Contracting Hepatitis C at any stage in your life is something that should be avoided at all cost especially because the disease won’t show any symptoms during its early and late stages of development in your body. You may feel fine but the silent virus may well be lurking within you without you noticing anything. It’s therefore critical that you look for early symptoms of the Hep C virus or any other symptoms it can cause.
Body response against a Hep C virus invasion
When a person is infected by the Hep C virus, it usually means that the person has contracted an inflammation of the liver caused from an infection by the hepatitis C virus. It’s quite possible in many cases that your immune system may assist in confronting and eliminating the virus.
However, in doing so the body may stage a rather extreme reaction or keep up a continuous inflammatory reaction that will inevitably lead to a serious scarring or damage of the liver which may result in a very serious outcome.
If the response offered by the body against the hepatitis C virus is rather weak, your body will fail in destroying the virus and this may well lead to a chronic infection of the liver and cause serious damage to your liver.
The silent killer reputation
The most challenging and annoying aspect of the hepatitis C virus is that of being asymptomatic. This means that an individual who has in fact contracted the virus doesn’t feel any different now than when he didn’t have the virus.
Nevertheless, some symptoms may only appear after the disease has been in progress in the body from a minor to a more serious stage of infection. This usually happens as more and more damage is done to the liver.
It is therefore critical that you should be able to identify and diagnose the hepatitis C infection at an early age of development in order to lessen or to avoid more potentially acute complications that may prove very difficult to treat and overcome.
Being asymptomatic is one of the features why hepatitis C is known as the silent or stealth killer. It’s also known as an RNA virus, which means that a strand of RNA contains the genetic data of the virus which can be translated by the ribosomes of the host’s cells.
There’s also no need for the hepatitis C virus to self-produce or sustain itself since it captures and uses the cell’s metabolic and propagating capabilities to reproduce and sustain its own cycle of life. Moreover, the virus has little need of RNA to decipher its core data.
It also possesses less similar traits and therefore makes it difficult for the immune system to identify and track it down. This may well explain the reason why that symptoms are scarce making the virus very difficult to identify especially in the early stages of formation.
Symptoms at an early stage
It has been estimated that approximately 25% to 35% of individuals who have been infected by hepatitis C would feel or view symptoms of the virus at the very early stage of being infected, say during the first 6 months.
It’s known that signs and symptoms may emerge a few weeks after the virus has actually infected someone and this early stage of the virus is labeled as acute hepatitis C. The symptoms that may appear at this early stage include:
- A sensation of being sick, that is, a feeling of being sick
- Stomach or abdominal pains or cramps
- Loss of appetite or aversion to eating meals
- Tiredness or exhaustion
- Increase in temperature to over 100 4.F
One of the difficulties in determining the which of the symptoms betray the presence of hepatitis C is that the listed symptoms are not particular to the disease itself and therefore may be caused by or connected to some other virus or disease instead of hepatitis C.
Normally, the hepatitis C infection will continue to hide itself or remain asymptomatic especially during the early stages of infection. During this formative stage, soft and healthy liver tissue becomes hard and lumpy fibrotic substance and start to appear all over the liver.
Nevertheless, once your liver starts to become scarred or seriously damaged, they usually start manifesting themselves. However sometimes, even when your liver has succumbed to very serious scarring, the symptoms and signs may not show themselves.
When this happens, it usually means that your liver has undergone such a large degree of change for the worse that the healthy functioning of your liver gradually fades until it completely fails. Here is where the sudden and really serious signs and symptoms begin to show themselves.
In order to combat this very serious situation, population screening must be put in place so that high-risk patients are identified quickly for treatment. The tests must be done over an extensive area and be done with thoroughness.
Symptoms at a later stage
When hepatitis C becomes a long term condition, it is given the name, chronic hepatitis C and of course we all know with the work chronic means but just for a reminder, it means long lasing, which means you and I will be literally living with an advanced liver condition.
Even at this advanced stage of the hepatitis C virus, some of the symptoms may not even be noticed while some can cast a very unpleasant influence on the quality of life which sufferers can enjoy.
The main symptoms of chronic hepatitis C are listed as:
- Skin rash and itching
- Acute indigestion or Dypspepsia
- Depression or anxiety
- Passing or continuous sickness
- Exhaustion most of the time
- Stomach pain and
- Memory loss for proper engagement in mental activities
- Mood changes
When hepatitis C is ignored or left unattended, it will most often lead to a serious liver condition called cirrhosis. This is where healthy body cells are replaced by scar tissues.
The symptoms for cirrhosis can include blackish stools, large collection of fluid in the legs and jaundice where the skin and eyes turns yellow. The onset of the cirrhosis condition poses a greater risk of causing liver cell cancer over a period of time.
The identification and timely treatment of the early symptoms of hepatitis C can assist the body’s immune system in combating and eliminating the disease from the body. If you experience any of the signs or symptoms mentioned in this article, the best course of action to follow is to immediately contact your doctor or physician for discussing your problem