Articles On Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a sneaky virus. You may not have any symptoms at all. Most people donât. This is one if the reasons, along with treatability now, that all adults are recommended to get tested. Your doctor could check your liver and see only a little damage. You’re usually not diagnosed until they spot a problem with your liver enzymes after a routine blood test.
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:
- 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.
Hepatitis Affects The Whole Body
Having liver disease opens a gate through the body where the inflammation starts affecting the bloodstream. Hepatitis can have comorbidities with organs like the kidney, heart, lungs, skin, and bones.
Frequently, patients with hepatitis also forget its effect on periodontal diseases. So, teeth and gum problems like broken teeth are also common. Furthermore, there are more extensive connections of hepatitis skin rash that most patients dont recognize.
Rare and chronic diseases caused by agents that involve the skin are more than internal causes. Several types of hepatitis can be silent for many years. As people age and reach the senior stage, there are more visible signs of liver inflammation and diseases.
Read Also: What Is Hepatic Steatosis Of The Liver
Chronic Hepatitis C Symptoms
If you donât get diagnosed and treated, you could have the disease for years and not know it. Doctors call this the chronic form, because it lasts a long time. Some people who’ve had it for a while get scarring of the liver, which is called cirrhosis. or liver cancer.
In addition to the above symptoms, signs that your liver isnât working the way it should include:
- Ascites — fluid buildup in your belly
- Hepatic encephalopathy — confusion, drowsiness, and slurred speech
- Jaundice of the skin
Other Signs Of Hepatitis C On Your Skin
Rashes and lesions may be common, but theyre not the only ways that hepatitis C can affect your skin. These are some other possible manifestations of hepatitis C on your skin, which can include:
- General itchy skin, also known as pruritis
- Lichen planus, which are little purple or reddish-purple flat bumps that can develop in a variety of places on your body, including your skin, mouth, genitalia, hair follicles, and nails
- Blisters and sensitive skin as a result of a condition called porphyria cutanea tarda
- Spider angiomas, which look like a spiderweb of thin blood vessels spreading across your skin
- Necrolytic acral erythema, series of dusky-colored skin plaques, which is rare but can be an early sign of hep C infection
You May Like: How Do You Get Hepatitis A B C
When To Seek Medical Advice
See your GP if you persistently have any of the later symptoms listed, or if they keep returning. They may recommend having a blood test that can check for hepatitis C.
Read more about diagnosing hepatitis C
None of these symptoms mean you definitely have hepatitis C, but its important to get them checked out.
You should also speak to your GP about getting tested if theres a risk youre infected, even if you dont have any symptoms. This particularly includes people who inject drugs or have done so in the past.
Read about the causes of hepatitis C for more information about whos at risk of having the infection.
Page last reviewed: 27 October 2021 Next review due: 27 October 2024
Also Check: Hepatic Metastasis From Colorectal Cancer
Know The Signs: What Liver Disease Looks Like In Hepatitis C
As many as 80% of people with hepatitis C have no symptoms of liver disease until it has started to progressa process that can take decades.
While getting tested for C if you are at risk is the best way to stay ahead of the disease, knowing the early and late-stage warning signs of liver damage also makes sense.
Your liver is tasked with a lot of important jobs from cleaning your blood to turning all that you eat and drink into energy and nutrients that your body can use. When it becomes infected with hepatitis C, the symptoms will affect all systems and organs related to the livers many functions.
Read Also: Hepatitis C How To Get It
Recommended Reading: Hepatitis Is An Inflammation Of The Liver
Itching: An Unknown But Not Uncommon Sign Of Liver Disease
- Baton Rouge General
We all get a little itch now could be dry skin, a bug bite or just a pesky itch. But continual itching all over or in one spot is another story. It can be distracting, uncomfortable and can signal a serious health concern.
An itch is an unpleasant sensation of the skin that causes the urge to scratch. It can be a characteristic of many skin diseases but can also stem from an acute or chronic condition, like some types of liver disease. Itching is rare in alcohol-related liver diseases and nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases, but is most common with other types of liver diseases, including primary biliary cirrhosis , primary sclerosing cholangitis , and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.
While there have been some clinical studies, scientists have yet to identify a reason for itching associated with liver disease. Experts believe it may be a combination of factors that cause it:
Because the causes of itching arent totally understood, it can be hard to treat and likely wont improve on its own. It can be difficult to determine what will work best for everyone, but a little trial and error and a combination of therapies can have some positive outcomes.
Constant scratching can make matters worse by breaking the skin and increasing the risk of infection. Keep your fingernails short to help prevent skin damage. Here are some suggestions to help ease itching and help prevent skin irritation:
Contaminated Needles And Infected Blood
You can get hepatitis C from sharing contaminated needles, syringes and other injecting equipment during recreational drug use. Banknotes and straws used for snorting may also pass the virus on.
Being exposed to unsterilised tattoo and body piercing equipment can also pass hepatitis C on. Occasionally, you can get it from sharing a towel, razor blades or a toothbrush if there is infected blood on them.
Hepatitis C infection is also passed on in healthcare settings, from needle stick injuries or from medical and dental equipment that has not been properly sterilised. In countries where blood products are not routinely screened, you can also get hepatitis C by receiving a transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.
You can prevent hepatitis C by:
- never sharing needles and syringes or other items that may be contaminated with infected blood
- only having tattoos, body piercings or acupuncture in a professional setting, where new, sterile needles are used
- following the standard infection control precautions, if youre working in a healthcare setting.
Dont Miss: Hepatitis C How Is It Transmitted
Don’t Miss: What Food Is Good For Hepatitis C
The Symptoms Of Cryoglobulinemia
Cryoglobulinemia will cause problems with circulation as well as effecting your kidneys, liver, skin, joints, and nerves.Cryoglobulinemia is one of the most common symptoms of Hepatitis C and yet it is rarely discussed.Apart from rashes and itchy skin other symptoms caused by Cryoglobulinemia include joint pain, aching muscles, shortness of breath, fatigue, spots or patches on the skin and skin ulcers or sores.
It is also possible for Cryoglobulinemia to cause problems with the vision because the eyes are full of very fine blood capillaries for more information about Cryoglobulinemia and the eyes you can use this link
Read Also: How Do You Know You Have Hepatitis
What Questions Should I Ask My Provider
If you have cholestasis of pregnancy, you may want to ask the following questions:
- How serious is cholestasis of pregnancy?
- What are my treatment options?
- How can I protect myself and my baby?
- What should I know about future pregnancies if Ive had ICP?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Cholestasis of pregnancy causes severe itching during pregnancy. Your pregnancy care provider will monitor you and your baby closely to ensure there are no complications. Cholestasis goes away after your baby is born and isnt usually life-threatening. Your provider may deliver your baby early if its the safest treatment option. Dont be afraid to ask your provider questions about your diagnosis. Theyre there to listen and reassure you that you and your baby will be OK.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/15/2022.
Don’t Miss: Quest Diagnostics Hepatitis B Titer
How Is Cholestasis Of Pregnancy Managed Or Treated
Healthcare providers use a medication called ursodeoxycholic acid to treat cholestasis of pregnancy. This medicine can improve your livers ability to function and reduce bile levels in your blood.
Treatments to manage the symptoms of cholestasis of pregnancy include:
- Anti-itch medicine .
- Wearing soft and loose-fitting clothing.
- Soaking in a warm bath.
If medication doesnt lower bile levels, your provider may recommend delivering your baby early. Inducing labor around weeks 37 or 38 of pregnancy may reduce the risk of complications of cholestasis of pregnancy. Your provider will monitor your baby for signs of any potential problems using tests like a biophysical profile or nonstress test.
If your provider delivers your baby early, theyll likely give you a steroid that helps mature your babys lungs and a vitamin K supplement to prevent internal bleeding .
Tips For Stopping The Itch
Below are some tips that may help control the incessant itching:
You May Like: Minute Clinic Hepatitis B Vaccine
Itching In Liver Disease
Itching secondary to liver diseases, including primary biliary cholangitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and hepatitis C, is a very difficult symptom for patients to endure and for physicians to manage. The reason why patients with liver disease itch is not known. It has been thought that some substances accumulate in the blood as a result of liver disease, causing itch.
Although the nature of the substance that cause itch in liver disease is not known, evidence has been accumulating over the past several years to suggest that some substances that are found normally in plasma known as endogenous opioids , contribute, at least in part to the itch secondary to liver disease. It has been proposed that these neurotransmitters cause itch by acting on special areas of the brain. Other substances that also accumulate in the blood in liver disease, including bile acids, may also play a role in this type of itch. There is no strong evidence, however, to support that bile acids cause this type of itch.
Traditionally, the way itch has been studied has been by measuring the concentration of substances known to accumulate in the blood of patients with liver disease who itch. This method, however, has not advanced the understanding of what causes this type of itch.
Keep in mind that itching may be an early symptom of liver disease. If these symptoms develop, you can see a dermatologist, keeping in mind that liver disease may be one of the causes. #liverdisease #pruritis #cirrhosis
Can Hepatitis Be Treated
Today, hepatitis management is applicable through different medications and the blood product intravenous immunoglobulin for temporary immunity. However, specific antiviral effects like a nucleotide polymerase inhibitor work in slowing down the virus. Although there are famous names like Ledipasvir with sofosbuvir and Pegylated interferon and ribavirin, some of these medications arent prescribed anymore. However, modern medical technology is changing chronic liver diseases using oral tablets taken every day for at least two to six months.
Ask your pharmacist or your current liver doctor to know if certain drugs arent verified with FDA or harmful to your health status.
Don’t Miss: Hepatitis C Symptoms In Females
Skin Rashes And Lesions
Not everyone with hep C will develop the exact same cluster of symptoms and signs. In fact, many people with acute hepatitis C never even know they have it because they dont develop any noticeable symptoms.
But an undiagnosed case of acute hepatitis C may develop into a chronic case. And thats when you may start to notice some skin symptoms. Some skin problems occur because when your liver doesnt function properly, it cant effectively filter out toxins and proteins they can build up in your liver, move into your bloodstream, and start impacting your skin in several ways. Many people with chronic hep C develop a type of skin rash, either as the result of their infection or the treatment theyre taking.
A very common skin rash that affects people with hep C is urticaria, or hives. You might experience red or skin-toned bumps or welts that are localized in certain areas, or they might spread across wider sections of your body. Your skin may be itchy and even swollen as the result of urticaria, too.
Some people also develop lesions or sores where their medications are injected. Research suggests that as many as 60% of people who inject medication to treat a hepatitis C infection experience some sort of injection-site reaction. Fortunately, these reactions are typically temporary.
Who Is At High Risk And Should Be Tested For Hepatitis C Infection
The U.S. Preventive Health Services task force recommends that all adults born between 1945 and 1965 be tested once routinely for hepatitis C, regardless of whether risk factors for hepatitis C are present. One-time testing also is recommended for:
- People who currently inject drugs or snort drugs, or ever did so, even once many years previously
- People with persistently elevated alanine aminotransferase level, a liver enzyme found in blood
- People who have HIV infection
- Children born to HCV- or HIV-infected mothers
- People who were ever on long-term hemodialysis
- People who got a tattoo in an unregulated setting, such as prison or by an unlicensed person
- People who received clotting factor produced before 1987
- People who received transfusions or organ transplants before July 1992, or who were notified that they received blood from a donor who later tested positive for hepatitis C infection
- Health care, emergency medical, and public safety workers after a needlestick, eye or mouth exposure to hepatitis C-infected blood
People who may have been exposed to hepatitis C in the previous 6 months should be tested for viral RNA load rather than anti-HCV antibody, because antibody may not be present for up to 12 weeks or longer after infection, although HCV RNA may be detectable in blood as soon as 2-3 weeks after infection.
Don’t Miss: Hepatitis A Vaccine Cost Walmart
Treating Hepatitis C Can Help Alleviate Skin Conditions
The good news is that there have been great advancements in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C using direct-acting antiviral medications, which reduce the viral load significantly enough to cure the infection.
They involve taking pills once a day for eight to 12 weeks, with cure rates above 95 percent, says Kuo. Unlike past treatments for hepatitis C, direct-acting antivirals are also safe and have minimal side effects. Once the hepatitis C is treated, all related skin issues should clear as well.
Hepatitis C Foot Damage: Arthritis
The hepatitis virus inflames your liver, but it can inflame your joints as well. This can trigger rheumatoid arthritis. And, since there are 33 joints in your feet alone, this form of arthritis can take a toll on your feetand your mobility. But we can manage your symptoms and help you keep doing what you love each day.
Read Also: Do I Have Hepatitis C
Here Are 5 Signs Of Hepatitis C Foot Damage
Would you recognize Hepatitis C foot damage if you were showing symptoms? Well, we hope you would. And were here to help!
As we celebrate World Hepatitis Day this month, we want you to know more about this diseaseand how it impacts your feet. Basically, this form of hepatitis is a virus that causes liver disease. Once you develop liver disease, you may start to notice symptoms in your feet, ranging from minor to severely painful issues. These can include swelling in your feet and ankles, neuropathy, arthritis and more.
Now, these are all areas where our highly trained Spring TX podiatrists can help. That was certainly the case for our patient Judy M, who recently shared this review:
When I first came to Dr. Walsh I was in terrible foot pain that was affecting my daily activities. I was tired of a swollen ankle and constant foot pain. Dr. Walsh performed a complete flat foot reconstruction which was an extensive surgery. Throughout my recovery, Dr. Walsh was wonderful-informative, responsive, encouraging and caring. She also educated/advised me on the right types of shoes to wear, Once recovered, I was able to return back to my normal activitiesI highly recommend Dr Walsh!
Also Check: Hepatitis C Antibody Test Non Reactive
What Do Hepatitis C Symptoms Look Like
Hepatitis C infection can go through two stages: acute and chronic. In the early, or acute stage, most people dont have symptoms. If they do develop symptoms, these can include:
- flu-like symptoms, tiredness, high temperature and aches and pains
- loss of appetite
- jaundice, meaning your skin and the whites of your eyes turn yellow
While for some people, the infection will clear without treatment, in most cases, acute infection will develop into long-term chronic infection. Chronic infection may not become apparent for a number of years until the liver displays signs of damage. These symptoms can include:
- mental confusion and depression these are specific to hepatitis C
- constantly feeling tired
- feeling bloated
- joint and muscle pain
Without treatment, chronic hepatitis C can cause scarring of the liver , which can cause the liver to stop working properly. A small number of people with cirrhosis develop liver cancer and these complications can lead to death. Other than a liver transplant, theres no cure for cirrhosis. However, treatments can help relieve some of the symptoms.
Read Also: Hepatitis C Can Be Cured