As a gastroenterologist, I deal a lot with the digestive system. Included in my field of study are such viruses that affect the liver such as Hepatitis. In my book – Winning the Hepatitis C Battle – I discuss a wide variety of details associated with Hepatitis C, like the risk factors. Below you get a preview of what is included in the beginning of Chapter 3: What It Is – Hepatitis C.
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. There are numerous conditions that can cause the liver to become inflamed, including viruses that are referred to as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.
The hepatitis viruses are transmitted in a variety of ways:
- A & E – transmitted through food and water
- B, C, & D – blood-to-blood transmissions
Luckily, there are vaccinations for hepatitis A and B; but sadly not for the remaining hepatitis viruses.
Like the changing colors of a chameleon, hepatitis C is constantly shifting its genetic makeup, or mutating. The virus changes its genetic makeup rapidly. It is a challenge for researchers to find a vaccine, and makes hepatitis C difficult to treat.
Who is at risk?
If you have any of the following risk factors, you should be tested for hepatitis C:
- Had a blood transfusion or blood product transfusion before 1991
- Have a history of IV drug abuse or intranasal cocaine use
- Are a long-term dialysis patient
- Have a tattoo, had acupuncture, or any history of body piercing
- Are a health care worker, firefighter, or emergency rescue worker
- Have a history of military service, especially if you received injuries during the Vietnam Conflict
- Have a history of multiple sex partners
It is not uncommon for the liver enzymes of hepatitis C patients to fluctuate. That means your liver tests may apear normal enough though you have the disease. If suspicion is high that you are at risk for hepatitis C, liver function tests may be repeated at a later date.
For more on Hepatitis C, please download a free copy of my book here:
Be sure to share with your friends and family!
Go with your gut,
Dr. S. Challa