In the past, hepatitis C treatment involved medications that caused serious side effects, which prevented some sufferers from getting better. Fortunately, a hepatitis C diagnosis isn’t as scary as it used to be thanks to the treatment options available today.
Have you or a loved one been recently diagnosed with hepatitis C? Our experts at Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County have prepared a guide on what you can expect after your hepatitis C diagnosis.
Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by a virus. There’s no vaccine against it, and the only way to find out if you have it is to get tested.
Some people with hepatitis C experience symptoms soon after infection. Others may have a silent infection for years until their liver becomes burdened by the infection and symptoms slowly develop.
Generally speaking, people with a strong immune system can often clear up the virus on their own, but others may need medications. Today, most cases of hepatitis C are considered curable and can be cleared in 12 weeks with the help of medications. However, curing one strain of hepatitis C won’t make you immune to the other strains.
The virus that causes hepatitis C is transmitted via blood-to-blood contact. Hepatitis C is mostly transmitted by sharing unsterilized needles, from pregnant mothers to babies during birth, and during unprotected sex where infected blood is present.
Hepatitis C symptoms include:
The infection can be both acute and chronic. During the acute phase, the infection may not present any symptoms. However, left untreated, the viral infection can become chronic, slowly damaging the liver by causing inflammation.
About 25% of people infected with hepatitis C clear the virus on their own. However, those who live with the infection for an extended period have an increased risk for liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Fortunately, when the virus is caught early, these complications are largely preventable.
With the help of antiviral medications, you can defeat hepatitis C. Most people with hepatitis C can live a normal life as long as their liver isn’t severely damaged, which can take years to occur. The sooner you get tested and diagnosed, the higher your chances of beating the virus.
If you or a loved one suffers from hepatitis C or wants to get tested, contact us to schedule an appointment. With offices in Irvine, Tustin, Huntington Beach, and Foothill Ranch, our experts are standing by to help explain how hepatitis C impacts your health and how you can get help.