How do you contract hepatitis C? You can get the virus through contact with infected bodily fluid, usually blood. Hepatitis C, also known as HVC, is caused by the hepatitis virus. It is considered one the most grave types of hepatitis. While hepatitis A and B can be vaccinated for, HVC cannot, making it all the more serious.
Hepatitis C causes inflammation of the liver, disrupting and inhibiting the organ's ability to function. The virus surfaces as acute or chronic infections. An acute infection shows up within about six months of being infected and can result in a chronic condition. A chronic infection is very serious and, over a long period of time, can result in heavy scarring of the liver. It can also lead to liver failure or liver cancer.
Hepatitis C Infection
Hepatitis C tends to be contracted through infected blood. This means that any dirty needle you may use could cause the virus if it was also used by an infected person. It doesn't matter if the dirty needle is used for illegal drugs, prescription medications, tattooing or piercing. This is why proper sanitation practices are so important when it comes to needles. Infected blood can also be transferred from sharing razors or toothbrushes.
Hepatitis C can be contracted through sexual contact and is one of the many reasons practicing safe sex is important. While rare, it is possible for an infected mother to pass the disease to her baby during childbirth. It is also possible, though extremely unlikely, to get the virus from blood transfusions or organ transplants. These days, though, doctors use a battery of tests to prevent this type of infection.
Hepatitis C Treatment
If your hepatitis C infection is bad enough to need treatment, your doctor will put you on a regiment of antiviral medications. You made need to take the medications for several weeks before the infection clears up. Even once you resolve the problem, you may have flare ups down the road that will require another round of treatment.
One of the only ways to treat hepatitis C naturally is to follow a healthy diet that is good for the liver. Though healthy eating will not cure hepatitis C, it can help prevent your lifestyle from causing further damage to your fragile liver. Simple choices, such as not ingesting large quantities of alcohol, helps keep your liver in better shape to deal with the hepatitis C infection.