Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can induce both acute and chronic hepatitis, running in seriousness from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness.
What is Hepatitis C
The hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus and the most common modes of infection are through exposure to small quantities of blood. This may happen through injection drug use, unsafe injection practices, unsafe health care, and the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.
Globally, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
A great number of those who are chronically infected will develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 399 000 people die annually from hepatitis C, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Antiviral medicines can cure greater than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, consequently reducing the chance of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but availability to diagnosis and treatment is low.
There is presently no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this area is ongoing.
Acute vs Chronic Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both chronic and acute infection. Acute HCV infection is in most cases asymptomatic, and is only very almost never (if ever) linked with life-threatening disease. About 15-- 45% of infected persons spontaneously clear the virus within 6 months of infection with no treatment.
The remaining 60-- 80% of persons will cultivate chronic HCV infection. Of those with chronic HCV infection, the risk of cirrhosis of the liver is between 15-- 30% within 20 years.
Your liver is your most significant internal organ and your body's workhorse. Among its many jobs are converting food into fuel, processing fat from your blood, clearing harmful toxins, and making proteins that help your blood clot. Yet this painstaking, supersized organ is vulnerable to an often hard-to-diagnose and dangerous condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD.
Liver disease - Fatty Liver
NAFLD is defined as the existence of fat in more than 5% of liver cells. It is the most prevalent liver disease and affects up to 25% of American adults, 60% of whom are men.
The disease raises your risk of heart disease and left untreated, NAFLD also can bring about an inflamed liver, a condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
As many as 40% of people with NAFLD develop NASH. NASH can bring about scarring on sale of the liver; severe scarring, called cirrhosis, increases your risk of liver cancer.
A growing problem.
Drinking too much alcohol can cause fat buildup in the liver, NAFLD affects people who consume little or no alcohol.
Instead, the main primary cause is excess weight-- which causes extra fat to get stored in the liver-- and is linked with dyslipidemia (abnormally high LDL cholesterol levels, low HDL levels, or both), high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Fatty Liver & Obesity
As the number of overweight people has increased, so too has the prevalence of NAFLD. "Much of this can be attributed to a customary diet of more processed foods and higher amounts of carbohydrates, in conjunction with more sedentary lifestyles," says Dr. Kathleen Corey, director of the Fatty Liver Disease Clinic at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. But, she adds that some individuals with fatty livers have none of these risk variables, which implies that genes can play an essential role.
Eating healthy and balanced
Cultivating healthy eating habits isn't as confusing or as restrictive as some people imagine. The fundamental steps are to eat mostly foods derived from plants-- vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes (beans, peas, lentils)-- on sale and limit highly processed foods. Start on your healthy diet by following the links in this article.