Hepatitis C is a liver infection that can lead to serious liver damage. It’s caused by the hepatitis C virus.The virus spreads through an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
Stages of Hepatitis C
The hepatitis C virus affects people in different ways and has several stages:
- Incubation period. This is the time between first exposure to the start of the disease. It can last anywhere from 14 to 80 days, but the average is 45
- Acute hepatitis C. This is a short-term illness that lasts for the first 6 months after the virus enters the body. After that, some people who have it will get rid of, or clear, the virus on their own.
- Chronic hepatitis C. If your body doesn’t clear the virus on its own after 6 months, it becomes a long-term infection. This can lead to serious health problems like liver cancer or cirrhosis.
- Cirrhosis. This disease leads to inflammation that, over time, replaces your healthy liver cells with scar tissue. It usually takes about 20 to 30 years for this to happen, though it can be faster if we drink alcohol or have HIV.
- Liver cancer.
Symptoms of Hepatitis C
Many people with hepatitis C have no symptoms. But between 2 weeks and 6 months after the virus enters in bloodstream;
- Clay-colored stool
- Dark urine
- Jaundice (a condition that causes yellow eyes and skin, as well as dark urine)
- Joint pain
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity (ascites) or the legs (edema)
- brain doesn’t work as well (encephalopathy)
- Kidney failure
- Easy bleeding and bruising
- Intense itching
- Muscle loss
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Spider-like veins on the skin
- Vomiting blood due to bleeding in the lower esophagus (esophageal varices)
- Weight loss
Hepatitis C spreads when blood contaminated with the hepatitis C virus gets into bloodstream through contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person.
- Sharing injection drugs and needles
- Having sex, especially if have an STD, an HIV infection, several partners, or have rough sex
- Being stuck by infected needles
- Birth -- a mother can pass it to a child
- Sharing personal care items like toothbrushes, razor blades, and nail clippers
- Getting a tattoo or piercing with unclean equipment
Hepatitis C can not spread by these things:
- Breastfeeding (unless nipples are cracked and bleeding)
- Casual contact
- Holding hands
- Mosquito bites
- Sharing eating utensils
- Sharing food or drink
Hepatitis C Risk Factors
The CDC recommends you get tested for the disease if you:
- Received blood from a donor who had the disease
- Have ever injected or inhaled drugs
- Had a blood transfusion or an organ transplant before July 1992
- Received a blood product used to treat clotting problems before 1987
- Were born between 1945 and 1965, the age group with the highest rate of infection
- Have been on long-term kidney dialysis
- Have HIV
- Were born to a mother with hepatitis C
- Have symptoms of liver disease
- Got a tattoo or piercing with unclean equipment
- Are or have ever been in prison
HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT OF HEPATITIS C
- helidonium Majus: Prepared from the flowers of Celandine, it acts on the hepatobiliary system and restores overall liver function. The patient’s presenting symptoms include jaundice with pain, bloated abdomen, significant lethargy, weakness, reduced appetite, nausea and vomiting.
- China Officinalis: This is useful in patients who are down with intermittent fevers, headaches, gallstones, dyspepsia and hemorrhages. The patient could also have debility, trembling, ringing in the ears, flatulence in the abdomen, gassy feeling and vomiting of bile.
- Bryonia Alba: This is prepared from the plant known as wild hops after potentization. It works on multiple systems including the digestive, hepatobiliary, respiratory, and musculoskeletal systems. This is useful in patients who suffer from dyspepsia, migraine, bronchitis, joint pains, back pain, menstrual issues, and respiratory tract infections. The patient could also experience a burning sensation and soreness in the abdomen, which is extremely tender to the touch, along with nausea and vomiting. The symptoms are aggravated during summer months and with heat.
- Kali Carbonicum: The active ingredient acts of multiple bodily systems including kidneys, liver, digestive, blood, bones, lungs, etc. It is widely used in liver dysfunctions like nephrotic syndrome, cirrhosis, and hepatitis C. The patient may have liver atrophy, cirrhosis, heaviness in the abdomen or jaundice. He or she could be restless, excitable and nervous. Extreme weakness and reaction to changes in light, sound, touch and odors are some other symptoms. The pain could be relieved by rubbing.
- Other medicines like Lycopodium, Belladonna, Nux Vomica, and Aconite are also useful. However, as with all homeopathy medicines, self-medication is not advisable.