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The Link Between Hepatitis C and Abdominal Pain

The Link Between Hepatitis C and Abdominal Pain

Hepatitis C is a disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus. The hepatitis C virus attacks your liver by multiplying indiscriminately. However, the symptoms are only apparent right away in a few cases. Usually, your immune system fights the virus, so some people may live with it for decades without knowing they have it. 

Unfortunately, most people only find out about it when they develop severe scarring of the liver, also known as cirrhosis, which can cause your liver to shut down completely. Others may develop symptoms about 6 months after the infection. 

The good news is that hepatitis C can be cured. Even cirrhosis can be managed. To help you get help as soon as possible, our experts at Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County in Orange County, California, discuss what symptoms to look for and when you should seek medical help. 

When abdominal pain could be a sign of hepatitis C

Abdominal pain is a very common symptom of many ailments. However, with hepatitis C, the pain may be located in the right-hand side of your body and may feel sharp. Symptoms vary from individual to individual, but hepatitis C patients are also likely to experience jaundice, nausea, bloating, itching, chronic fatigue, brain fog, and mood swings. 

Some people don’t exhibit symptoms for years, and others only experience mild symptoms, so if you suspect something is off, you should seek medical advice right away, as the intensity of the symptoms isn’t always telling of what’s actually going on inside your body. 

The earlier you catch the virus, the easier it is for your liver to recover. 

Who is more likely to get hepatitis C?

You may be at a higher risk of getting hepatitis if you’ve received hemodialysis, injected illicit drugs at some point in your life, were exposed to sharp objects and needles used by people who carry hepatitis C, or were born to a mother suffering from hepatitis C. 

Hepatitis C detection and treatment 

Diagnosis is done via a simple blood test that counts the viral load. There may be further tests to assess the health of your liver, such as ultrasound imaging and biopsies. Next, if you do end up being diagnosed with hepatitis C, it takes about 12 weeks to clear up the virus with an antiviral treatment. 

Hepatitis C may seem like a scary diagnosis, but it’s highly treatable. Even in later stages, there are options that can improve your quality of life. If you suspect you have it, get peace of mind by scheduling an appointment. Our team is more than happy to run all the tests necessary to ensure you are well.

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