Hepatitis C is a condition when the liver becomes inflamed because of the infestation of one of the 6 genotypes of a certain virus
Any hepatitis (types A thru E or non viral hepatitis) are nothing to take lightly especially Hepatitis C.
The first person who came to me that had this health condition was a known addict, as was the second person. So unfairly I equated it with one who engaged in a high risk lifestyle.
Several years later I had to reassess how I viewed this condition. Never did I believe that someone deserved getting this virus, but when I found out in the first few months of my marriage that my husband, who never did drugs nor was promiscuous had Hep C virus inside of him, I realized how I had assumed the other's exposure.
My husband contracted his virus from the blood he received during an operation years before. Now they screen the blood for this virus as well as HIV and a few other known virus. Same goes for organ donations and clotting factors.
However, if I were to get an operation, I would only accept blood if absolutely necessary to save my life.
Because, in part, of the Jehovah Witness religion is opposed to blood transfusion, blood volumizers have been developed to make many blood transfusions unnecessary, but they are rarely given as a choice to those who might experience blood loss.
I am not a member of the Jehovah Witness religion, but these blood voluminzers would be my first choice because who knows what other virus might emerge later on.
Transmission of the virus
Transmission of this virus is more specific than HIV, in that it needs blood to blood transfer. Typically Hep C is not found in saliva, tears or semen (unless of course blood is also present for instance after a tooth extraction blood might be in the saliva).
An estimated 60% of Hep C transmissions are from sharing needles, and a smaller amount is associated with sharing straw like materials when snorting drugs.
Improperly sterilized medical, dental, body piercing, or tattooing tools can transfer the virus which is why the promotion of disposable needles and tools are so prevalent.
Contact blood exposure especially at risk are EMTs, athletes and cops where blood of the injured can get in the eyes or on the open wound of another.
Lesser thought of possible exposure would be from razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers and chap sticks.
Sex, the CDC doesn't suggest the use of condoms but there have been men who have experienced irritation bleeding of the urethras which conceivably can then be found in the sperm or blood can be in the vagina of a woman. So I disagree with the CDC and suggest the use of condoms if your partner has Hep C.
Sadly up to 70% of people newly infected with Hepatitis C will experience NO symptoms.
Of the other 30+% acute symptoms are short lived (a few days to a few weeks) and often mimics the flu i.e. nausea, vomiting, body aches, mild jaundice, fatigue, itching, abdominal discomfort, and/or fever.
Test often can not detect the virus until 3 to 12 weeks after exposure. Even after 5 months there is only a 90% chance that the virus can be detected, (which is concerning when you think those people may donate blood before it is detectable.)
If you are at risk of having the virus, I would get more than 1 test.
Symptoms of Hep C 6 months after exposure typically are experience only after significant scaring of the liver has developed. Symptoms can vary and can include: Dark urine, weight loss, ascites (fluid build up in the abdomen), abdominal discomfort or pain, chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pain, flu-like symptoms, sleep disturbances, itching, mood swings and/or depression, diarrhea, discolored or fatty stools.
The Center of Disease Control (CDC) estimates that up to 30% of Hepatitis C suffers will at sometime develop life-threatening complications such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. With approx 10-12,000 succumbing to the disease each year out of the est 4 million people who have been diagnosed in the USA alone.
Before you get tested
Before I got tested for Hepatitis C, I suggest you step back and examine possible life limiting consequences of being diagnosed.
#1 I would make sure that you have good and stable insurance. If you are about to change insurances, the precondition of Hepatitis C probably will not be covered by the policy after diagnosis.
#2 Have ample amount of life insurance, because afterwards it is going to be virtually impossible to ever get life insurance again.
#3 Be prepared for the social impact. For one thing your blood test will be submitted and kept on record by the CDC. When others learn of your condition, many will fear you being contagious.
#4 Be prepared for the emotional impact. It hits you hard. It might helpful to realize Hepatitis C is not a death sentence and every time you have a symptom doesn't mean it is over powering your health.
I am no way suggesting that you don't get tested, but I would take these precautions before you are tested to help protect and prepare yourself.
Pegylated interferon is the main drug the medical profession has in its arsenal, which is less than 50% effective of the most common type of Heptatitis C virus - genotype 1. The drugs Ribavirin or Amantadine are not any more impressive and can have the same devastating side effects.
RED TAPE BS
Chiron corp holds 100 patents for the Heptatitis C virus world wide and hence has sued and can continue to sue any competitors who may try to study the virus in hopes of finding a cure.
The American CDC Center for Disease Control was paid 1.9 million dollars by this corporation to withdraw their competing patent application.
I think it is a real crock that anyone can monopolize the study of a certain disease. How can a virus which resides in my husband belong to the Chiron corp?
It is fortunate that the body's immune system is not patentable. :o)........... YET!
If I had or suspected I had Hepatitis C, I would first avoid anything which might weaken the liver like alcohol, drugs, otc especially tylenol type, chemicals from paints and solvents etc.
I suggest an overall healthy diet of raw vegetables, fruits, proteins and whole grains (if tolerated).
VS-C is a Chinese herbal combination which was especially developed for helping the body combating heavy duty virus. I would take it in aggressive amounts. L-lysine is something I would suggest you add.
Ron had his liver enzymes normalize by taking Liver Cleanse formula alone. He had reversed ALL his symptoms by taking it.
Unlike Ron I suggest people stay on it to keep the liver nourished so it has a chance of fighting off anything which may weaken it.