Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can bring on both acute and chronic hepatitis, fluctuating in intensity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, constant 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.
Worldwide, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
A great number of those who are chronically infected will develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 399 000 people die each year from hepatitis C, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Antiviral drugs can cure greater than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, thus reducing the chance of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but access to diagnosis and treatment is low.
There is presently no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this area is recurring.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both acute and chronic infection. Acute HCV infection is commonly asymptomatic, and is only very hardly (if ever) linked with life-threatening disease. About 15-- 45% of infected persons spontaneously clear the virus within 6 months of infection with no treatment.
The remaining 60-- 80% of persons will cultivate 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. This hard-working, supersized organ is susceptible to an often hard-to-diagnose and dangerous ailment called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD.
Liver disease - Fatty Liver.
NAFLD is defined as the appearance of fat in more than 5% of liver cells. It is the most frequent liver disease and affects up to 25% of American adults, 60% of whom are men.
The disease raises your risk of heart disease and left untreated, NAFLD also can result in an inflamed liver, a condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
In fact, as many as 40% of people with NAFLD develop NASH. NASH can result in scarring of the liver; severe scarring, called cirrhosis, increases your risk of liver cancer.
A growing problem.
Taking too much alcohol can cause fat buildup in the liver, NAFLD affects people who consume little or no alcohol.
Instead, the main offender is excess weight-- which causes extra fat to get stored in the liver-- and is linked 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 frequent here diet of more highly processed foods and high 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. She adds that some people with fatty livers have none of these risk factors, which suggests that genes can play an important role.
Eating healthy and balanced
Creating healthy eating habits isn't as challenging or as limiting as many individuals imagine. The important steps are to eat mostly foods derived from plants-- vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes (beans, peas, lentils)-- and limit highly processed foods. Start on your healthy diet by following the links in this article.