Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can bring on both acute and chronic hepatitis, varying in seriousness from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, permanent 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 considerable number of those who are chronically infected will acquire cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 399 000 people die each year from hepatitis C, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Antiviral medicines can cure more than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, thereby reducing the chance of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but accessibility to diagnosis and treatment is low.
There is presently no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this area is ongoing.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both chronic and acute infection. Acute HCV infection is usually asymptomatic, and is only very almost never (if ever) linked to life-threatening disease. About 15-- 45% of infected persons automatically clear the virus within 6 months of infection with no treatment.
The remaining 60-- 80% of persons will get 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 largest 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 hard-working, supersized organ is at risk 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 presence of fat in more than 5% of liver cells. It is the most common liver disease and affects up to 25% of American adults, 60% of whom are men.
The disease get more info increases your risk of heart disease and left untreated, NAFLD also can bring on an inflamed liver, a condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
As many as 40% of people with NAFLD develop NASH. NASH can trigger scarring of the liver; severe scarring, called cirrhosis, increases your risk of liver cancer.
A growing problem.
Although drinking way too much alcohol can cause fat accumulation in the liver, NAFLD affects people who consume little or no alcohol.
Instead, the main primary cause is excessive weight-- which causes extra fat to get stored in the liver-- and is associated 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 highly processed foods and substantial amounts of carbohydrates, as well as more sedentary lifestyles," says Dr. Kathleen Corey, director of the Fatty Liver Disease Clinic at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. Still, she adds that some people with fatty livers have none of these risk elements, which shows that genes can play a vital role.
Eating healthy and balanced
Acquiring healthy eating habits isn't as complex or as limiting as many people imagine. The fundamental steps are to eat mostly foods derived from plants-- vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes (beans, peas, lentils)-- and limit highly processed foods. Begin on your healthy diet by following the links in this article.