Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can induce both chronic and acute hepatitis, fluctuating in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong 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.
Internationally, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
A considerable number of those who are chronically affected will acquire cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 399 000 people die annually from hepatitis C, normally from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Antiviral drugs can cure greater than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, thus reducing the hazard of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but accessibility to diagnosis and treatment is low.
There is at the moment no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this area is ongoing.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both acute and chronic infection. Acute HCV infection is usually asymptomatic, and is only very rarely (if ever) associated with life-threatening disease. About 15-- 45% of infected persons automatically 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 primary 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 painstaking, supersized organ is prone 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 commonplace 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 bring about 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.
Consuming too much alcohol can cause fat buildup in the liver, NAFLD affects people who consume little or no alcohol.
Instead, the main perpetrator is excessive 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 refined foods and high amounts of carbohydrates, in conjunction with more sedentary lifestyles," says Dr. Kathleen Corey, more info director of the Fatty Liver Disease Clinic at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. However, she adds that some folks with fatty livers have none of these risk aspects, which shows that genes can play a vital role.
Cultivating healthy eating habits isn't as difficult or as restrictive as many individuals imagine. The essential 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.