Everything About HEPATITIS C and Its Cure

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by Hepatitis C Virus or HCV. Nearly 3.5 million people suffer from this disease in the US alone. Nearly 70% to 80% of the acute infection cases do not display any sort of symptoms at all. This disease is termed as the silent or invisible disease because there aren’t any symptoms in a majority of cases and even if there is the symptoms are rather common.

The disease causes liver disease and in several cases the liver cirrhosis. Chronic infection can be cured in more than 90% of the cases and in some cases where there is liver cirrhosis is extreme a transplant is required.

Symptoms:

Hepatitis C is known as a silent or invisible disease because most victims don’t show any symptoms at all and if they most of its symptoms are so common that one doesn’t realize that are suffering from Hepatitis C until much later. Nearly 70% to 80% of the patients do not show any symptom at all. The symptoms are mild and flu like with fever along with the ones mentioned below:

-Jaundice: This is the most common symptom, it includes yellow eyes and skin along with dark colored urine.

-Stomach pain: as mentioned above the symptoms of this disease done stand out and symptoms include something as common as stomach pain.

-Joint and muscle pain: Muscle and join pain is another common symptom that most patients suffer.

-Itchy Skin: If you have been suffering from itchy skin for over six weeks along with any of the above mentioned skin please consult a doctor.

-Abnormalities in urine and bowel movement

-Loss of appetite: Again a very common symptom that is induced from a variety of reasons including stress. But if you suffer from loss of appetite with jaundice and the other symptoms please do get yourself checked.

-Nausea: Vomiting and squishiness, another common symptom which when combined with stomach ache can give a wrong diagnosis.

-Fatigue: Tiredness. Again another symptom which when accompanied with the above four symptoms may be assumed as an after effect of Jaundice.

Ways it can spread:

You can get this disease if you:

– Share drugs and needles

-Have unsafe sex with multiple partners who have STD and HIV infections and rough sex.

-Use used needles that is previously used by person suffering from Hepatitis C. -From a mother to her child: A pregnant mother can pass this infection to her unborn child.

-Blood transfusion: if you receive blood from a person infected with this disease.

Precautions:

What doesn’t cause Hepatitis C:

– Hugging

-Kissing

-Coughing

-Sneezing

-Sharing utensils or glasses

-Sharing food and water

-Casual contact

-Breastfeeding your baby if you are detected with Hepatitis C, but please ensure that your nipples aren’t cracked and bleeding.

What not to share:

-Anything that could possibly have your blood on it, which includes razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers etc.

-Don’t share needles or similar equipment’s with others. Also if you are doing drugs, that too injectable street drugs please opt for a treatment program.

-Do not donate blood, organs, tissue or semen.

-Anything that could possibly have your blood on it, which includes razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers etc.

Be extra careful with:

-Open wounds, blisters, cuts or sores and cover them with bandages, and do not let it come in contact with others.

-Dispose of tampons, sanitary napkins, tissues, used bandages, and anything else that might have your blood on it.

-Clean spilled blood from surfaces with a bleach.

-Thoroughly wash hands and any object that comes in contact with your blood with soap.

Sex and Hepatitis C:

Hepatitis C can spread through sexual intercourse, but it’s a rare phenomenon. In fact, according to CDC, if you are monogamous, the risk is rather low extremely rare that they don’t even recommend the use of condom. Also, Hepatitis C doesn’t spread through oral sex. But if you have multiple partners, it is advisable that you protect your partner with the use of a condom.

Cure –HarvoniĀ®:

Hepatitis C Medications:

Hepatitis C is an infection in the liver caused by the presence of the virus called HCV or hepatitis C virus. Just as there are different blood groups, this disease is also categorized into genotypes numbered from 1 through 6. According to statistics, about 75% of the HCV affected patients have are diagnosed with the genotype 1 HCV. There are no vaccinations available in the case HCV and can only be prevented from cautious activities when near already affected patients. It can be prevented by avoiding contact with infected fluids, or sharing needles as the disease can spread through physical contact. There are many drugs that are prescribed by specialists who treat for HCV. One among those is harvoniĀ® which is a suitable drug for HCV genotypes 1, 4, 5 and 6. HARVONIĀ® is a combination of two antiviral medications named ledipasvir and sofosbuvir. These prevent the multiplication of the Hepatitis C virus within the body. Before the physician is prescribing the medicine to HCV affected person, he/she will consider several factors like the treatment history in case he has already been treated for this disease, level of virus within the body, allergies to any of the components in the drug and extent of damage to the liver. In case this medicine has to be combined with another drug called ribavirin, it might affect pregnancy. The drug when prescribed separately does not affect the unborn baby and does not pass on to the infants through breast milk. Also it is not researched whether this drug is safe for children below the age of 18 years. The prescribed dosage for the drug is one pill a day and the most commonly suggested treatment cycle is a period of 12 weeks and the patients is advised to take the medicine at the same time every day.

Things You Need to Know About Hepatitis B and Testing

Hepatitis B is just one of the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that are common around the world. Unlike some of the other STDs, this one affects the liver, leaving you feeling sick, losing appetite, flu like symptoms and yellow jaundice colored skin.

The problem is that thousands of people walk around with this disease without ever knowing they have it. This makes it easy to pass on to others, who may have some or all of the symptoms, ranging from acute symptoms to chronic symptoms.

Hepatitis B, like other STD’s are transferred through bodily fluids and blood, which means that you need to be exceptionally careful whether you’re having unprotected sex with a new partner or you are using drugs, maybe having unprotected sex with someone who uses drugs. These are all potential ways to contract this disease.

Hepatitis B testing is conducted using a blood test. The test picks up the Hepatitis B proteins in the blood. In some cases, medical professionals will also add a liver function tests to the testing to ensure there is no serious liver damage.

Those with the disease can expect it to remain in their systems anywhere from one to three months, this is called acute. During this time it’s important to take medication as prescribed and refrain from sexual activity, reducing the risk of passing the disease onto someone else. If you do choose to have sex during this time, a condom must be used.

In chronic cases, the person with the disease can have the disease for six months if not longer, this is often seen in babies and younger children, but also in those who never realized they had the disease in the first place and have had no signs or symptoms until the later stages.

It’s imperative when you have Hepatitis B testing that you take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting this disease. Testing should be done if you feel you may have been exposed, this can be having a new sexual partner to sharing needles with other drug users. Those who have sexual partners that are drug users are also at high risk of this disease.

The Hepatitis B testing is a simple and quick test with fast results. You can book your test online or visit one of the thousands of laboratories throughout the world for your test. Ensure when choosing a laboratory that they take your confidentially seriously, it doesn’t matter what test you are having done, you want to keep it private.

Before any test you should meet with a care advisor or counsellor who should explain the testing procedure in detail. They should also advise you on the possible outcomes and how to manage these outcomes.

Once the testing is completed, you will wait to hear from the company or laboratory on your results, you may have to go back and receive your results in person. If you are positive the counsellor will discuss your options and advise you of signs and symptoms you may experience, remember not everyone experiences symptoms when it comes to this STD.

If medications are recommended, the counsellor will call in a medical professional to provide you with a prescription. They will also advise you on how long you need to refrain from sex and educate you on safe sex to reduce the risk of you contracting the disease again in the future.

Taking precautionary steps is the best way to reduce the risk of ever contracting this disease. But if at any stage, you feel you may have been infected, choose Hepatitis B testing to be sure.

Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Explained

WHAT IS VIRAL HEPATITIS?

Viral Hepatitis: This is the inflammation and necrosis of the liver caused by a virus or group of viruses.

There are other types of hepatitis including hepatotoxic and drugs related hepatitis and alcoholic hepatitis.

Types of Viral Hepatitis

There are many types of viral hepatitis

Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E and G e.t.c

HEPATITIS B: It is caused by the Hepatitis B virus. A DNA hepadna virus with a partially double-stranded DNA genome.

HEPATITIS C: This is a serious and often-silent liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus – a single stranded RNA virus.At least six major genotypes have been identified.

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

Hepatitis B and C viruses are transmitted by contacts with infected blood or blood products

For example, via contaminated needles (including unsterilized tattoo needles), accidental needle-sticks in healthcare workers, and unprotected sex, sharing nailclippers, razors, or toothbrushes

-Unscreened Blood Transfusions.

OTHER MODES OF TRANSMISSION

It can also be present in saliva, semen and vaginal secretions and through HbsAg positive mothers to child (maternal-neonatal transmission). Hepatitis B is prevalent in homosexuals and intravenous drug users but most cases result from heterosexual transmission. The incubation period of hepatitis B is 6 weeks to 6 months (average of 12 – 14 weeks). That of Hepatitis C is between 6-7 weeks and clinical illness is often mild, usually asymptomatic.

Signs and Symptoms

Hepatitis C has been called “the silent killer” because the virus often hides in the body for years, escaping detection as it attacks the liver. Since most people don’t have warning signs of hepatitis C (or don’t know how or when they were infected).

They don’t seek treatment until many years later. By the time hepatitis C symptoms appear or a diagnosis is made, the damage often is well underway.

If symptoms do appear, they may be mild or severe. Among the most common complaints are:

Fatigue

Fever

Muscle or joint pain

Poor appetite

Nausea

Pain in the upper right part of the abdomen

Dark yellow urine

Vomiting

Yellowish skin or eyes (jaundice)

Itchy skin

Pale stools, easy bleeding, easy bruising.

Yellow Eyes: A Symptom

Acute and Chronic Hepatitis

ACUTE HEPATITIS as the name implies means the illness is sudden and short-lived, occurring within the first two weeks to six months of infection.

In up to 25% of cases, the virus clears from the body on its own without treatment.

CHRONIC HEPATITIS:

For hepatitis to change from an Acute state to Chronic, there should be persistent infection after six months and often much longer.

An estimated 75% to 85% of people with acute hepatitis go on to develop chronic infection.

Diagnosis of Hepatitis

Unless symptoms arise, people with hepatitis C usually don’t know they have the infection until it’s discovered during routine blood testing.

Simple blood test can tell if one is infected or not.

The routine tests include:

Tests for HbsAg

Tests for Anti-HCV.

Further tests and assays are proceeded for individuals who test positive to the above tests.

THE COMPLICATIONS OF CHRONIC HEPATITIS

As many as one in four people with chronic hepatitis C go on to develop cirrhosis, or severe scarring of the liver.

These people may have additional symptoms, including swelling of the legs and abdomen, spider-like blood vessels, and a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream that can lead to brain damage.

Persons with chronic hepatitis B, particularly when HBV infection is acquired early in life and viral replication persists, are at substantial risk of having cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Chronic hepatitis C is also one of the leading causes of liver cancer.

TREATMENTS

Treatments have vastly improved over the years. Today’s medications are more effective at ridding the body of the virus, and they have fewer side effects.

The type of treatment you receive will depend on the genotype, or strain, of your hepatitis, as well as how much damage the liver has sustained.

TREATMENT OF HEPATITIS B

The goal of treating chronic hepatitis B is to control the virus and keep it from damaging the liver. This begins with regular monitoring for signs of liver disease.

Antiviral medications may help, but not everyone can take them.

TREATMENTS: CHRONIC HEPATITIS C

Medications

Some of the newest medicines for hepatitis C genotypes 1, 2, and 3 include: Daclatasvir (Daklinza); Elbasvir/grazoprevir (Zepatier); Ledipasvir (Harvoni); Ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir with dasabuvir tablets (Viekira Pak); Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (Epclusa); Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi); Daclatasvir (Daklinza) with sofosbuvir (Sovaldi); and Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (Epclusa).

Injectibles

PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF HEPATITIS B

The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all infants at birth and for adults

PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF HEPATITIS C

Currently, there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C.

Avoid any contacts with body fluids by protecting yourself using protective measures.

FACTS ABOUT STDs

Chlamydia:This is a common STD that can lead to infertility if left untreated. It clears up quickly with antibiotics. But it often goes unnoticed because symptoms are vague or absent.

Women with symptoms may notice

– An abnormal vaginal discharge;

– A painful urinating.

Symptoms in men can include:

A discharge from their

penis;

A burning sensation when

urinating; (dysuria)

Pain and swelling in one

or both testicles

Can chlamydia be cured?

Yes, chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications later on.

GONORRHEA

Gonorrhea spreads easily and can lead to infertility in both men and women.

Antibiotics can stop the infection.

– Burning during urination and discharge.

– Later, the infection may cause skin rashes or spread to the joints and blood.

In Men: Discharge from the penis, swollen testicles.

In Women: Vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, spotting. Symptoms may be mild and are easily confused with a urinary tract or vaginal infection.

SYPHILIS

Most people don’t notice the early symptoms of syphilis. Without treatment, it can lead to paralysis, blindness, and death.

Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics.

Signs and Symptoms: The first sign is usually a firm, round, painless sore on the genitals or anus. The disease spreads through direct contact with this sore.

Later, there may be a rash on the soles, palms, or other parts of the body, as well as swollen glands, fever, hair loss, or fatigue. In the late stage, damage to organs such as the heart, brain, liver, nerves, and eyes occurs.

Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2

Most cases of genital herpes are caused by a virus called HSV-2. It’s highly contagious and can spread through intercourse or direct contact with a herpes sore.

There is no cure. But antiviral drugs can make outbreaks less frequent and help clear up symptoms more quickly.

Symptoms: Fluid-filled blisters that form painful, crusted sores on the genitals, anus, thighs, or buttocks. Can spread to the lips through oral contact.

HIV/AIDS

The HIV virus weakens the body’s defense against infections. HIV spreads through unprotected sex, needle sharing, or being born to an infected mother. It may cause no symptoms for years, so a blood test is the best way to learn your status.

Timely treatment is important to help prevent serious illnesses. Many have no symptoms, but some people get temporary flu-like symptoms one to two months after infection: swollen glands (seen here), a fever, headaches, and fatigue. Canker sores in the mouth can occur, too.

TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR HIV

While there is no cure for HIV, there are medications that can suppress the amount of virus multiplying inside the body. People take a combination of antiviral drugs in hopes of preventing the infection from advancing to AIDS.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite that spreads during sexual contact. It can be cured with prescription drugs.

Signs and Symptoms in Men: Most men have no obvious symptoms. Some develop a mild discharge or slight burning during urination.

Signs and Symptoms in Women: Women may develop a yellow-green discharge with a strong odor, vaginal itching, or pain during sex or urination. Symptoms usually begin five to 28 days after acquiring the parasite.

COMPLICATIONS OF STDs

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious complication of untreated STDs, especially chlamydia and gonorrhea.

It happens when bacteria spread to infect the uterus and other female reproductive organs. Prompt treatment is essential to prevent damage to a woman’s fertility.

Signs and Symptoms: Lower abdominal pain, fever, unusual discharge, painful intercourse, painful urination, and spotting. However, there are often no warning signs.

Who’s at Risk for STDs?

Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for an STD, regardless of gender, race, social class, or sexual orientation.

That said, teenagers and young adults acquire STDs more easily than older people.

Can Virgins Get STDs?

Yes, they can. Many STDs spread through any type of sexual activity, including skin-to-skin contact and oral sex. This is especially true of STDs that produce genital lesions or sores.

Preventing STDs

The best ways to avoid getting an STD are to abstain from any sexual contact.

Do not share sharps and needles.

Avoid the use of unsterilised objects.

Make hyiene a priority.