Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can lead to both chronic and acute hepatitis, going in severity 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.
Globally, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
A significant number of those who are chronically affected will get cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 399 000 people die every year from hepatitis C, mainly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Antiviral remedies can cure more than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, thereby reducing the possibility of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but easy access to diagnosis and treatment is low.
There is at present no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this field is continuing.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both acute and chronic infection. Acute HCV infection is often asymptomatic, and is only very seldom (if ever) related to life-threatening disease. About 15-- 45% of infected persons automatically clear the virus within 6 months of infection without any 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 major 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. Yet this tireless, supersized organ is at risk to an often hard-to-diagnose and dangerous condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD.
Liver disease - Fatty Liver.
NAFLD is defined as the presence of fat in more than 5% of liver cells. It is the most prevalent 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 about an inflamed liver, a condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
As many as 40% of people with NAFLD develop NASH. NASH can lead to scarring of the liver; severe scarring, called cirrhosis, increases your risk of liver cancer.
A growing problem.
Although drinking a lot of alcohol can cause fat buildup in the liver, NAFLD affects people who get more info consume little or no alcohol.
Instead, the main primary cause is excess 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 frequent diet of more highly processed foods and high amounts of carbohydrates, in conjunction 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.
Creating healthy eating habits isn't as complicated or as restrictive as some people imagine. The vital steps are to eat mostly foods derived from plants-- vegetables, website 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.