Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the relevant viral pathogen. Its course can be mild or severe, and its forms include acute and chronic. Hepatitis lives from several weeks to decades. Infection occurs through the blood — in the clinic during transfusion, when using injectable narcotic drugs, performing dental, manicure manipulations.
More than 95% of patients using antiviral drugs are cured. There is no vaccine yet, but it is being actively developed. Hepatitis C virus has numerous genotypes, their distribution has regional nature.
Ways of infection
Hepatitis C virus is transmitted only through the blood during:
● administering injectable narcotic drugs when using a common syringe;
● blood transfusion, blood collection for tests in clinics;
● performing surgical interventions.
The virus is also transmitted from an infected mother to the child, but this happens infrequently. The same refers to sexual intercourse. Community-acquired infection is excluded.
The incubation period for hepatitis C is from 2 weeks to six months. After primary infection, the symptoms are absent in ¾ of the patients.
The others tolerate the virus worse and have the following complaints:
● high fever;
● vomiting, nausea;
● loss of appetite;
● abdominal pain;
● dark urine;
● grey feces;
● aching joints;
In any case, accurate diagnostics and differential analysis are needed. The most accurate results are obtained by blood test for hepatitis C.
The infection is diagnosed in two stages. The first is serological screening for antibodies. If they are detected, nucleic acid amplification and ribonucleic acid testing is used to confirm chronic infection. The condition of the liver is checked separately — are there any cirrhotic, fibrous lesions. Exact results can be provided by non-invasive tests, biopsy.
A test for the genotype is done — there are six of them in hepatitis C virus. Most often there is one genotype, but multiple infections are also encountered sometimes. The degree of liver damage along with data on the virus genotype are taken into account when deciding on the treatment method, the disease management way. The earlier the diagnosis is made, the faster and more effective the treatment will be.
Hepatitis C treatment is not always necessary — with a good immune response, the infection will resolve itself; in some people with a chronic form of the disease, liver damage does not occur at all. Hepatitis C treatment exists, new effective and safe drug products appear all the time (the list of side effects associated with their use is minimal). The strategy of action is determined based on the severity and course of the disease.
It is necessary to correct the nutrition — the diet provides for the minimum content of animal fats, carbohydrates, a large amount of protein, fiber. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and greens are good for the liver. Dried fruits, honey, non-acid cottage cheese, milk, plain yogurt, dietary meat, fish, beans should also be included to the diet. The recommended oils are linseed, olive, sesame, sea buckthorn (butter should be avoided). Try to drink enough water, herbal decoctions, always have breakfast and do not eat much before bedtime.
Although there is no vaccine for hepatitis C, there are effective ways to reduce the risk of infection:
● do not use common syringes, needles;
● do not use other people’s personal items that may be in contact with blood (razors, toothbrushes, etc.);
● do not do manicure, tattoos, piercing in non-verified places.
Timely tests of donor blood, normal hand hygiene, training of clinics staff in skills of safe work with tools are important. Infected persons (secondary prevention) should receive assistance on treatment options, the possibility of immunization with hepatitis A and B type vaccines. Regular monitoring is also needed for the early diagnosis of chronic pathologies.
Maintenance therapy will improve the quality of life, provide you a good wellbeing. For example, the amino acid complex Betargin effectively purifies the blood, removes toxins, and accelerates the cellular regeneration of the organ. It can be used as part of the complex therapy of hepatitis along with other medicinal products. The supplement is suitable for adults and children over 3 years old, helps to recover from diseases quickly.