Hepatitis C is a disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis C Virus (HCV), which affects approximately four million people in the U.S. Hepatitis C is caused by the spread of blood contact between an infected person and another, resulting from sharing needles, or using unclean tattoo, piercing, or dental equipment. In the past, poorly screened blood transfusions or organ donations were also a potential way to contract hep C.
Hep C can also be spread through sex, although the risk is considerably low. Common hep C symptoms include the following:
1. Absence of symptoms
It should be understood that patients with hep C often show little or no systems at all. Some people make a complete recovery on their own with no medicine whatsoever, but others may harbor the disease for 15 years or more until they are informed by their doctor they have partial or substantial liver disease. Because of the elusiveness of the disease, the Center for Disease Control recommends all people born between 1845 and 1965 get tested at least once for Hepatitis C to prevent liver infection. With that being said, within 2 weeks to 6 months, around 30 percent of people do experience mild, flu-like symptoms.
2. Extremely fatigue
If you feel exhausted all the time without reason, it’s advisable to consult with your doctor concerning the underlying cause.
3. Sore muscles
Again, many people have experienced sore muscles without having Hep C, but it may indicate the presence of the virus.
4. Joint pain
Unless you are advanced in age or have an arthritic condition, joint pain is not that common and should be brought up with your physician.
While a fever could just indicate flu, fever combined with other hep C symptoms may be concerning.
6. Stomach pains
Stomach pains or abdominal cramping should not be ignored, and could indicate the presence of hep C.
7. Dark colored urine
If you have dark urine, try drinking some water. If it persists, it could be a sign of hep C. Please seek medical attention.
Yellow discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes may be indicative of jaundice, a symptom of hep C. In fact, jaundice is probably the most frequent indication you have some form of hepatitis.
9. Hep C treatment
While there is no vaccine to keep you from getting Hep C, but fortunately, modern antiviral medications can cure up to 90 percent of patients with Hep C. However, the sooner you are diagnosed; the greater chance you have of making a quick recovery and preventing liver damage.