Hepatitis C is a liver disease triggered by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can inflict both chronic and acute hepatitis, fluctuating in seriousness from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, life long illness.
What is Hepatitis C
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.
Across the world, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
A major number of those who are chronically infected will develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 399 000 people die yearly from hepatitis C, typically from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Antiviral drugs can cure more than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, consequently reducing the possibility of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but availability to diagnosis and treatment is low.
There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this area is ongoing.
Acute vs Chronic Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both acute and chronic infection. Acute HCV infection is commonly asymptomatic, and is only very seldom (if ever) connected with life-threatening disease. About 15-- 45% of infected persons spontaneously clear the virus within 6 months of infection without any treatment.
The remaining 60-- 80% of persons will acquire chronic HCV infection. Of those with chronic HCV infection, the risk of cirrhosis of the liver is on sale between 15-- 30% within 20 check here years.
Your liver is your primary internal organ and your body's workhorse. Among its many jobs are converting food into fuel, processing fat from your blood, check here clearing harmful toxins, and making proteins that help your blood clot. This hard-working, supersized organ is susceptible to a dangerous and often hard-to-diagnose affliction 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 commonplace 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 bring on an inflamed liver, a condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
As many as 40% of people with NAFLD develop NASH. NASH can bring on scarring of the liver; severe scarring, called cirrhosis, increases your risk of liver cancer.
A growing problem.
Although drinking an excessive amount alcohol can cause fat buildup in the liver, NAFLD affects people who consume little or no alcohol.
Instead, the main cause is surplus weight-- which causes extra fat to get stored in the liver-- and is linked to 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 regular diet of more highly processed foods and high amounts of carbohydrates, coupled with 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.
Establishing healthy eating habits isn't as challenging or as limiting as many people imagine. The vital steps are to eat mostly foods derived from plants-- vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes (beans, peas, lentils)-- and limit highly processed foods. Start-off on your healthy diet by following the links in this article.
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