Hepatitis C symptoms will depend on whether the disease presents itself as acute or chronic within an individual. Hepatitis refers to a general inflammation of the liver. This can be from many causes.
Hepatitis C refers to a viral form of hepatitis affecting the liver. The virus is thought to create an exaggerated immune response in the liver leading to the inflammation of the organ.
The inflammation causes general disruption of function of the liver and pain and discomfort and can lead to total liver failure and death.
Infection occurs during unprotected sexual activity with an infected partner.
The speed and severity of the course of hepatitis C infection symptoms varies widely from individual to individual.
Acute hepatitis C infection symptoms typically begin abruptly and typically last for a few days. Many symptoms then generally disappear following the onset of jaundice. Jaundice however, continues to develop for 2-4 weeks.
Hepatitis C symptoms:
- flu-like symptoms (fever, nausea, fatigue)
- poor appetite
- for a smoker, dislike for cigarettes may occur
- joint pain
- dark urine
- pale stools
- enlarged liver
- general feeling of illness
- poor appetite
- minor fever
- abdominal pain
- enlarged spleen
- visible blood vessel anomalies in the skin (spidering)
Acute Hepatitis C
Chronic Hepatitis C
Individuals with chronic hepatitis may have no detectable symptoms. Thus, it may persist for decades, unnoticed. Liver damage and liver cancer may result after prolonged inflammation.
Diagnosis is performed through liver biopsy and/or liver function testing. Treatment is commonly with antiviral drugs. If severe liver damage has developed a liver transplantation may be deemed necessary.
Prevention is the key as high risk behaviors such as unprotected sex and sharing of intravenous drug equipment are cheap, simple measures to control spread of this infectious disease.