite won't be good. Alcohol and smoking are strictly restricted during the treatment and recovery period. You can take the help of a dietitian as she can guide you with a customized diet plan. Exercise is also one of the key components. Most patients with hepatitis C are under severe fatigue, so exercising for 10-20 minutes or walking can make a person feel stronger.

Preventive measures have to be taken to avoid hepatitis C in advance. Unnecessary and unsafe injections, use of illicit drugs and sharing of injection equipment, unprotected sex with hepatitis C-infected people, contact with infected blood, tattoos, piercings and acupuncture performed with contaminated equipments are routes for the entry of this virus.

Keep a watch on these and avoid spreading the infection.

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