Hepatitis C is caused by infection and called “virus C”,This virus is transmitted through the blood and can cause lifelong health problems, including liver cancer and cirrhosis. Unfortunately, after a long period of illness, many people do not feel any of the symptoms of hepatitis C, which leads to cirrhosis.
Hepatitis C progression stages:
The acute stage of hepatitis C occurs in the first six months after infection. However, as mentioned, most people with hepatitis C may not have symptoms and have not been diagnosed for many years. Some people experience some mild symptoms, anytime from the injury two to six months after infection.
These symptoms include:
1- Feeling of general weakness.
2- Loss of appetite.
3- Dizziness and rewind.
4- Abdominal pain.
5- Urine is dark in color.
6- High temperature.
7- Joint pain.
8- It develops jaundice or yellowing, but it is mild, represented by yellowing of the slight skin color.
- These symptoms are usually visible within a few months. In addition, the presence of these symptoms does not mean the occurrence of liver damage. In fact, between 15 and 25 percent of those who have hepatitis C have the ability to fight infection and have no long- term health problems.
- There is no clear cause for some people to be able to fight off infection while in other cases the disease becomes chronic. However, there appear to be some factors that play a role in the resistance, such as:
- Women fight the virus more often than men do and Young people are more likely to fight the virus.
- Those who develop symptoms during the acute phase are more likely to fight the virus.
- in addition, the amount and type of virus can make a difference. Those who became infected with hepatitis C through blood transfusion are more likely to develop the disease into chronic since they received more virus from a person who had been exposed to a small amount of blood for another person.
Chronic hepatitis C
Anyone unable to fight infection during the first six months is considered to have switched to chronic hepatitis C and become more vulnerable to increased risk of liver damage, which usually follows this pattern:
The liver becomes inflamed and increases in size.
Damaged liver cells develop into scars and these scars replace healthy cells in the liver and these results in decreased liver tissue function.
The liver at this stage has damaged a large percentage of its tissue and has become unable to form healthy cells.
The level of damage increases to the degree of risk of liver cancer.
As the disease progresses, the liver becomes unable to perform liver function, leading to failure.
This progress often happens very slowly, sometimes up to 30 years. Some people can be infected with the virus for many years and only get minimal damage to the liver, while in other cases, it can progress more quickly.
In addition, when the liver is damaged to the point where it no longer works and functions, it is called the end of the hepatitis C stage and the only treatment becomes a liver transplant.
In recent years, scientists have discovered that hepatitis C has another effect beyond the boundaries of the liver. Research has found that it can also affect parts of the immune system, some blood cells and possibly the brain. This suggests that hepatitis C is a branched disease and not just a liver disease.
What happens after infection with virus C?
After infection with the virus, hepatitis occurs, and in 15% of cases, it is an infection Acute and the body may be able to get rid of it automatically (in the event that the immune system is formed The affected person works well and is well- balanced (without any long- term consequences) Run. But in most cases (85%), the inflammation is chronic and the body does not get rid From the virus.
And it may be exacerbated by the occurrence of chronic active hepatitis and slowly destroy the liver over a period, Long years and thus over time this chronic inflammation may lead to cirrhosis, An increase in portal blood circulation pressure and its complications (such as esophageal varices) It develops and liver failure occurs, and in some cases of advanced cirrhosis it may Liver cancer occurs.
How is hepatitis C transmitted?
Infection with this virus is transmitted in the following ways:
- Blood transfusion, blood products (blood clotting materials, injecting drug addiction, injection)
- Organ transplantation (kidney, liver, heart) from an infected donor.
- Use contaminated needles or surgical instruments during surgeries or dental care.
- Incidence of contaminated needles by mistake.
- Participation in the use of sharp objects such as razors or tattoo tools.
- Multiple partner sexual relations. The virus is not easily transmitted between married couples or from mother to child. It is not recommended to use condoms or a condom for married couples, but it is recommended for people with multiple sexual relations.