Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is the clinical disease caused by the hepatotrophic hepatitis virus type C transmitted through infected blood which causes liver inflammation. The majority of cases are asymptomatic for decades and suddenly may easily present with significant or serious liver damage.

In the majority of Hepatitis C cases, the liver damage may be mild and may not warrant any treatment because the risk for significant liver damage in the future is low. However, for infections having a significant potential to become chronic hepatitis C, the following treatment options may be available for those who qualify. A Q and A session with a physician who is highly educated on Hepatitis C may assist in setting reasonable expectation for the path of the disease and the outcome.

Vaccinations for Other Hepatitis Viruses – Individuals diagnosed with Hepatitis C are also prone to infection with the Hepatitis B and Hepatitis A viruses. Physicians will often recommend vaccinations for the other viruses to prevent further infection that may way worsen liver damage.

Antiviral Medications Individuals with Hepatitis C infections may be given antivirals to rid the body of the viral load. Combination medications may be given for several weeks. After the first round of treatment the physician with test the blood for the presence of hepatitis C viral antigen. If and when present, another round of treatment is given.

Liver Transplant – In cases where the liver is severely damaged, a liver transplantation from a deceased or healthy host may benefit the individual in the long run for those who qualify. Individuals diagnosed with Hepatitis C should continually be treated with antivirals because Hepatitis C may recur in the new liver.

Outcome

Individuals with Hepatitis C must be willing to modify their lifestyle to avoid further scarring of the liver. Cases of chronic Hepatitis C may complicate into liver cirrhosis in 20% of the cases after a period of up to 20 years which is potentially fatal. Individuals must stop alcohol intake and should be careful with the drugs that they take to avoid further liver damage. If individuals have other medical conditions, such as a UTI kidney infection, there may be a greater risk of complications and may increase the risk of fatality.

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.