Hepatitis C is a liver disease triggered by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can cause both chronic and acute hepatitis, fluctuating 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.
Across the world, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
A major number of those who are chronically infected will acquire cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 399 000 people die each year from hepatitis C, normally from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Antiviral drugs can cure in excess of 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, thus reducing the risk of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but easy access to diagnosis and treatment is low.
There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this field is ongoing.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both acute and chronic infection. Acute HCV infection is generally asymptomatic, and is only very rarely (if ever) linked with 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 get 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. Yet this tireless, liver pain supersized organ is at risk to a dangerous and often hard-to-diagnose 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 increases your risk of heart disease and left untreated, NAFLD also can result in 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 escalation 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 associated 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 customary diet of more processed foods and high amounts of carbohydrates, together with more sedentary lifestyles," says Dr. Kathleen Corey, director of the Fatty Liver Disease Clinic at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. But, she adds that some individuals with fatty livers have none of these risk aspects, which shows that genes can play an essential role.
Eating healthy and balanced
Cultivating healthy eating habits isn't as complex here or as restrictive as many people 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 more info diet by following the links in this article.