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Symptoms of hepatitis C, ways of infection and diagnosis

  • Symptoms of hepatitis C, ways of infection and diagnosis

    Viral hepatitis C - infectious liver damage, in which its functions are violated. The disease can be acute and chronic. When a hepatitis C virus is infected in 80% of cases, a person can not cope with it alone and the acute form passes into a chronic C. In 20% of all cases of hepatitis C infection, cure occurs on its own.

    Pathways of infection with virus disease

    At present, scientists have identified several genotypes of the causative agent of viral hepatitis C - these are genotypes 1( 1a, 1b), 2( 2a, 2b), 3a. On the type of pathogen depends the duration of the virus in the human body, as well as the effectiveness of treatment.

    Infection occurs in the following ways:

    • Damage to the integrity of the skin and mucous membranes( tattoos, piercing, manicure, pedicure, acupuncture).
    • Sexual pathway of infection, with violation of the integrity of the mucous membranes.
    • Use repeatedly disposable instruments, syringes and needles.
    • Use of poorly processed tools when visiting a dentist or gynecologist( examination or manipulation).
    • Infection of a child during childbirth from a sick mother.
    • Use of injecting drug addicts.

    The pathway of infection with viral hepatitis C is mainly hematogenous.

    Symptoms and signs of the disease

    For timely diagnosis and successful treatment it is necessary to know how hepatitis C is manifested. Moreover, the symptoms of this form have their own peculiarities.

    The incubation period( time from the moment of infection to the appearance of the first signs of the disease) in viral hepatitis C is from 20 to 140 days. The peculiarity of this disease that you never know, through how much it manifests itself. It is noted that, despite the long incubation period, the manifestation of hepatitis C often appears after 50-60 days.

    Another peculiarity is that with the disease with hepatitis C, the symptoms are not pronounced, and this feature also distinguishes the clinical course of this form of the disease. According to statistics, the majority of those infected with viral hepatitis C do not feel themselves sick people and do not complain.

    The signs of the disease in adults differ little from the signs of the disease in children, with the only difference that children can not complain at all. And only observant parents can note the change in the behavior of the baby, the state of appetite and the presence of other, barely noticeable symptoms.

    Despite the scarcity of the clinical picture of viral hepatitis C, in some cases its acute form has the following symptoms:

    • Sudden weakness and general malaise.
    • Blunt or aching pain, sometimes appearing in the right hypochondrium.
    • Decreased appetite, in rare cases, nausea and vomiting occur.
    • Pain in the joints and muscles.
    • Stool disorder, which manifests itself periodically with diarrhea.
    • Changes in color of feces and urine. Jaundice coloration of the skin and sclera.

    All listed symptoms appear in this order( listed below).This means that light feces with hepatitis, dark, red-brown urine and jaundice of the skin appear later than all the symptoms.

    The language of hepatitis C can also turn yellow, but last. Slow development of the infection and insufficient expression of the symptoms create conditions for the transition of the acute form into a chronic form.

    Based on the clinical picture of acute viral hepatitis C, distinguish the inactive and active form of the disease. In the inactive form, even the acute form is asymptomatic. With the active, the above symptoms are observed.

    With an active form, there may be extrahepatic manifestations of hepatitis C, which are somehow associated with hepatitis. These are disorders or diseases in other organs and body systems that accompany the course of hepatitis C.

    The most frequent extrahepatic manifestations of hepatitis C occur on the skin in the form of hemorrhagic petechiae or asterisks and in the form of joint pain. Symptoms of the defeat of the immune, nervous, urinary systems are less common.

    Among all diseases, Bekhset's disease is isolated, which causes ulcerative lesions of the oral cavity, eyes, and genital organs. Premature graying, cerebral vasculitis or cryoglobulinemia may develop, in which cryoglobulins accumulate in the blood. These specific proteins impede blood flow in the arteries and veins, causing many problems.

    The defeat of the endocrine system is expressed in the appearance of type 2 diabetes mellitus in patients with viral hepatitis C.There may be an extrahepatic manifestation such as fibromyalgia, which is characterized by muscle pain, chronic fatigue and sleep disturbance.

    The disease can cause the appearance of flat lichen, which is characterized by itching, flaking and hair loss. From the kidneys, membranous nephropathy can occur, manifested by high blood pressure and swelling.

    Diagnostic measures

    It is very important to exclude infection with the hepatitis C virus when there are unclear and unclear symptoms on the part of the body. For this it is necessary to undergo a survey.

    Diagnosis of hepatitis C is based on the data of markers, biochemical blood tests, US data. Blood for hepatitis is given on an empty stomach, in specially equipped laboratories.

    Among the serological methods, the PCR method is used, in which viral RNA and specific IgM are determined. Moreover, all this can be detected both at the time of acute disease and in case of a hepatitis C.

    , which is not diagnosed. According to the level of hepatic enzymes ALT and AST in the blood, one can judge the activity of the disease at the time of the study. Recently, liver elastometry has been used, which makes it possible to determine the degree of fibrosis( replacement by connective tissue) of the liver without biopsy of liver tissue.



    Liver biopsy in hepatitis C is one of the most reliable tests for hepatitis C virus infection in the liver. It is possible to determine the liver status, the stage of the disease, exclude other liver diseases, and choose methods of treatment. The most important thing is that a liver biopsy can determine the prognosis of the disease.

    The procedure for taking the material for analysis is not that complicated, and it is done under local anesthesia in the doctor's office. Before the procedure, it is not recommended to take medicines, including drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding.

    Liver biopsy in hepatitis C is done by a percutaneous method with three kinds of needles - cutting, aspiration and spring. The biopsy specimen is taken as a length of 1 -3 cm and a diameter of 1-2 mm. During the procedure, some patients experience minor pain, but in general the procedure is painless.

    In the modern world, it is sometimes difficult to choose the time to undergo a complete examination. To quickly determine the virus C in the blood, there is a rapid test for hepatitis C.

    Express test is a simple and convenient procedure for rapid detection of the presence of virus C in the blood of a person. It is produced in laboratory and home conditions. After the puncture of the finger, the scarifier takes the blood for analysis, and the result of the test is immediately visible on the indicator. Two bars indicate the presence of the virus, one strip - about its absence.

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