Liver disease C infection isn’t the like other sort of liver disease. Here’s where to discover why– and to discover the symptoms and signs to look out for.
Liver disease C is an infection caused by the hepatitis C infection (HCV). There are various types of liver disease infections, including hepatitis A, B, D, and E. Amongst the various infections, liver disease C is the most serious because it can be chronic and cause severe liver damage.
The infection spreads out through contact with infected blood, so particular individuals have a higher risk of infection. This includes healthcare workers exposed to blood and drug users.
Hepatitis C impacts both males and females As a whole, the symptoms and complications of the disease are the same for both sexes. But the infection can impact women in a different way.
Symptoms of Liver Disease C in Women
Numerous women do not have symptoms until the disease is in a later stage. Women who have signs of the disease in the earliest stage may reject symptoms or associate them to other aspects, such as anemia, depression, or menopause.
Early symptoms of liver disease C in women can include:
- abdominal discomfort
- muscle and joint pain
- bad hunger
Some liver disease C infections are intense and the infection clears or improves on its own without treatment within a few months (don’t despair). Intense infections are more typical in women.
Hepatitis C can also be chronic, meaning the infection does not clear by itself, but rather advances and damages the liver. Symptoms of chronic liver disease include:
- bruising or bleeding
- itchy skin
- fluid retention in the stomach
- swollen legs
- inexplicable weight loss
- spider veins
The symptoms of chronic hepatitis C take place in both men and women, however the disease can advance slower in women. However, some women experience fast development of the disease and liver damage after menopause.
Having these symptoms does not suggest you have liver disease C.
How do Women Get Liver Disease C?
Liver disease C spreads out from person-to-person through contact with infected blood. If you work in a market where you might come in contact with blood, there’s a small risk of exposure. This consists of personal care such as:
- house cleaning
To protect yourself, prevent contact with cuts or open sores on patients and clients. Use non reusable latex or non-latex gloves and sterilize equipment after each use (razors, cuticle scissors, etc.). If you operate in the janitorial or housekeeping market, wear gloves to prevent contact with blood from feminine health products.
Liver disease C can likewise be spread to a sexual partner during a menstruation (not to have sex).
Numerous women with the virus are able to have a healthy baby. However, there is a small risk that the infection will be transferred to a baby during pregnancy. If you have hepatitis C and give birth, your baby will be checked for the infection at around 18 months.
How is Liver Disease C Identified?
Some women are unaware of an infection till a doctor discovers high liver enzymes on a regular liver function blood test. A high number of liver enzymes can represent liver inflammation.
Enzymes help the liver function, however they can leak into the bloodstream when there’s damage to liver cells. A liver function test checks the blood for two main enzymes: alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST).
A typical range for AST is 8 to 48 units per liter of serum, and a typical variety for ALT is 7 to 55 systems per liter of serum.
Elevated liver enzymes can indicate a liver issue. If your numbers are elevated and you have risk factors for liver disease C, your doctor might carry out additional testing to identify the cause of inflammation. This consists of screening your blood for HCV.
If testing confirms liver disease C, your doctor may likewise run a test to check your viral load, which reveals the amount of the virus in your blood. Furthermore, you might have a liver biopsy to figure out the severity of the disease.
Your doctor may not suspect liver disease C if your liver enzymes are within a regular range, and as a result, never suggest further screening. This is dangerous due to the fact that according to a report by the HCV Advocate, “some specialists feel that the cut-off number for unusual liver test must really be lower for women than the number most labs use.”
If your liver function test is normal however your enzyme levels are close to the cut-off number, ask your doctor to check for liver disease C.
Complications of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C can be a long-term, progressive disease. It can eventually result in cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver tissue. If this occurs, the liver doesn’t function also. Some individuals with liver disease C likewise develop liver cancer.
A liver transplant may be needed if the virus has actually substantially harmed your liver. Even with a new liver, you’ll have to take antiviral medication to avoid contaminating the new organ.
Treatment for Liver Disease C
The objective of treatment is to clear the infection from the body. If you have intense liver disease C, you most likely won’t have symptoms, and the infection will clear by itself without treatment (don’t despair).
When it comes to chronic liver disease, your doctor might treat the virus with antiviral medication for 12 to 24 weeks.
Till 2011, there were just two drugs offered to treat liver disease C: pegylated interferon (Peg-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV). These drugs were frequently used in combination with each other.
The drugs presently used to treat liver disease C include:
- Viekira pak
Your doctor will monitor your symptoms throughout the treatment. After the treatment your viral load will be examined again.
If the virus is not identified in your blood, and stays undetected for at least 6 months, you may not require further treatment and there’s a lower risk of liver problems. If treatment doesn’t decrease your viral load, your doctor might suggest a second round.
Call or other emergency situation services right away if you have hepatitis C and you:
Feel extremely baffled or are having hallucinations.
Are bleeding from the rectum or are vomiting blood.
Call your doctor if:
- You believe you might have been infected with liver disease C.
- You have risk factors for liver disease C, such as IV substance abuse.
- You have symptoms of liver disease C (tiredness, sore muscles, anorexia nervosa, queasiness, dark urine or yellow-gray stools, fever, or jaundice) and you believe you might have been exposed to hepatitis C.
- A home test for hepatitis C infection reveals that you have hepatitis C. More screening is had to find out if you have an active infection.
Outlook and Prevention HCV
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 75 to 85 percent of those infected with liver disease C develop a chronic infection. There is no vaccine for the infection, however it is possible to clear the infection from the body with early intervention and making use of antiviral medication.
Since the infection can damage the liver, it is essential to look after your liver by avoiding alcohol (don’t consume alcohol, alcohol is harmful for health) and asking your doctor about safe medications and supplements to take.
Practicing safe sex and avoiding contact with blood can help you avoid the infection. Do not use illegal drugs and or share personal care products, such as razors, tooth brushes, or cuticle scissors.
Good luck! Have a nice weekend!