People who experience symptoms in the first 6 months of contracting hepatitis C are known to have acute hepatitis C. According to Wikipedia this only happens in 15% of cases. This means that around 80% of people who are infected with the virus do not show early or any symptoms, some peoples bodies even correct it on their own. As with every condition it is always best to catch it in its early stage so that any possible treatment can be given as early as possible, left to manifest it can lead on to more intense illnesses, which in themselves bring their own complications.
The symptoms that occur can often be generalised mistaken for other illnesses. They can be looked over as maybe something mild but in actual fact can have severe consequences. The signs and symptoms include;
· Feeling ill
· Aching Joints
· High Temperature
· Weight Loss
All symptom can easily be attached to other less serious illnesses and may not be taken serious until later stages when the virus may have led to other health problems. In some people who have acute hepatitis C there is yellowing of the skin and eyes, this symptom can actually be a major sign as it narrows down the field and focuses on illnesses connected with the liver. In some cases the immune system will fight off the virus and the person is no longer infected for those it doesn’t the virus can stay inside the body for many years which is known as chronic hepatitis C.
Chronic Hepatitis C
A person who is known to have hepatitis C for longer than 6 months has chronic hepatitis C. The symptoms for this can vary widely and from person to person. According to Wikipedia 80% of people who contract the virus go on to have it is its chronic form. Often the symptoms lay dormant for decades and when people suffer what symptoms they do get in mild form or are associated with other illnesses. Such symptoms include;
· Stomach Pains
· Flu like symptoms (aches and pains)
· Pain associated with the liver area
· Cognitive problems
· Itchy Skin
More importantly the chronic infection after several years can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer. Cirrhosis of the liver is due to liver disease, when changes happen in the liver and the liver that lead to loss of liver function. According to Wikipedia between 10-30% of people who have chronic hepatitis C go on to develop, over a 30 year period cirrhosis of the leaver. Wikipedia go on further to inform that of the worldwide population 25% of hepatocellular carcinoma and 27% of cirrhosis of the liver are due to hepatitis C. Those who develop cirrhosis are at a greater risk of going on to develop hepatocellular carcinoma which is the most common type of liver cancer. Treatment for hepatitis C in recent years has developed at a rapid rate improving the general outlook.