Hepatitis C is an infection that causes inflammation in the liver and may eventually damage the liver. This inflammation is mostly caused by a virus even though there are other causes.
Other causes of this inflammation can be intake of substances like alcohol, some drugs, and some toxins in the body. It can also be as a result of producing antibodies that work against the tissue of the liver. Leading to Hepatitis c
The functions of the liver in the body are numerous and are very critical to the body’s good health.
FUNCTIONS OF THE LIVER:
Vitamin K is used to create some coagulants which help in blood clotting. The liver is responsible for storing vitamin K, that’s to say if the liver is damaged, your body will not be able to clot.
PRODUCTION OF BILE:
The small intestine needs to break down fat, some vitamins for the body to absorb them. That breakdown requires bile and the liver is responsible for providing this bile.
METABOLIZATION OF FAT:
For fat to be used by the body, it must be broken, bile helps in the breaking process.
METABOLIZATION AND ABSORBING OF BILIRUBIN:
Breakdown of hemoglobin forms bilirubin. Hemoglobin produces iron which is either stored in the bone marrow or liver and later used to produce blood cells.
The liver stores carbohydrate, in the liver metabolization, takes place and these carbohydrates are turned to glucose and passed to the bloodstream.
CAUSES OF HEPATITIS C
Hepatitis C is caused by the virus called hepatitis C virus. The virus is transmitted through blood. If the blood of an infected person finds its way into the bloodstream of an uninfected person.
The uninfected person will become infected. This can be caused by sharing sharp objects. Also through saliva and semen.
When the infected blood enters the blood of an uninfected person. The virus will multiply making copies of itself. They can multiply into millions or even billions before real damage is done to the host.
The hepatitis C virus is stubborn as it does not die even when exposed to severe conditions.
It takes time to see visible symptoms of hepatitis C. Most times not until the condition gets really worse or at it chronic stage. At this worse stage, it is called chronic hepatitis C.
Some of the symptoms at this stage include:
- Colored urine
- Easy bleeding
- Skin and eyes color changes to yellow
- Swelling legs
- Decrease in appetite
- Weight loss
- Itchy skin
Before hepatitis C gets to the chronic stage it passes through the acute stage, during this acute stage it is difficult to diagnose because it barely shows any symptoms.
When the symptoms appear at the acute stage, it may include fatigue, fever, nausea, and jaundice. The acute stage can last for months before it hits the chronic stage.
You can protect yourself from hepatitis C by applying some measures. Avoiding illicit drugs is one of them, also practicing safe sex. This can be done by avoiding multiple partners and knowing the health status of your partner.