A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that Hepatitis C kills more people than any other infectious disease. That’s scary! Even scarier is that many people don’t have symptoms until they reach the acute phase. Here are some facts on Hepatitis C.
A viral infection causes Hepatitis C, which is in inflammation in your liver. This contagious virus spreads through body fluids. You can contract Hepatitis C by coming in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids that contain blood.
Symptoms are often silent at the onset, so more than half of the infected population has no idea that they have Hepatitis C. Many of the symptoms also mimic other liver disease symptoms, making it even more difficult for infected people to pinpoint. Doctors ask about lifestyle, symptoms and conduct lab tests to diagnose this disease. Symptoms include:
- Muscle aches and pain
- Tenderness in the abdomen
- Clay colored bowel movements
- Dark urine
Today, there are safe and effective treatments for people with Hepatitis C. The majority can be cured with a daily pill for 3 months. But, two barriers prevent treatment. First, the medication is extremely expensive. Secondly, people can’t seek treatment when they don’t know they are infected. Thus, reaching chronic liver disease is why Hepatitis C is killing more people than any other infectious disease.
Ascites (gaining fluid in the abdomen) is common in advanced liver diseases. The extra inches around the waist create a problem with clothing. Sufferers may choose to have paracentesis (removal of fluid) multiple times, which creates an increase/decrease waist measurement. Many people with liver disease turn to Patient Scrubs® because waist of the garment can accommodate different girth sizes.
Today’s advice from the Patient Scrubs® lady—do something nice for someone you know who is sick or disabled. Pay it forward!