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What you need to know about hepatitis C

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There are five kinds of hepatitis: A, B, C, D, and E. This condition is caused by inflammation of the liver and is commonly caused by a virus. When it comes to Hepatitis C, it is commonly believed that the condition is rare but that is not so. Over 3.5 million Americans have hepatitis C and it the most common infection that is spread through the blood.

The Canadian Liver Foundations estimates that 250 thousand Canadians have hepatitis C and many don’t even know it.

Besides contracting a virus, individuals can contract hepatitis C through medications, over use of alcohol and illegal drugs and a weakened immune system. Hepatitis C interferes with the normal functioning of the liver. It can also lead to cirrhosis of the liver due to the damage on this organ. Cirrhosis of the liver is scarring of the liver.

Unfortunately, hepatitis C is not easily recognizable. Infected individual may not have any symptoms at all until 30 or so years later when they are diagnosed with liver problems. Or, there may be innocuous symptoms like vomiting and nausea which can be a symptom of a many of conditions.

Baby boomers are the generation most affected by hepatitis C and this could be because it takes longer to diagnosis than most diseases and because the blood tests weren’t as refined in the 70s as they are today.

You can get hepatitis C through having many sexual partners, or using sharing needles for drugs. Sometimes health workers can get infected though needle injuries. Furthermore, improper sterilization of needles at tattoo salons can put their patrons at risk for hepatitis C.

One should never share razors or toothbrushes with anyone; but, particularly with someone who has hepatitis C.

There is a blood test for hepatitis A and B and although WebMD states there is no blood test for hepatitis C, I am sure I had one done here in Canada.

Most people who have hepatitis C will have it for a lifetime though about 25 percent of individuals who contract it will outgrow it in time.

There are antiviral medications for hepatitis C and your doctor will select which medication is right for you based on the condition of your liver.

If perchance you are cured of hepatitis C there is still a small chance you can become re-infected.

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