Hepatitis C – Symptoms, Causes, and Management

Hepatitis C – Symptoms, Causes, and Management

Hepatitis C is a condition that causes liver inflammation. If undetected, the infection can cause liver damage. The condition is brought on by the transmission of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) via contaminated blood. Certain foods and treatment options can help manage the condition and relieve its symptoms. It is also important to recognize the risk factors and early signs to deal with the condition. Here is all one should know about the condition:

Symptoms
Hepatitis C can be difficult to detect as it may not have clear symptoms at first. Healthcare professionals can diagnose hepatitis C on the basis of some of the following common signs and symptoms:

  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Unexplained muscle loss
  • Perpetual drowsiness
  • Slurred speech (also known as hepatic encephalopathy)
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Perpetual fatigue
  • Frequent cuts and bruises
  • Frequent instances of bleeding

Causes and risk factors
Contaminated blood is the main source of contracting hepatitis C in most cases. Here, like some other infections, unprotected intercourse, unchecked blood transfusion, and contaminated syringes can transmit the virus. Here are the risk factors of the condition:

  • Being affected by HIV
  • Being a healthcare professional and coming into contact with someone with hepatitis C
  • Being born to someone dealing with the infection
  • Contaminated piercings or tattoos
  • Infected needles and other equipment used for blood transfusion

Other factors, like blood exchange during injuries and the exchange of contaminated plasma and other fluids, can also increase the risk of contracting the infection. Casual contact is not a risk factor, meaning one cannot contract the condition by touch.

Management options
Usually, recovering from a viral infection requires clinical treatment. When the virus first shows its influence on the body, an immune response develops. If the immune attack successfully gets rid of the virus, then one may not develop a chronic infection. However, in most cases, one may have to opt for treatment. Healthcare professionals may recommend specific prescription-based hepatitis C treatment options. However, when dealing with severe forms of the disease, doctors may suggest a liver transplant. Hepatitis C remedies would consist of lifestyle changes and avoiding prescriptions that harm the liver.

Top foods
Certain foods can help people with the condition manage their symptoms and reduce their severity. Some such foods to help with hepatitis C are:

Skinless chicken: Lean protein is an effective way to keep the liver healthy at all times. Other kinds of lean meat like fish, non-fat dairy foods, turkey, and lean cuts of meat are also great options. These foods not only keep the liver healthy but are also easy to digest. Lean protein helps one avoid conditions such as fatty liver disease and prevents hepatitis C symptoms from worsening. On the other hand, fatty foods such as burgers, French fries, and red meats can negatively affect liver health.

Coffee: People who have more coffee tend to respond better to hepatitis C treatment. Several scientific studies have found that caffeine was linked with a reduced risk of liver inflammation, advanced liver fibrosis, and other liver-related conditions.

Quinoa: Whole grain foods such as quinoa, brown rice, and brown bread are rich in fiber. These nutrients speed up the digestive process and cause less strain on the liver, making whole grains the best foods to help with hepatitis C.

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