Hepatitis C Treatment
Hepatitis C, sometimes referred to as Hep C or HCV, is a virus that affects approximately 2.7 million people in the U.S today. Katy Stomach Doctor provides excellent care for those needing Hepatitis C treatment in the Katy area and beyond. Take a look at the facts below to see if you could possibly carry Hep C, and how to respond if you do.
How Do You Get Hepatitis C?
The Hepatitis C infection actually begins as a virus. The infection spreads when normal blood comes into contact with infected blood or through the contact of bodily fluids from someone who has Hepatitis C. This can happen through:
- Blood transfusions
- Sharing a straw with a person to snort drugs
- Transferred from mother to child at birth
- Tattoos or body piercings done with contaminated needles
- Eating from the spoon of someone with Hepatitis C
- Having sex with someone who has Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C can survive outside the body for several weeks. It exists in distinct forms known as genotypes that can be found in North America, Europe, in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Regardless of the genotype of the infecting virus, treatment recommendations are different for each genotype.
How Do I Know if I Have Hepatitis C?
When you have had the hepatitis C virus for a long time, it is known as chronic hepatitis C. It is quite common to have Chronic hepatitis C and not realize it for many years because you might not experience any symptoms. However, of the symptoms that can become prevalent, one with Hepatitis C is likely to experience:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Itchy skin
- Weight loss
- Dark colored urine
- Easily bleeding
- Swelling in the legs
- Drowsiness and slurred speech
All chronic hepatitis c infections begin with an acute phase. This acute phase rarely causes any symptoms initially so one would not know they have contracted it until one to three months later. Acute hepatitis C infection doesn’t always evolve into chronic hep C. Some people are able to rid themselves of the hepatitis c virus through something called spontaneous viral clearance, which clears HCV after the acute phase. After multiple studies, it has been discovered that one in every two people will experience spontaneous viral clearance.
How to Diagnose Hepatitis C
There are a few methods that can be used to diagnose HCV after you notice its symptoms. It is recommended that anyone at high risk of exposure to HCV get a blood test done to screen for the infection. You can also measure the quantity of hep c virus in your bloodstream and identify the distinct genotype of the virus to be treated accordingly.
What to Do if I Have Hepatitis C?
If you believe you have Hepatitis C, it is important to immediately reach out for medical assistance. If you believe that you have any of these symptoms, give Dr. James Maher at Katy Stomach Doctor a call today.