Hepatitis C has been thrown into the lime light. This is due to the fact that several well known celebrities have been diagnosed with it and have went public talking about it.
It’s not a particularly nice health problem to talk about, as its harmful effects can be very severe, but it’s nonetheless important for people to discuss it. That’s because there are millions of people who suffer from Hepatitis C, and these people will want to know exactly what the Hep C stages are.
What is Hepatitis C?
Let’s set the record straight, as some are confused: Hepatitis C is NOT a sexually transmitted disease. In fact, most medical researchers are unsure that you can even get Hep C through sexual contact.
Hepatitis C is, however, a virus which is transferred from person to person in a variety of ways. It is a virus that attacks the liver and causes other health issues. People with Hep C don’t know they have it until there has been significant damage done to the liver.
Where Does it Come From?
Hepatitis C is not a genetic disease in that it is typically not passed on from mother to baby, although this does happen on rare occasions. Usually, the virus is passed on through person to person blood contact. It’s passed on through the use of unsterilized needles.
If you were to have a tattoo done and the needle had been used on someone with hep C and was not properly cleaned, there’s a good chance the virus may be passed on to you through the use of the needle. Also, if you by some chance receive a blood transfusion and the blood has the hepatitis C virus, you may get it, too.
It’s entirely possible that if you have intercourse with someone who has hepatitis C, and you get some of their blood on you, you can get hepatitis C. However, it is usually very rare that the virus is passed on in this way.
What are the Hep C Stages?
Unlike some of the other viruses and diseases out there, there really aren’t any concrete hep C stages that people with the virus go through. However, they are known to experience a lot of these symptoms before or slightly after being diagnosed:
Exhaustion and tiring easily.
Joint pain that is not caused my arthritis.
Stomach pain that doesn’t seem to go away.
Sore muscles and tendons.
Darker colored urine.
Jaundice (yellowish eyes and skin). This is commonly the latest stage of hepatitis C as it appears only after the other symptoms have gone away.
How is it Diagnosed?
Hepatitis C is usually diagnosed through blood tests.
Is there Treatment?
While hep C isn’t curable, it is treatable. Most doctors prescribe antiviral medications as a way of keeping the virus in check. These medications have varying degrees of effectiveness, depending on the person and severity of hep C. Some doctors go with treating the virus in a more natural way by telling their patients to exercise more and eat healthier. This can lessen the amount of symptoms a person has.