Monday, January 30, 2023

Will Hepatitis C Kill You

Favorite Hep C Online Magazine And Blogs

A Deep Dive into Hepatitis C

Hep Mag publishes current articles about people living with hep C, plus it offers a forum for people to ask questions and share stories and information with other readers. The online magazine also features a blog on funding, cures, liver disease, and related matters.

Feedspot, a feed compiling news from online sources, lists 20 top blogs and websites to explore concerning hepatitis C. Readers can connect with one another and find out about the latest drug research developments.

Natural History Of Reinfection

As recorded in chimpanzees, evidence indicates that HCV RNA concentrations after reinfection in people are lower, generally more transient, and shorter in duration than during initial infection. In a longitudinal study of IDUs, median duration of HCV viraemia was four times longer during initial infection than during reinfection and peak median log HCV RNA concentration was lower , suggesting people develop adaptive protective immunity .

HCV infection, clearance, and reinfection

HCV reinfection events after spontaneous clearance have lower HCV RNA concentrations and shorter infection durations than initial HCV infection. HCV=hepatitis C virus.

However, Osburn and colleagues detected new HCV-specific T-cell responses and cross-reactive neutralising antibodies in reinfected individuals who did not clear reinfection. Therefore, although improved cellular and humoral immune responses play a part in control of reinfection, they are probably not sufficient for protection against HCV reinfection with persistence in all cases. Further longitudinal investigation of adaptive immunity during primary infection and reinfection is necessary for reliable identification of the characteristics of protective immunity associated with repeated clearance of HCV infection and hence for future vaccine research.

Joint And Muscle Pain

A condition called arthralgia causes joint pain and is common in people with hepatitis C. Itâs different from arthritis, which causes pain and swelling in joints. But infected people can also get hepatitis C-related arthritis.

Fibromyalgia, which causes body aches and muscle pain, is also common in people with hepatitis C.

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Can A Woman Get Hep C From A Man

Articles On Hep C and Sex The risk of getting hepatitis C through sex is low, but it is possible. Without using condoms, the following situations increase your risk of getting hepatitis C from sex: If you or your partner have HIV or another sexually transmitted disease. Have multiple sexual partners.

The Hepatitis B Vaccine

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The hepatitis B vaccine sometimes known by the trade name Recombivax HB is used to prevent this infection. The vaccine is provided in three doses.

The first dose can be taken on a date you choose. The second dose must be taken one month later. The third and final dose must be taken six months after the first dose.

Adolescents 11 to 15 years old may follow a two-dose regimen.

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Who Can Be Treated For Hepatitis C

Treatment decisions should be made by both you and your provider. Current treatments for hepatitis C are very successful and can cure most people of the virus.

  • Treatment regimens exist for all genotypes.
  • Treatment regimens exist for HCV-HIV coinfection.
  • Treatment regimens exist for all stages of disease .
  • Treatment regimens exist for patients who have taken treatment in the past but were not successful.
  • Causes And Risk Factors

    HCV causes hepatitis C. People contract the virus through blood-to-blood contact with contaminated blood. For transmission to occur, blood containing HCV must enter the body of a person without HCV.

    A speck of blood, invisible to the naked eye, can carry hundreds of hepatitis C virus particles, and the virus is not easy to kill.

    The report the following risk factors for developing hepatitis C:

    • using or having used injectable drugs, which is currently the most common route in the U.S.
    • receiving transfusions or organ transplants before 1992, which is before blood screening became available
    • having exposure to a needle stick, which is most common in people who work in healthcare
    • being born to a mother who has hepatitis C

    The CDC offer advice on cleaning syringes if it is not possible to use clean and sterile ones. Although bleach can kill the HCV in syringes, it may not have the same effect on other equipment. Boiling, burning and using alcohol, peroxide, or other common cleaning fluids to wash equipment can reduce the amount of HCV but might not stop a person from contracting the infection.

    It is extremely dangerous to inject bleach, disinfectant, or other cleaning products, so people should make sure they rinse the syringe thoroughly. A person should only ever use bleach to clean equipment if new, sterile syringes and equipment are not available.

    People who are at risk due to these factors can have screening to rule out HCV.

    • peginterferon alfa-2a

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    Are There Supplements That Are Bad For My Liver

    Taking too many vitamin and mineral supplements may do more harm than good to a damaged liver.

  • Avoid taking too much vitamin A.
  • Do not take protein or amino acid supplements.
  • Avoid iron supplements unless your doctor prescribes them. Excess iron can build up in the liver and speed up damage.
  • If you have cirrhosis and your liver is not working, you may have to avoid substances such as steroids, acetaminophen, birth control pills, cortisone, barbiturates, and many other drugs.
  • What Are The Complications Of Hepatitis B

    Kill or cure – Hepatitis B

    Hepatitis B can lead to serious complications such as:

    • Liver cirrhosis or scarring of the liver which may impair the livers ability to function.
    • Liver failure which occurs when the vital functions of the liver shut down. In this case, a liver transplant is needed.
    • Glomerulonephritis which is a group of diseases that injure the part of the kidney that filters blood.
    • Cryoglobulinemia which is part of a group of diseases that cause damage and inflammation of the blood vessels throughout the body.
    • Hepatic Encephalopathy is a group of neuropsychiatric abnormalities in patients with liver dysfunction.
    • Inflammation of blood vessels or anemia.
    • Portal hypertension which is an increase in the blood pressure within a system of veins called the portal venous system.
    • Porphyria is a group of diseases in which substances called porphyrins build up, affecting the skin or nervous system.
    • Viral Co-Infection which is simultaneous infection by multiple viruses.

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    Data Source And Collection

    Qualitative interviewer and co-author conducted 4590-min-long one-on-one interviews with the participants at the opioid-agonist clinics. We used a semi-structured interview guide that explored participants perceptions of HCV, experiences initiating and undergoing HCV treatment, HCV medication adherence, and substance use. The Institutional Review Boards of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine approved this study.

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    Is There A Way To Prevent Hepatitis C

    Although currently theres no vaccine to protect people from contracting hepatitis C, there are vaccines for other hepatitis viruses, including hepatitis A and hepatitis B.

    If you receive a hepatitis C diagnosis, your healthcare provider may advise you to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.

    The vaccinations are recommended because these hepatitis viruses can lead to additional health and liver complications, especially in those with preexisting liver disease.

    Since you cant prevent hepatitis C through a vaccine, the best prevention is to avoid exposure. Hepatitis C is a bloodborne pathogen, so you can limit your chances of exposure through these healthy lifestyle practices:

    • Avoid sharing needles, razor blades, or nail clippers.
    • Use proper safety precautions if youll be exposed to bodily fluids, such as when performing first aid.
    • Hepatitis C isnt usually transmitted through sexual contact, but its possible. Limit your exposure by practicing sex with a condom or other barrier method. Its also important to openly communicate with sexual partners and to get tested if you suspect youve been exposed to the hepatitis C virus.

    Because hepatitis C is transmitted through blood, its possible to contract it through a blood transfusion.

    However, since the early 1990s, blood product screening tests have been standard protocol for minimizing the risk of this type of transmission.

    Subsequent testing is based on risk. Talk to your doctor about your needs.

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    Is It Safe To Take Aspirin Or Tylenol If I Have Hepatitis C

    Tylenol is an over-the-counter pain killer. It can be harmful in high doses. If you have hepatitis or liver disease, then you can take Tylenol, but no more than 2,000 mg total over 24 hours. In general, this could be one 500 mg tablet every 6 hours, at the most. Acetaminophen is also included as an ingredient in some opiate medications and in some over-the-counter cold/flu medications, so please be aware of the dose of acetaminophen you may be taking from some combination medicines.

    Aspirin, ibuprofen , naproxen , and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , can be harmful if you have cirrhosis. They are safe in hepatitis patients who do not have cirrhosis. But, if a patient has cirrhosis, then NSAIDs cannot be taken at all. If you are not sure, always check with your provider.

    What Are The Side Effects Of Treatment

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    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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    Baby Boomers Are Especially Vulnerable

    The hepatitis C virus didnt have a name or a screening test until in 1989, Reau says. That means people born between 1945 and 1965, the group referred to as baby boomers, are at highest risk of infection. They grew up before health care facilities started taking standard precautions, like not sharing vials of medicine among patients and requiring staff to wear gloves.

    The CDC reports that baby boomers are five times more likely to have Hepatitis C than other adults, accounting for 75% of those living with the disease.

    These are some other reasons you may be at risk:

    • You have engaged in high-risk behaviors like IV drug use or unprotected sex
    • Your biological mother has/had hepatitis C
    • You received blood transfusions, an organ transplant or dialysis before 1989
    • You were or are currently incarcerated

    What Are The Side Effects Of Treatments For Hepatitis C Infection

    Side effects of interferon or pegylated interferon

    • The most common side effects of interferon or pegylated interferon include fever, flu-like symptoms, and depression. Patients must be monitored closely for depression. Risk of suicide is a reason to avoid interferons.
    • Interferons also reduce white blood cell and/or red blood cell counts . This may cause increased susceptibility to infection. Interferons also increase the risk of certain cancers. Death rarely occurs as a result of therapy, but may occur from progression of liver failure in patients with advanced cirrhosis.

    Side effects of ribavirin

    • Ribavirin most commonly causes anemia due to destruction of red blood cells . This can be severe enough that people with heart disease may suffer a heart attack from insufficient blood flow, so people with heart disease should not receive this drug. Anemia improves with a reduction in the dose of ribavirin. Injected growth factor that stimulates the production of red blood cells often is used to improve the anemia associated with ribavirin. Ribavirin also accumulates in the testicles and ovaries and causes birth defects in animals. Although no birth defects have been reported in humans, both men and women should use contraceptive measures to avoid pregnancy during and for at least six months after ribavirin treatment.

    Side effects of DAAs

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    What You Should Know About Hepatitis C

    What is hepatitis C and in what ways is it contracted?

    Hepatitis C is primarily a disease of the baby boomer generation people who are now in their 50s and 60s. You see, hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by a virus in the blood. It is only transferred in blood, and needles used to inject drugs are the most common causes.

    In the 1960s and 1970s and even today people got infected by sharing needles to use drugs like heroin. Others became infected due to contaminated blood transfusions however, since 1992, weve eliminated hepatitis C from the blood supply.

    People wonder whether you get hepatitis C from kissing or from having sex with an infected person. Never from kissing very rarely from sex. Of course, if skin gets broken, its possible to get the virus. But like any infection, a certain amount of virus has to be transferred before it has an effect, so small skin irritations wont be enough to transfer the infection. As a general precaution, we encourage condom use for people not in a committed relationship.

    What are the long-term effects?

    For most people who become infected, the symptoms are barely noticeable just a little fatigue, then its over and you feel fine. Very often, people dont even know theyre infected. They can live with the virus for all those decades and not know they have it.

    The problem is, hepatitis C does have long-term health implications. As you get older, they can start to show up.

    Is hepatitis C contagious?

    Cirrhosis And Liver Cancer

    Hepatitis C Easy Explained symptoms, transmission, causes, treatment

    When people have cirrhosis of the liver, theyre more likely to develop a type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma. Researchers dont fully understand the link between the two conditions, but one explanation is that the buildup of scar tissue and ongoing inflammation creates an environment where cancerous tumors are more likely to grow. Regardless of exactly why scarring of the liver is linked to cancer, anyone with cirrhosis should be screened regularly for liver cancer, says Dr. Jacobson.

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    What Causes Hepatitis C

    Hepatitis C is caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus. The virus is spread from person to person through contact with blood. People who use intravenous drugs can get hepatitis C when they share needles with someone who has the virus. Health care workers can be exposed to hepatitis C. They can become infected if they are accidentally stuck with a needle that was used on an infected patient. You are also at a higher risk if you got a blood transfusion or an organ transplant before 1992.

    Hepatitis C cant be spread unless a person has direct contact with infected blood. This means a person who has hepatitis C cannot pass the virus to others through casual contact such as:

    Related Conditions And Causes Of Hepatitis C

    Other types of viral hepatitis include hepatitis A, B, D, and E.

    Hepatitis A and E are generally acquired from contaminated food and drink, while hepatitis B and D are transmitted via bodily fluids. You can only get hepatitis D if you already have hepatitis B.

    Though viruses are the most common causes of hepatitis, there are also forms of nonviral hepatitis, including:

    • Alcoholic hepatitis caused by prolonged alcohol abuse, per the Mayo Clinic
    • Autoimmune hepatitis, in which the immune system attacks healthy liver cells, per the NIDDK

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    If You Have Hepatitis C Can You Have Sex Without Infecting Your Partner

    Hepatitis C is a virus that is transmitted by blood. The most common ways people become infected with hepatitis C are through needle sharing, such as during injection drug use, or from blood transfusions received before 1992.

    Becoming infected from sex is not common, but it does happen. If you have hepatitis C, the chance of infecting a sex partner is higher if you are with a new partner or if you have had many different partners over time. If you have hepatitis C, the chance of infecting a sex partner is lower if you are with a longtime stable partner and if you are in a monogamous relationship.

    If your sex partner is new to you, or if you have many different partners, it is safer if you use condoms during sex to reduce the chance of transmitting hepatitis C.

    It is always best to talk directly with your health care provider to assess whether you should start using condoms. If you are in a sexual relationship and either you or your partner has hepatitis C, the other partner should be tested for hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted viruses once a year, or as advised by your provider.

    Can I Drink Alcohol Once In A While If I Have Hepatitis C

    Hepatitis A

    Alcohol can clearly contribute to worsening liver disease. You must discuss with your health care provider if any amount of alcohol is safe for you.

    Alcohol can cause inflammation and scarring in the liver. If you have any underlying liver condition, such as hepatitis C or hepatitis B or damage from long-term alcohol use, your liver will be more sensitive to alcohol. When you have hepatitis C virus, alcohol on top of the hepatitis C can cause the inflammation and scarring to be worse, and overall damage to the liver may happen much faster when you drink alcohol.

    Here is some helpful information about alcohol and hepatitis:

  • No one knows exactly what amount of alcohol is “safe” when you have hepatitis C. Some small amounts of alcohol may be safe while you have hepatitis C and have mild damage in the liver, but if you have cirrhosis, then no amount of alcohol is safe and you should not drink at all.
  • All forms of alcohol can be damaging. In other words, beer and wine are not “safer” than whiskey.
  • If you have severe scarring , then you should not drink any alcohol at all.
  • If you are awaiting a transplant, you also cannot drink any alcohol at all.
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