Saturday, February 4, 2023

Can You Catch Hepatitis C From Drinking After Someone

How Can I Take Care Of Myself

How Does Hepatitis C Hurt Your Liver? | WebMD
  • See your healthcare provider regularly.
  • Follow your provider’s instructions for taking medicine for your symptoms. You need to avoid taking medicines that can damage the liver more . Ask your provider which medicines you can safely take for your symptoms, such as itching and nausea.
  • Follow your provider’s advice for how much rest you need and when you can go back to your normal activities, including work or school. As your symptoms get better, you may slowly start being more active. It is best to avoid too much physical exertion until your provider says it’s OK.
  • Eat small, high-protein, high-calorie meals, even when you feel nauseated. Sipping soft drinks or juices, and sucking on hard candy may help you feel less nauseated.
  • Don’t drink alcohol unless your healthcare provider says it is safe.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if: Your appetite keeps getting worse.
  • You are getting more and more tired.
  • You have vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.
  • Your skin gets yellowish.
  • You have a new rash.

How Do I Tell Someone I Have Hepatitis C

Informing someone that you have hepatitis C can be hard. Most people know little about this disease. You can start with how you found out about your diagnosis. It helps to be prepared with educational materials on HCV, and to be aware of the ways that people can and cannot be infected. For example, it is very rare for HCV to be transmitted during sex. Be sure to tell anyone who may be directly affected, such as:

  • People you have shared needles with
  • Household members
  • Friends and family members you can count on for support. It’s okay to ask that they keep this information private.
  • You may want to encourage others to be tested for HCV if they have similar risk factors.

    Tips For Preventing Transmission Through Sex

    If youre sexually active with a person who has hepatitis C, there are ways that you can prevent contracting the virus. Likewise, if you have the virus, you can avoid transmitting it to others.

    A few steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of sexual transmission include:

    • using a condom during all sexual contact, including oral sex
    • learning to use all barrier devices correctly to prevent ripping or tearing during intercourse
    • resisting engaging in sexual contact when either partner has an open cut or wound on their genitals
    • being tested for STIs and asking sexual partners to be tested too
    • practicing sexual monogamy
    • using extra precautions if youre HIV-positive, as your chance of contracting HCV is much higher if you have HIV

    If you have hepatitis C, you should be honest with all sexual partners about your status. This ensures that youre both taking the proper precautions to prevent transmission.

    You can learn more on Healthlines page about dating with hepatitis C.

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    How To Prevent Hepatitis C

    There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C. Avoiding contact with infected blood is the only way to prevent the condition.

    The most common way for people to contract hepatitis C is by injecting street drugs. Because of this, the best way to prevent hepatitis C is to avoid injecting.

    Treatments can help many people quit. People in the U.S. can call the National Helpline for help with finding treatments.

    If a person finds it difficult to stop, they can reduce the risk of contracting hepatitis C by never sharing drug equipment, ensuring a clean, hygienic environment, and always using new equipment, including syringes, ties, alcohol swabs, cottons, and cookers.

    People who may come into contact with infected blood, such as healthcare workers and caretakers, should always wash the hands thoroughly with soap and water after any contact, or suspected contact, with blood. They should also wear gloves when touching another persons blood or open wounds.

    People can also reduce their risk by making sure that any tattoo artist or body piercer they visit uses fresh, sterile needles and unopened ink.

    The risk of contracting hepatitis C through sexual contact is low. Using barrier protection, such as condoms, reduces the risk of most sexually transmitted infections.

    People who have hepatitis C can reduce the risk of transmitting it to others by:

    There are many misconceptions about how hepatitis C spreads. People cannot transmit or contract the virus through:

    What Are The Side Effects Of Treatment

    The direct acting antiviral regimens used to treat hepatitis C today are extremely well tolerated. You may experience mild side effects like headache or fatigue. For details on the side effects, review the handout specific to medication you take.

    In rare instances, providers may recommend the addition of the medication ribavirin for more difficult cases of hepatitis C. Ribavirin may cause additional side effects such as fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, anemia, or rash. Patients who receive ribavirin may need more frequent monitoring for side effects as well as adjustment of the dose if side effects are experienced. For detailed information on ribavirin, patients should review the ribavirin handout.

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    What Is The Difference Between Relapse And Nonresponse

    The goal of treating chronic hepatitis C is to completely clear the virus. This means that your viral load is zero or so low that the virus cant be detected with standard blood tests.

    Without treatment, the hepatitis C virus in liver cells constantly makes copies of itself, and the virus ends up not just in liver cells but also in the bloodstream. Treatment is intended to completely stop reproduction of the virus so that it doesnt continue to enter the bloodstream or cause any more injury to liver cells.

    Successful treatment results in a sustained virological response. This means the virus becomes completely undetectable before the treatment is finished, and it remains undetectable for 6 months after treatment is stopped.

    A relapse means the viral load drops to an undetectable level before treatment is completed, but becomes detectable again within 6 months after treatment is stopped. Even if the virus returns at a level that is lower than it was before treatment, a relapse is still considered to have occurred. A relapse can be determined if the viral load starts to rise during treatment, or at any time after the virus becomes undetectable.

    A nonresponse means the viral load never drops significantly and the virus remains detectable throughout the course of treatment.

    Why Getting Tested Is Important

    A blood test is one of the only ways to confirm a diagnosis of hepatitis C. Additionally, hepatitis C often has no visible symptoms for many years.

    Because of this, its important to be tested if you believe youve been exposed to the virus. Getting a timely diagnosis can help ensure you receive treatment before permanent liver damage occurs.

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    Epidemiology Of Hepatitis C Among Alcoholics

    Almost onethird of alcoholics with clinical symptoms of liver disease have been infected with HCV, which is four times the rate of HCV infection found in alcoholics who do not have liver disease . As shown in figure 1, people with more severe liver disease are considerably more likely to test positive for HCV infection than those with less severe liver disease .

    Figure 1 Patients with more severe alcoholic liver disease have a significantly higher prevalence of HCV infection .

    How Do Doctors Diagnose Hepatitis C

    Hepatitis C

    You may be screened for hep C if youre having symptoms, you know youve been exposed, or your routine blood tests show elevated liver enzymes, which can indicate that you have inflamed or injured liver cells. Its normal to have low levels of enzymes in your blood to do things like break down proteins and turn food into energy. You run into problems when there are too many of the following enzymes in the liver and bloodstream:

    • Alanine transaminase

    • Alkaline phosphatase

    • Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase

    If your healthcare provider is concerned that you have hep C, these tests will be ordered even if you dont have any symptoms:

    Hep C Viral Antibody Test: This is the first test used to determine whether you have been infected with hep C at some point. The results will come back either positive or negative, but it doesnt reveal whether the virus is active.

    Hep C Viral Load: This test checks for hep C genetic code in your blood and determines whether you have an active infection. There are two types of this test: Qualitative tests are either positive or negative quantitative tests measures how much hep C is in a drop of blood.

    Hep A and B Tests: These viruses also target the liver, so your healthcare provider will want to make sure youre not battling multiple infections at the same time. Also, theres a vaccine for Hep A and Hep B so youll want to get vaccinated for both to avoid further stress on your liver.

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    Take Our Substance Abuse Self

    Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.

    How Hepatitis C Is Caught And Passed On

    Most HCV infections come from blood to blood transmission.

    • This is when HCV infected blood directly enters another persons bloodstream. Saliva and tears are not infectious.
    • As with HIV, you cannot transmit or catch HCV by touching, kissing, hugging, or from sharing cutlery, cups or dishes.
    • Unlike HIV, which dies in a few minutes outside the body, HCV remains infectious for at least a day even after blood has dried, and in some circumstances, perhaps for a week or longer. This is why you should not share items that may contain even tiny traces of blood.

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    Sharing Personal Care Items

    The chances of spreading hepatitis C within your household are low but possible. To be safe, don’t share personal care items that could be contaminated with blood, Lee says. These include razors, toothbrushes, cuticle scissors, and nail clippers.

    In addition, be mindful when you go to nail salons or barbershops, where the same tools are used on all customers. A study published in the November-December 2014 issue of the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice found that while regulations to safeguard the public exist in most states, it’s unknown how many businesses comply with them. Ask about tool-sterilization procedures before you frequent these establishments. You can also bring your own nail care supplies.

    Increased Risk Of Cirrhosis

    There is little doubt that people with chronic hepatitis C who drink alcohol have a higher chance of developing cirrhosis. From an epidemiological point of view, more than 90% of heavy drinkers will develop fatty liver disease, of which as many as 20% will develop liver cirrhosis within 10 to 20 years.

    Hepatitis C infection runs a similar course, with 75% of infected persons developing chronic disease, while 15-20% will progress to advanced disease within 10 to 30 years.

    The combination of these two factors speeds the process dramatically, as well as increasing the severity of liver damageby some estimates, by as much as 200-300%. Furthermore, heavy alcohol users with HCV have a nearly 11-fold greater risk of developing cirrhosis than non-drinkers with HCV.

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    Who Should Be Tested For Hepatitis C

    • All people born between 1945 and 1965
    • Anyone who has ever injected drugs, even if once or many years ago
    • People with HIV infection
    • People who had a blood transfusion organ transplantation before 1992
    • People who have been exposed to blood on the job through a needle stick or other injury
    • People receiving hemodialysis
    • People who have abnormal liver tests or liver disease

    There Is A Test For Hepatitis C

    The hepatitis C antibody test determines if a person has been infected with the virus. A positive, or reactive result, means antibodies were found and you were infected with the hepatitis C virus at some point in time. Additional tests are required to confirm if you have active infection at present.

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    How Long Will The Effects Last

    Symptoms of first infection, when they occur, may last 1 to 6 weeks and then they usually go away completely.

    Some people who have hepatitis C develop the chronic form of the disease. This means the virus keeps affecting the liver for several months or years. Damage to the liver by the infection can scar the liver. This scarring of the liver is called cirrhosis. The infection and damage might even cause liver failure. Your healthcare provider may check your blood every few months for signs of chronic liver disease.

    Infection with the hepatitis C virus increases your risk for liver cancer.

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    Who Gets Hepatitis C

    Hepatitis C Screening

    Persons at highest risk for HCV infection include:

    • persons who ever injected illegal drugs, including those who injected once or a few times many years ago,
    • people who had blood transfusions, blood products or organ donations before June 1992, when sensitive tests for HCV were introduced for blood screening, and
    • persons who received clotting factors made before 1987.

    Other persons at risk for hepatitis C include:

    • long-term kidney dialysis patients,
    • health care workers after exposures to the blood of an infected person while on the job,
    • infants born to HCV-infected mothers,
    • people with high-risk sexual behavior, multiple partners and sexually transmitted diseases,
    • people who snort cocaine using shared equipment, and
    • people who have shared toothbrushes, razors and other personal items with a family member who is HCV-infected.

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    How Can I Prevent Hepatitis C

    Since there is no vaccine for hepatitis C, the best way to prevent hepatitis C infection is to avoid contact with the blood of infected people. This includes:

    • If you shoot drugs, never share works with anyone. This includes all drug injection equipment that can get blood on or in it . Sterile syringes can be purchased over the counter in most pharmacies in Massachusetts by anyone 18 years of age or older. Find out about drug treatment programs that can help you stop using drugs.
    • Only get tattoos or body piercings at places using sterile equipment and supplies.
    • Never share razors, toothbrushes, or nail clippers

    Life Expectancy And Prognosis

    Can you die from hepatitis? Technically, the complications of chronic hepatitis C are fatal. About 30,000 people in the U.S. die each year from cirrhosis.

    How long can you live with untreated hep C? The disease affects everyone differently, so thereâs no rule. But about 70% to 80% of people with will get chronic help C. Within 20 years, about 20% to 30% of those people will get cirrhosis. From there, it depends on what type of cirrhosis you have, your treatment, and if you can get a liver transplant.

    Can hepatitis C go away on its own? Yes. From 15% to 20% of people with hep C clear it from their bodies without treatment. Itâs more likely to happen in women and people who have symptoms. But it usually happens between 4 and 18 months after symptoms start.

    American Liver Foundation Hep C 123: âFrequently Asked Questions.â

    Gastroenterology: âExtrahepatic morbidity and mortality of chronic hepatitis C.â

    National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: âHepatitis C.â

    Therapeutic Advances in Infectious Disease: âExtrahepatic Manifestations of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection.â

    The Hepatitis C Support Project: âAn Overview of Extrahepatic Manifestations of Hepatitis C.â

    BioDrugs: âManagement of hepatitis C virus-related arthritis.â

    Frontiers in Endocrinology: âDiabetes and Hepatitis C: A Two-Way Association.â

    U.S. National Library of Medicine: âAtherosclerosis,â âPreventing Hepatitis B or C.â

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    How Is The Virus Spread

    Like hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus is spread when blood of an infected person enters the body of a person who is not infected, such as through sharing needles or “works” when shooting drugs or occupational needle stick injury. The risk of sexual transmission has not been thoroughly studied but appears to be low in long-term, monogamous relationships. There is no evidence that the hepatitis C virus can be transmitted by casual contact such as hugging or shaking hands, through foods, by sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, or by coughing or sneezing. Hepatitis C is not spread by breastmilk.

    How Will I Know If My Treatment Works

    The goal of treatment is to reduce the amount of the hepatitis C virus in your blood to levels that cant be detected after 24 weeks of therapy. The amount of the virus in your blood is called your viral load. At the end of your treatment, your doctor will need to measure your viral load and find out how healthy your liver is. He or she may repeat many of the same tests that were done when you were first diagnosed with hepatitis C.

    If your blood has so few copies of the virus that tests cant measure them, the virus is said to be undetectable. If it stays undetectable for at least 6 months after your treatment is finished, you have what is called a sustained virologic response . People who have an SVR have a good chance of avoiding serious liver problems in the future.

    Treatment may not reduce your viral load. You may not have an SVR after treatment. If thats true, your doctor will discuss other treatment options with you. For example, if 1 round of treatment did not decrease your viral load enough, your doctor may recommend a second round. Even if treatment doesnt keep you from having active liver disease, lowering your viral load and controlling chronic liver inflammation may help you feel better for a longer time.

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