Hepatitis C can cause inflammation or swelling of the liver. The unfortunate thing about hepatitis C is the vaccine isn’t found yet but still, researchers are on the road to fetching it and the fortunate thing is if the disease isn’t chronic then it can be treated accurately. Hepatitis-C is an infectious disease that can […] Read More
Top Doctors For Hepatitis C Treatments
Top Hospitals For Hepatitis C Treatments
Table of contents
- What is hepatitis C?
- What are the types of hepatitis C?
- What are the risk factors for hepatitis C?
- How is hepatitis C screening done?
- How is hepatitis C diagnosed?
- How is hepatitis C treated?
- What are the complications associated with hepatitis C?
- Hepatitis C Prevention
What is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C may cause liver inflammation or swelling. The unfortunate thing about hepatitis C is the vaccine isn’t found yet, but still, researchers are on the road to fetching it, and the fortunate thing is if the disease isn’t chronic, then it can be treated accurately.
Hepatitis C is an infectious disease that can cause chronic liver disease due to the presence of the hepatitis C virus. It passes from an infectious person’s blood to a normal person via blood and body fluids. It can be mild or acute.
Most of the time, the doctors fail to detect the source of infection. People who keep the virus for a longer time in the body are referred to as chronic carriers. As per the report of the World Health Organisation, more than 70 million people are experiencing Hepatitis C. In acute Hepatitis C, symptoms aren’t easily noticeable. Also, 60-80% of people with hepatitis C are unaware of the fact that they are suffering from it. It is said that people the age of 45 or above have more chances of developing the disease. Chronic disease is 20-30% more capable of giving rise to cirrhosis or liver cancer.
What are the types of hepatitis C?
- Acute Hepatitis – C
Acute is short-term hepatitis, but its symptoms can last from 1-2 weeks to 5-6 months. But the dangerous side of its acute illness is that it may convert into chronic in more than half of the cases. Acute normalizes with time and even without treatment, but the patient has to undergo the tests, and diagnosis is mandatory.
- Chronic Hepatitis – C
When acute hepatitis is left untreated, the virus stays in the body and spreads. As a result, more damage occurs to the liver, and chronic hepatitis C occurs.
In this stage, liver scarring may start. Liver damage and cirrhosis lead to partial or non-working of the liver. In some people, symptoms start appearing when the liver doesn’t function properly. Till then, they don’t realize the existence of the virus in their body.
- During childbirth, the mother can pass on hepatitis C to the child.
- Blood clotting problems before 1992
- Blood transfusion and organ transplant before 1992
- Taking treatment of hemodialysis for a longer period
- Using a used syringe, sharing personal items
- Unsterile tools of body piercing and tattoos.
What are the risk factors for hepatitis C?
- Baby boomers
- Health care volunteers or workers
- Many people use one needle for drugs
- People who change sex partners frequently
- Born before the invention of screening tests for the disease
- Blood clotting
- Itchy skin
- Weight loss
- Hepatic encephalopathy (confusion, drowsiness, and slurred speech)
- Spider angiomas
- Joint and muscle pain
- Fluid in the abdomen (ascites)
- Loss of appetite
How is hepatitis C screening done?
Antibody tests – If the results are positive or doubtful, then the doctor will conduct a few more tests to conclude. Until further investigations, the doctor may ask the patient to avoid participating in any kind of blood donation camps and not proceed with any sexual intercourse.
Hepatitis- C screening becomes necessary in certain circumstances:
- If some traces of the virus is found in the family member (due to sharing nail clippers, razors, toothbrush, etc.)
- If a doctor suggests the patient perform tests for HIV also.
- If the liver is working 50-75% or less.
How is hepatitis C diagnosed?
- To assure virus presence in the liver of a person blood test plays a vital role.
- If the blood test comes negative, not, the patient either doesn’t have hepatitis C or the patient’s acute HCV is reduced.
- Then HCV viral load test is also done to analyze RNA. If the patient’s body has HCV- RNA, then definitely the patient will have Hepatitis-C.
- Polymerase chain reaction fetches the virus within a month of infection.
- Another option is liver biopsy. The pathologist takes a small sample of the liver’s tissue and places it under the microscope to know the exact problem.
- MRI scanning is also performed.
How is hepatitis C treated?
For people with a strong immune system, the doctors generally don’t suggest any treatments and don’t prescribe any medicines, but the doctor will surely examine the health of the liver through some tests like:
- Alkaline phosphate
- Apart from this, DAAs or Direct-acting antiviral medicines have been efficient to date for curing hepatitis-C especially acute ones, and their success rates are 80-90% also makes the entire treatment better and more comfortable for the patients. A list of antiviral medications is listed below:
- Mavyret types Glecaprevir and Pibrentasvir
- Soffosbuvir and voxilaprevir types of Vosevi
- Elbasvir and grazoprevir types of Zepatier
- Harvoni (ledipasvir)
2. Liver transplantation – whenever a patient develops complications due to hepatitis C, then the only way to treat the patient is through liver transplantation. During this procedure, the doctor removes the damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy liver.
3. Vaccinations– although there is no vaccination for hepatitis C, the doctor would still recommend the patient to get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B viruses. These separate viruses can cause liver damage and complicate the course of hepatitis C.
What are the side effects of direct-acting antivirals?
These medicines don’t harm the parts and organs of the body but it certainly has some minor side effects such as:
- Anemia (lacks cells to send required oxygen to the body’s tissues)
- Heartbeat fluctuates
What is the main aim of direct-acting antiviral medications?
These DAAs aim to:
- Boost up the life of the HCV-containing patient.
- Increase the liver’s functioning
- Decrease the scarring or cirrhosis
- To prevent the passing of HCV to others.
However, the treatment largely varies with the genotype of the virus and its total damage to the patient’s body.
Medications for Hepatitis C
- The treatment of hepatitis C patients is effective whenever they treat the patient using combined therapy. That is, these drugs are used in combination in order to treat the disease and bring a better outcome to the patient. When ombitasvir is mixed with dasabuvir and paritaprevir gives about 80-85% relief from Hepatitis -C and may almost cure it.
- Another drug is ribavirin. It is taken from the mouth as it is in the form of a capsule, trustworthy companies which make ribavirin are Rebetol, Copegus, and ribasphere, and the patient can find all these at a local chemist’s shop.
- For these medications and treatments, insurance providers may give the patient some selected percent of insurance.
- The doctor prescribes the course of these medicines, and a blood test is repeated once it’s over. If it contains some percent of the virus, then further tests and medicines will be prescribed accordingly.
What are the complications associated with hepatitis C?
The two major complications are cirrhosis and liver damage.
Cirrhosis further causes complications like:
- Oversized blood vessels
- Liver cancer
- Gall stones
- Kidney failure
- Splenomegaly or enlarged spleen
- Higher sensitivity to medications
To prevent cirrhosis:
- Eat healthy food
- Avoid alcohol
- Practice safe sex habits. Use diaphragm, condom, or copper-T.
Hepatitis C Prevention
- Stop using other razors for shaving and waxing
- Don’t keep a physical relationship with the partner who is diagnosed with Hepatitis C
- Do not use anyone’s toothbrush.
- Choose tattoo artists and piercing studios that are permitted by the government and follow all the safety and infection prevention rules.
- Do not share nail clippers (people mostly use one nail clipper at home)
- No solid way to prevent hepatitis C from mother to child has been found yet, but efforts to create one continue.
- If someone is suffering from a burn or severe blood exposing cuts, then do not touch them and if it becomes necessary to touch, then wear protective equipment like medical gloves.
Sadly, no vaccine has been discovered yet, but there are numerous ways that can help patients to fight against this condition, such as:
1) Putting a brake on donating semen and blood
2) Talk freely about the current condition to a super-specialist doctor
3) Ask the doctor about Harvoni and Viekira medicines
4) Apply bandages and antiseptics to the wounds
If left untreated, patients diagnosed with hepatitis C can lead to serious complications, including liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, and in a few cases, it can be fatal. However, HCV itself is rarely fatal.
The outlook of hepatitis C depends on the type of virus causing it. According to the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that more than half of the people diagnosed with hepatitis C will develop chronic hepatitis C. Chronic hepatitis C is a long-term condition and can lead to permanent damage to the liver (liver cirrhosis) or liver cancer 
Yes, a woman diagnosed with hepatitis C can breastfeed the child. So far, there is no evidence that breastfeeding spreads hepatitis C. However, a woman with a cracked nipple or bleeding nipples should stop breastfeeding temporarily until they heal.