What do you know about Hepatitis C and its treatment? Being an informed patient is helpful to successful outcomes.
Hepatitis C is a disorder that causes liver inflammation and infection. Hepatitis C is related to the autoimmune disorder Sjogren’s syndrome which is a low platelet count disorder. It is imparted through subjection to infected blood, however it can also spread through unprotected sexual contact. Sometimes drinking too much alcohol causes charring of the river which also leads to the disease.
Roots of Hepatitis C
The virus that causes the infection is named as Hepatitis C (HCV). It gets its roots into a person’s body if they have come in contact with infected bodily fluids or secretions from another infected person or they have contacted with contaminated blood or they have used unsafe and unwashed needles to inject drugs into the body or used needles to make tattoos on the skin.
In certain cases, the immune system of the human body makes the liver look like a harmful object and begins to attack it. In such cases, the body makes antibodies against liver tissues where it causes inflammation of the liver tissues which can range from slight to severe often hampering liver functions. It happens thrice the times in women than it happens in men.
Traits of Hepatitis C
Around (70-80) % of people with acute Hepatitis C infection do not experience any form of symptoms. Hepatitis C symptoms usually occur within two to six weeks of being exposed to the virus. However, the disease sometimes presents it selves with fatigue, nausea, vomiting, joint pain, dark urine and poor appetite followed by jaundice.
Most of the cases are seen to recover from Hepatitis C within three-four months but some cases progress towards chronic hepatitis over a period of time. The chronic period can be asymptomatic and in most cases, it is detected when a person attempts to donate blood or during their regular health checkups. If the virus remains in the body for more than 6 months with no symptoms, then it is likely that the infection will continue for 15 years or longer.
Therapy for Hepatitis C can be very challenging even for the best physicians because unlike Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. It is treated with antiviral medications with no direct effect or purpose unlike other forms of medicine which directly attack the target area to cure the body. Medications for hepatitis are moreover targeted indirectly to flush the body of any toxins.
Doctors may suggest one medication type or a combination of two or three medication types to flush the virus from the body. These needs to be taken for the prescribed time period. The patient needs to do blood tests at a regular interval to keep the condition of the the virus at check.
Sometimes doctors focus on the usage of a patient’s mind and body to encourage treatment and establish a good mind-body connection using methods such as massage and yoga. Sometimes physicians also recommend relaxation techniques such as meditation and visualization which can improve a patient’s mind and improve the patient’s senses and overall health.
Herbal medications are mostly used for flushing out the toxins and HCV virus from the body. These are Ayurvedic medicines based on plants or plant parts like leaves, roots, and berries. These medicines are called complementary medicines and are often used over conventional medicines since they give better and long-lasting results as compared to conventional medicines.
But unlike conventional medicines which have gone through extensive research and testing regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), complimentary medications have undergone very little to any scientific study and testing although some brands do claim that their complementary medicines have undergone full extent testing under professionals.
Medicines used to treat Hepatitis C
Some of the medicines that are used to treat acute and chronic hepatitis are Ribavirin, Harvoni, Epclusa, and Viekira Pak.
Ribavirin: Ribavirin is an antiviral medicine which is used in the treatment of Hepatitis C. It is used in combination with other medicines as the physician sees fit to best help the patient get cured of Hepatitis C.
Epclusa: Sofosbuvir or Velpatasvir is sold under the branding Epclusa. It is a fixed dosage medicine combination which is used in the treatment of Hepatitis C.
Viekira Pak: This is also a fixed dosage medication that includes a Hepatitis C virus inhibitor (NS5A) and is used in the treatment of Hepatitis C.