How Can You Prevent The Spread Of Hepatitis C
Now that you know how you get hepatitis C, you can take steps to protect yourself from the virus. For instance:
- Avoid sharing needles or other paraphernalia related to intravenous drugs.
- Wear gloves if youre a health care worker or otherwise exposed to needles or potentially infected blood.
- Use barrier methodsaka condomsoutside of sexually monogamous relationships.
- Dont share toothbrushes or other dental equipment, nail clippers, or shaving tools.
- If youre getting a tattoo or piercing, make sure the artist or piercer uses sterile ink and needles.
If you have the hepatitis C virus, you can prevent passing it along to others by following those same steps, in addition to:
- Covering any open sores or wounds.
- Telling all your health and dental care providers you have the virus.
- Avoiding donating blood.
How To Prevent Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by a virus . It can be serious and theres no cure, but the good news is its easy to prevent. You can protect yourself by getting the hepatitis B vaccine and having safer sex. If you have oral, anal, and vaginal sex, use condoms and dental dams to help stop the spread of hepatitis B and other STDs.
How Is Hepatitis Treated
Someone who has hepatitis will need to drink enough fluids, eat healthy foods, and get rest. The person’s family members may need to get hepatitis vaccines, if they haven’t already.
Later on, the person will get follow-up blood tests. Often the blood tests will show that the person no longer has hepatitis. Sometimes, the blood tests may show that someone is now a carrier of hepatitis he or she won’t have hepatitis symptoms, but could pass the infection to other people.
Sometimes, blood tests will continue to show that some people still have hep B or C, which means they may have chronic hepatitis. If so, they will need to eat healthy foods and take very good care of themselves by getting rest and visiting the doctor regularly. In some cases, someone with chronic hepatitis may get special medicine for the condition.
We hope that this heads-up on hepatitis will help you stay safe. It may sound funny, but you can love your liver by washing your hands and making smart choices!
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Reduce Your Salt Intake
Cutting out dishes that are high in sodium is especially important. Salty foods can lead to water retention, consequently raising your blood pressure. This can be dangerous for people with cirrhosis.
If your disease is in its earliest stages, an occasional shake of the salt shaker may be fine, but you should reach out to your healthcare provider about how much sodium is appropriate for you.
Ritualistic Practices That Involve Blood
Traditional practices using razor blades, knives or needles can be a risk for spreading the hep C virus. Blood brother rituals involve direct blood-to-blood contact and therefore carry a very high risk of infection if one person has the hep C virus. Sharing instruments for branding or self-harming also carry a high risk of blood to-blood contact .
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Tests For The Hepatitis C Virus
If your doctor thinks that you may have hepatitis C, he or she may order:
- A hepatitis C virus test. This is a blood test that looks for antibodies against the hepatitis C virus. It shows whether you have been exposed to the virus.
- A blood test that looks for the genetic material of the hepatitis C virus. This test shows whether you are infected with the virus now.
- A blood test to find out the kind of hepatitis C virus you have. Knowing your genotype will help you and your doctor decide if and how you should be treated.
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.
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Can Hepatitis A Be Prevented
The following will help keep people safe from hepatitis A:
- regular hand washing, especially after going to the bathroom or diapering a baby, and before eating
- washing fruits and vegetables before eating them
- not eating raw shellfish, such as raw oysters
- getting the vaccine for hep A
Getting vaccinated helps a person’s body make antibodies that protect against hepatitis infection. The hepatitis A vaccine is now given to all kids when they’re between 1 and 2 years old, and to people who are traveling to countries where the virus could get into the food and water supply.
Hepatitis C Enemy: Salt
Salt can promote fluid retention, which is a symptom of progressive hepatitis C, Graham says. It’s not just salt from the shaker that you want to avoid processed foods like frozen meals and baked goods are also loaded with sodium. If you have early-stage hepatitis C, a little sodium is okay, but when the disease is advanced, it’s a good idea to stay away from any added salt, she says. Talk with your doctor to find out how much salt you can safely consume.
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Articles On Hepatitis C
If you’ve just been diagnosed with hepatitis C, you may wonder how you got it and worry about passing on the virus to a loved one. If you’ve had the disease for a long time without knowing it, you could dwell on every little incident in the past where you might have accidentally exposed a family member to the disease.
It’s important to remember that hepatitis C isn’t easy to catch. If you take a few precautions, it’s almost impossible to pass on the disease to someone else.
How Can Hepatitis A Be Prevented
To prevent person-to-person spread, careful hand washing after using the bathroom, changing diapers and before preparing or eating food, is the single most important means of prevention.
Foodborne hepatitis A outbreaks are relatively uncommon in the United States however, when they occur, intensive public health efforts are required for their control. To prevent the spread of hepatitis A from an infected food worker to co-workers and/or restaurant patrons, food workers should never touch ready-to-eat foods with bare hands, and should carefully wash their hands after using the bathroom, even if the food worker does not feel sick. Food workers should never work while they are sick with stomach illnesses.
Immune globulin shots are effective in preventing the spread of hepatitis A if given within 14 days of exposure. Immune globulin may be recommended for co-workers of infected food workers. Under certain circumstances, particularly when recommended food safety procedures are not followed by food workers, public health officials may recommend that restaurant patrons receive immune globulin.
For long-term protection, hepatitis A vaccine is the best method of prevention.
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Treatment Of Relapse Or Non
Sometimes you may need to take a different combination of medicines if your first round of treatment didn’t work very well. If it was not done before, your doctor may do a test to find out which genotype caused the infection. This may help the doctor choose a medicine that is more likely to cure the infection.
Find Out Which Foods You Should Eat With Hepatitis C
Your liver helps your body in a variety of ways, such as detoxifying your system and turning food into energy and nutrients. But, if you have hepatitis C, your liver may be damaged and may need some extra help doing its job.
Being mindful about what you eat is critical to having a healthy liver. A nutritious diet during hep C treatment will encourage your immune system to fight off the hepatitis virus, boost your liver function and cut your risk of cirrhosis. Some foods, however, can actually damage your liver.
Heres what to eatand what to avoidfor a successful hepatitis C treatment.
Step away from the sushi bar! Raw seafood and shellfish, such as oysters and mussels, can carry bacteria and viruses that can be life threatening for people with hep C or liver disease. Plus, oysters are high in iron, which those living with hep C should avoid both the virus and fatty liver disease can cause excessive iron to build in the body, potentially leading to several health issues such as joint pain, hair loss and heart attack.
Keep sipping on that cup of joe! Some studies have shown that coffee can slow the progression of hep C and prevent liver cancer and cirrhosis. Make sure to drink the strong stuff thoughdecaf coffee doesn’t seem to deliver the same benefits.
Enjoy: Whole Grains
Enjoy: Fruits and Veggies
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Direct Exposure To Blood
Exposure to large amounts of contaminated blood increases the risk for hepatitis C transmission. If you get a cut and need help tending it, whoever helps you should first put on disposable gloves to prevent exposure in case he or she has a cut. You can also help prevent hepatitis C transmission by covering any cuts or sores with bandages until theyre healed and disposing of used bandages properly.
Uninfected people should take steps to avoid getting someone elses blood in their eyes, nose, and mouth. If an uninfected persons skin is exposed to contaminated blood, wash the area with soap and water immediately. If blood gets in the eyes, rinse them with running water right away and call a doctor to find out about further steps that should be taken.
When cleaning blood from surfaces, Dr. Lee recommends using a solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water. Dried blood should also be handled with care because the virus can live for several days outside the body.
The CDC recommends that if youve ever tested positive for hepatitis C, you should abstain from donating blood, organs, or semen.
What Can A Person With Chronic Hepatitis C Do To Take Care Of His Or Her Liver
People with chronic Hepatitis C should be monitored regularly by an experienced doctor. They should avoid alcohol because it can cause additional liver damage. They also should check with a health professional before taking any prescription pills, supplements, or over-the-counter medications, as these can potentially damage the liver.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis C
You may have hepatitis C and not have any signs or symptoms.
For those who do have symptoms, you may experience:
- nausea and vomiting
Hepatitis C can lead to liver damage, as it causes swelling . This swelling causes scarring of the liver, which affects how the organ functions.
Liver scarring can worsen . This increases your chances of getting liver cancer.
How quickly your liver undergoes damage will depend on if you:
- use alcohol
- get hepatitis C after the age of 40
- have a human immunodeficiency virus co-infection
About 60% to 70% of people with hepatitis C do not develop symptoms until their liver has already been damaged.
Medical Care Overseas Or Blood Transfusions In Australia Prior To 1990
Moderate to low risk
In some developing countries, the blood used for transfusions is not properly screened for hep C. Surgical equipment may also not be well sterilised, which means theres a risk it could transmit hep C.
In Australia, the blood used for transfusions has been screened for hep C since 1990 and is very safe. There is a very low risk in Australia that some procedures involving blood may be performed by workers who do not have a good understanding of sterile procedure and infection control .
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How Is Hepatitis C Diagnosed
Many people find out by chance that they have the virus. They find out when their blood is tested before a blood donation or as part of a checkup when they advise their doctor of symptoms that may be related to hepatitis C. Some people are screened for hepatitis C because they are at higher risk of becoming infected. Often people with hepatitis C have high levels of liver enzymes in their blood.
If your doctor thinks you may have hepatitis C, he or she will talk to you about having a blood test. If the test shows hepatitis C antibodies, then you have had hepatitis C at some point. A second test can tell if you still have hepatitis C.
When blood tests show that you have hepatitis C, you may need a liver biopsy to see how well your liver is working. During a liver biopsy, a doctor will insert a needle between your ribs to collect a small sample of liver tissue to look at under a microscope. You may also have imaging tests, such as a CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound, to make sure that you don’t have liver cancer.
Hepatitis C Hero: Whole Grains
Like fruits and vegetables, whole grains are excellent sources of fiber and nutrients, and they should be eaten daily, says Graham. Tasty options include barley, brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta and bread, and oats, which make a great breakfast. Whole grains keep the high-fiber, nutritious parts of the kernel, the bran and the germ, which are mostly removed from white bread, white flour, and white pasta, so avoid these options.
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Hepatitis Types And Liver Risks
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by several viruses. The main types in the United States are A, B, and C. Type A symptoms are often similar to a stomach virus. But most cases resolve within a month. Hepatitis B and C can cause sudden illness. However, they can lead to liver cancer or a chronic infection that can lead to serious liver damage called cirrhosis.
How Is Hepatitis C Spread
People can become infected with the Hepatitis C virus during such activities as:
- Sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs
- Needlestick injuries in health care settings
- Being born to a mother who has Hepatitis C
Less commonly, a person can also get Hepatitis C virus infection through:
- Sharing personal care items that may have come in contact with another persons blood, such as razors or toothbrushes
- Having sexual contact with a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus
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Tests For Liver Problems
To check how well your liver is working, you may have:
- Liver function tests. These are blood tests that can help your doctor find out if you have liver damage.
- A liver biopsy. The doctor puts a needle in the liver to find out whether the virus has caused scarring or damage to your liver.
- Imaging tests such as a CT scan, an MRI, or an ultrasound to make sure that you don’t have liver cancer.
What Are Hepatitis B And Hepatitis C
Although hep A is a short-term illness that goes away completely, hepatitis B and hepatitis C can turn into serious long-term illnesses for some people. Teens and young adults are most at risk for getting these two viruses.
Hep B and C get passed from person to person the same ways that HIV does through direct contact with infected body fluids. Hepatitis B and C are even more easily passed in fluids and needles than HIV. This can happen through sexual contact and by sharing needles that have been contaminated with infected blood. Even when infected people don’t have any symptoms, they can still pass the disease on to others.
Sometimes mothers with hep B or C pass the virus along to their babies when they’re born. Hep B and C also can get passed in ways you might not expect such as getting a manicure or pedicure with unsterilized nail clippers or other dirty instruments. Getting a tattoo, if dirty needles are used, is another way someone can get hep B or C.
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Diagram Showing The Liver
The liver is in the upper right part of your tummy . It has many functions which include:
- Storing glycogen which is made from sugars. When required, glycogen is broken down into glucose which is released into your bloodstream.
- Helping to process fats and proteins from digested food.
- Making proteins that are essential for blood to clot .
- Processing many medicines which you may take.
- Helping to remove or process alcohol, poisons and toxins from your body.
- Making bile which passes from your liver to your gut down your bile duct. Bile breaks down the fats in food so that they can be absorbed from your bowel.
What About Pregnancy
It is possible to get pregnant if you or your partnerhas hepatitis C. If you are a pregnant woman whoalready has hepatitis C , the chance of passing the virus to yourbaby is 4 out of 100. The risk becomes greater if themother has both hepatitis C and HIV. With goodprenatal care, babies born to mothers or fathers withhepatitis C are usually quite healthy. The chance ofyour baby being infected with hepatitis C is the samewhether your baby is born by vaginal delivery orC-section. Before breastfeeding, talk to your healthcare provider.
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