Acute hepatitis C causes minor (if any) symptoms and no lasting harm, but the chronic form can result in severe liver damage. The primary care specialists at Stanton Family Clinic in Stanton, Kentucky, can diagnose hepatitis C and give you the treatment you need to recover. They also offer expert everyday care for people with liver problems caused by hepatitis C. To arrange a hepatitis C test or learn more about prevention and treatment, call Stanton Family Clinic today. You can also book an appointment via the online form.
Hepatitis C is a virus that can cause liver damage. The infection has two stages:
You might contract acute hepatitis C within six months of exposure to the virus. In around 50% of cases, people with acute infection develop chronic hepatitis C.
Chronic hepatitis C can cause potentially life-threatening liver damage, including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer.
Unlike hepatitis A and B, there’s no vaccine against hepatitis C.
You might become infected with hepatitis C after exposure to blood from someone with the virus. Most often, this occurs when people share needles and other drug-taking paraphernalia. You could also become infected after a needlestick injury in a hospital or clinic.
Pregnant women with hepatitis C sometimes pass it on to their babies, and you can catch it through unprotected sex. Less frequent routes to hepatitis C infection include getting a tattoo or piercing from an unlicensed provider and sharing toothbrushes or razors that might have infected blood on them.
Having hepatitis C once doesn’t immunize you against infection, so you could get the disease again.
Acute hepatitis C often causes few or no symptoms, but when it does, they could include:
Chronic hepatitis C rarely causes symptoms either. You might be tired or feel low, but these vague symptoms don’t warn you there’s anything seriously wrong. It can take many years (sometimes two decades) to develop signs of liver problems caused by chronic hepatitis C.
Before then, you may have no idea you’re infected with hepatitis C unless the Stanton Family Clinic team detects it during a routine blood test.
Treatment for acute hepatitis C primarily involves sensible self-care — rest, staying hydrated, and treating your symptoms. If you find out you have acute hepatitis C, the Stanton Family Clinic team monitors you to see if the chronic form of hepatitis C develops.
If it does, your provider can prescribe medications that cure more than 90% of patients. You simply take oral medication for 8-12 weeks as directed. If your liver sustains any damage from chronic hepatitis C infection, your provider coordinates with your hepatologist (liver specialist) to provide ongoing care.
Call Stanton Family Clinic today if you’re worried about hepatitis C infection or if you have symptoms of a liver disorder. You can also request an appointment online.