Causes of Hepatitis C
Tools & Services
Use eMedTV's tools and services to receive up-to-date health information, tips, answers, and more.
Savings Card
Our free DiscountRx savings card can help you and your family save money on your prescriptions. This card is accepted at all major chain pharmacies, nationwide. Get Your Card Now.
HealthSavvy
Stay up-to-date on the health topics that interest you. Sign up now for our free HealthSavvy service.
DiscountRX
Looking to save on your prescriptions? eMedTV may be able to help. Sign up for our medication discount program.
Baby Builder
Browse our database of over 75,000 names to create baby names you can share with your family and friends.
BMI Calculator
Enter your height and weight to get your BMI and what it means for you and your health.
Related eMedTV Health Channels
Quicklinks

Welcome to the Hepatitis C Channel

Welcome to the Hepatitis C Health Channel by eMedTV. Hepatitis C is a disease that causes inflammation of the liver. Approximately 300 million people worldwide are infected with the hepatitis C virus and 3.9 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C. Based on current hepatitis C statistics, it's estimated that 8,000 to 10,000 people die each year from chronic liver disease caused by hepatitis C.
 

What Causes Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The virus is able to enter liver cells from the blood and then use those cells to make more copies of itself. During this process, liver cells are damaged -- leading to inflammation and possibly scarring of the liver.
 
How Is Hepatitis C Spread?
Hepatitis C is spread most frequently when a person comes in contact with infected blood. This can happen by working in a dialysis unit or sharing needles for tattoos, body piercings, or drugs. Toothbrushes, razors, or manicure tools can also harbor small amounts of infected blood. While hepatitis C transmission can occur through sexual intercourse, this is rare.
 
It is not currently believed that oral sex can spread hepatitis C. Also, you cannot get hepatitis C from a kiss, or from other everyday activities like shaking hands or hugging.
 
Possible Symptoms of Hepatitis C
Approximately 80% of people with hepatitis C have no symptoms -- even after many years. Most patients do not develop symptoms until there is already cirrhosis, or even liver failure.
 
If a person does have hepatitis C symptoms, he or she may:
 
  • Feel tired
  • Feel nauseated
  • Not feel like eating
  • Have a fever
  • Have stomach pain
  • Experience a dull pain or feeling of heaviness on the right side
  • Have yellow skin (jaundice) or dark urine.
     
Diagnosing Hepatitis C
To make a diagnosis of hepatitis C, the doctor will take a medical history and perform a physical exam. When a liver problem such as hepatitis is suspected, additional tests are used to confirm the hepatitis C diagnosis. These tests can include a liver enzyme test, a Viral RNA (HCV RNA) test, and/or a liver biopsy.
 
Is There a Cure for Hepatitis C?
Currently, there is no guaranteed cure for hepatitis C. In some cases, a person's body will fight off the infection and no additional form of hepatitis C treatment is necessary. However, the majority of people with hepatitis C have a long-term (chronic) liver infection.
 
Medications can be used to help the body destroy the hepatitis C virus, but they do not always cure the disease entirely. The two main types of hepatitis C medication are peginterferon and ribavirin. Peginterferon is a man-made version of a natural protein that helps your immune system fight infections. This hepatitis C medication is given as a weekly injection. Ribavirin is a pill taken twice a day. While peginterferon and ribavirin are the medications of choice for treating hepatitis C, most people experience at least a few side effects from this combination therapy.
 
Learn More on eMedTV
Hepatitis C Articles A-Z
  • African Americans and Hepatitis C Treatment to Contracting Hepatitis C
  • Cure for Hepatitis C to Dry Skin or Rashes With Hepatitis C Combination Therapy
  • Fatigue With Hepatitis C Combination Therapy to HCV Combination Therapy: Who Should Not Use It?
  • Hep C Virus to Hepatitis C Drugs
  • Hepatitis C From a Kiss to Hepatitis C Pictures
  • Hepatitis C Prevention to Hepatitis C Testing
  • Hepatitis C Transmission to Hepatitis C Virus
  • Is Hepatitis C Contagious? to Oral Sex and Hepatitis C
  • Physical Symptoms of Hepatitis C to The Pegasys Injection Kit
  • Thinning Hair With Combination Therapy for Hepatitis C to Weight Loss With Combination Therapy for Hepatitis C
Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2014 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.