As the largest internal organ of the body, your liver does so many functions which we may not likely appreciate until we have a liver problem. The liver is prone to so many toxic substances that enter our body, one of its “dirty jobs” of filtering blood coming from our digestive system makes it commonly attacked by viruses, toxic drugs, or any foreign substance. This resulted in its damage.
One of such damages is the commonly known disorder “Hepatitis C” an inflammation of the liver caused by hepatitis c virus.
The virus replicates and spreads through contaminated blood. This virus gets into our body in a similar manner as other sexual transmitted diseases.
Causes of Hepatitis C disease
Hepatitis C is mostly caused by viral infections, although in a few cases it can also result from alcohol consumption and several health conditions.
During the early phase of infection with Hepatitis C virus, (also called acute phase) the patient may be tested positive but may not experience symptoms of the disease at its peak. Like any foreign substance, once the virus gets into the body, it “alerts” the immune system to produce antibodies that will attack the virus, a hepatitis c test strip can be used to detect the presence of this virus hence the antibodies (proteins) are only available during affection by the virus.
As time flies, the virus replicates to outgrow the immune system’s defense and spread throughout the body…this can be expressed as chronic inflammation as the liver cells are being damaged by the virus, thus reducing the lover’s ability to function properly.
Symptoms of Hepatitis C
Excessive bleeding due to platelets dysfunction.
Anaemia may appear
Abdominal pain (most common)
Your skin becomes yellowish
You may experience weak joints.
Your faeces appear pale.
Ignorant kills, the virus will be completely eradicated if we all adhere to instructions of its preventive measures which will be reviewed in this article. Our aim is to enlighten those who are yet to have it, and those who are already infected by the virus know what to do and how to go about doing such things to prevent further infections and/or injuries to the liver.
Health Tips for Hepatitis C
Ensure a standard screen test for yourself
There are so many screening tests that dictate the presence of hepatitis c virus in blood. However, most of them are not effective; they only dictate the presence of the antibodies fighting the infection, meanwhile there are scenarios where the antibodies remain in the blood even after you are cured from the hepatitis C virus, hence the test strip method may still show you are tested positive.
A Liver Function Test is recommendable as it looks out for the depth at which the liver is harmed or Inflamed by the virus. The test measures enzymes (protein catalysts) activities, proteins and other substances produced by the liver. The doctor will collect your blood sample and carry out the test, after which the values of the result obtained will be compared against the normal values of those enzymes and proteins in your bloodstream.
Unlike the strip method, the Liver function test helps to tell you whether the infection is acute or chronic; whether the treatment you are receiving yields positive feedback, and to assay the side effects of certain drugs or foods you have been taking.
Are you pregnant?
Hepatitis C can affect your unborn child if you are tested positive and there’s no treatment until the virus replicates to a chronic state of the disease. This is one of the reasons for prenatal health care, if the disease is diagnosed at its early stage, there are better chances of your unborn child being uninfected.
However, modes of infection may be after child birth when the mother’s blood (from wounds) comes in contact with the baby circulating blood.
Understand its differences from other types of hepatitis infections
There are numerous types of hepatitis infections such as Hepatitis A,B,C and D. Every type causes inflammation of the liver; sometimes you can have two different types of the disease, both Hepatitis B and C are caused by a virus. Hepatitis C is transmitted from blood to blood contact, while hepatitis B is via body fluids like saliva and urine. Also Hepatitis C has more likelihood of deteriorating into a chronic state than Hepatitis B. But both can be cured.
Some blogs will tell you that hepatitis can disappear even if it’s not treated. However, such “good news ” is possibly heard only in patients with hepatitis A, because it is less severe than the aforementioned types of the disorder.
The need to understand the uniqueness in these types of hepatitis infection is to know which methods of treatment you can engage in for a cure.
There are vaccines available for Hepatitis A and B prevention, but none for hepatitis C yet
Overcoming negative emotions about your sickness
This is a point where people treat themselves with drugs daily but worsen their condition by nervousness, anxiety or fear created by their thoughts about the disease. Some symptoms like restlessness, lack of sleep, and depression are created from such ill thoughts, this may increase the chances of other complications such as high blood pressure and stroke.
Do not panic, adhere to instructions from this article and those from your doctor. All kinds of hepatitis infections can be cured.
Abstinence from certain foods
There are certain foods you should eat less when you are infected with the virus, remember or note that one of the functions of the liver is the breakdown of the food we eat. Eating foods that contain fats and oils, sugary and proteinous foods increases the workload of the already inflamed liver. Thus it worsens the situation and this can be life threatening especially when no treatment is ongoing.
Avoid alcoholic drinks as they also increase the chances of cirrhosis; another toxic disease of the liver.
Some drugs(e.g. sleeping pills and Acetaminophen) should also be avoided especially those abused or misused.
There are no finding that exercise cures hepatitis C infection, but regular exercise boosts our immune system and helps the body to fight diseases. Exercise may also increase the level at which digestion occurs, thus reducing the amount of work to be done by the liver.
You can take a walk for 30 mins or engage in mental exercises like solving puzzles.
Preventive measures for patients with hepatitis
When receiving any form of injection, ensure appropriate health care tips like sterilising the injection site and avoidance of already used syringes.
Avoid the use of unsterilised sharp objects
Though the likelihood of transmission of hepatitis c virus via sexual intercourse is minimal, avoid unprotected sex when you or your partner is menstruating.