Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can bring on both chronic and acute hepatitis, varying in seriousness from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifetime illness.
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 critical number of those who are chronically affected will get cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 399 000 people die yearly from hepatitis C, primarily from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Antiviral treatments can cure in excess of 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, in doing so reducing the possibility of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but accessibility to diagnosis and treatment is low.
There is at present no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this field is continuing.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both chronic and acute infection. Acute HCV infection is in most cases asymptomatic, and is only very hardly (if ever) linked to 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 develop 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 here 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 tireless, supersized organ is prone to a dangerous and often hard-to-diagnose condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD.
Liver disease - Fatty Liver.
NAFLD is defined as the appearance 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 increases your risk of heart disease and left untreated, NAFLD also can cause an inflamed liver, a condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
As read more many as 40% of people with NAFLD develop NASH. NASH can result in scarring 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 cause is excessive weight-- which causes extra fat to get stored in the liver-- and is connected 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 significant amounts of carbohydrates, coupled with more sedentary lifestyles," says Dr. Kathleen Corey, director of the Fatty Liver Disease Clinic at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. She adds that some people with fatty livers have none of these risk factors, which suggests that genes can play an important role.
Developing healthy eating habits isn't as perplexing or as restrictive as many people imagine. The important steps are to eat mostly foods derived from plants-- vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes (beans, peas, lentils)-- and limit highly processed foods. Kickoff on your healthy diet by following the links in this article.