Effects of Untreated Hepatitis C on Your Body
Turning a blind eye to Hep C after being infected is not a wise thing to do and it may cause numerous problems for you. The effects of untreated Hepatitis C on your body can become an enormous burden and you should take advantage of the many modern medications that are available to cure your infection and avoid the problems listed below:
Know the Enemy
Hepatitis C may be given the name of ‘silent killer’ for the reason that even if you are infected, it’s quite possible you won’t even know you are actually infected for months and even years.
After being infected for the first time, the disease is called acute hepatitis C which has made its entrance into your blood stream through sex, toothbrush, shaver, not properly sterilized injection needles and so forth, which have been used by people infected with the disease.
The next stage is chronic hepatitis C where the virus starts to silently attack your body without showing any symptoms over a long period of time. By the time you are aware you’re infected, your body may have suffered damage in a variety of ways.
You needn’t and in fact shouldn’t let the disease invade and damage your body. It’s curable but you need to take action early and talk to your doctor so that you can be pointed in the right direction and avoid becoming a victim of the following conditions:
Your Precious Liver
Your liver is the main casualty of your encounter with hepatitis C because for some reason, the virus likes attacking the liver by making it to increase in size. If this initial invasion of acute hepatitis C is not treated early, it will develop into a more serious infection called chronic Hep C.
It needs to be treated but if it isn’t it may lead to the following conditions:
- Cirrhosis, also known scarring of your liver
- Cancer of the liver
- Failure of the liver
Blood and Vessel Issues
The main culprit here is a condition known as cryoglobulinemia which develops in people infected with HCV. The condition starts with the process starts when proteins in your blood become stuck to one another during cold weather.
With the addition of other proteins that also combine together, a build-up of proteins in the blood vessels ultimately blocks the flow of blood inside the vessels causing swelling and damage. The condition can adversely impact your skin, joints, nerves and organs.
The disease forges ahead and also damages the blood itself. The attack on the blood itself may interrupt the production of white blood cells, that helps prevent infections and can also damage the production of platelets that help clot the blood.
You also become easily susceptible to bruises or develop red or purple sports under your skin. These bleeding disorders are embodied under the name, immune thrombocytopenic purpura.
Pain of Joints and Muscles
People infected with HCV become susceptible to a condition called arthralgia which causes pain to the muscles and joints of the body. It can be compared to arthritis which causes swelling and pain to bodily joints.
Nevertheless, people infected with HCV can develop an arthritis condition called Fibromyalgia that causes body and muscle pains.
Disease of the kidneys
There is always a 40% chance for people infected with HCV to suffer from disease of the kidneys than for people who aren’t infected with the disease.
If your Hep C condition remains untreated and you’ve also developed kidney problems, you’ll need to be given filtering treatment called dialysis to filter and clean your blood.
If you are infected with HCV, you are more likely to get a type of cancer known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma which begins in the immune system. It also increases the likelihood of the development of liver and bile duct cancer.
Blood Sugar Levels
There’s a hormone in your body called insulin which assists in moving sugar into your cells and therefore ensures that sugar in your body are used up properly. Hepatitis C infection makes it difficult for the cells in your body to absorb sugar from the food you consume.
The failure of your cells to absorb sugar usually means that a surplus of sugar will stay in your blood. It often happens that over time the body may stop responding altogether to the work of insulin, paving the way for the development of type-2 diabetes.
The condition known as atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries may also be blamed on Hepatitis C. At its worse, hardening of the arteries can cause a heart attack, stroke and a host of other heart conditions.
Mental Health Woes
In addition to causing problems to your heart, Hep C is also connected with the problems that also impact your mental health. You may experience trouble remembering things or find it difficult to focus or concentrate.
You may also find it very difficult to stay alert and find yourself succumb to a feeling of fatigue and being worn out. These are all caused by HCV and if left untreated can deteriorate and cause more problems for you.
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition brought on by damage to parts of your nervous system especially in the vicinity of your hands and feet. It involves the occurrence of feeling pins and needles pricking your flesh.
You may also experience a sense of numbness and even a burning sensation in your skin. Again, if left untreated, the pin and needle pricks may occur more frequently, the numbness may gradually spread and become worse and so on.
This is a condition that witnesses the body making new bone at a faster rate than can be absorbed by the body especially in the legs and feet.
This is a complicated condition where Hep C infection actually activates your immune system to confront the arthritis virus.
Because of this you immune system stays on active mode all the time as the virus multiply in your blood and liver leading to rheumatoid arthritis together with a host of other rheumatic conditions.
The telltale conditions produced by Hep C infection usually appear on your skin in the form of dark or light patches, itching, hair loss, blisters and bumps. One very well-known condition is vitiligo which can cause loss of color on your face, elbows, knees, and wrists.
Being infected by Hep C is not a matter to be taken lightly but is an occurrence that should trigger an immediate response and not ignored so that you may avoid suffering from the effects of untreated Hepatitis C on your body. You can prevent, improve or stop Hep C from becoming worse with the help of new drugs that can rid you of the menace within only a few months of treatment