Hepatitis C is a virus that can attack and damage liver . It is one of the most serious hepatitis viruses. Hepatitis C can lead to several complications, including liver transplantation. In some cases, it can even cause death.
However, new treatments for hepatitis C make the virus much less resistant today than it was in the past. In most cases, hepatitis C is curable, so it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible if you have this virus.
Does everyone need treatment?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that up to 1 in 4 people with hepatitis C virus will eventually cure this condition without treatment. For these people, hepatitis C will be a short-term acute condition that will go away without treatment.
For most people, acute hepatitis C will become a chronic condition that requires treatment. Since the virus often does not cause symptoms until liver damage occurs, it is important to get tested if you think you may be positive.
Are there any drugs to treat hepatitis C?
In the past, chronic hepatitis C has been treated with a combination of ribavirin and interferon. Instead of attacking the virus directly, these drugs boost the activity of your immune system. In this way, the immune system would kill the virus.
The goal of this treatment was to rid the body of the virus. These drugs had a variable cure rate and could have significant side effects.
However, since 2011. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved many antiviral drugs that fight hepatitis C more directly. These drugs have much better success rates than older treatments. Some of the most recommended treatments for different hepatitis C genotypes include:
- ledipasvir-sofosbuvir (Harvoni)
- elbasvir-grazoprevir (Zepatier)
- ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir (Technique)
- ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir and dasabuvir (Viekira Pak)
- daklatasvir-sofosbuvir (Darvoni or Sovodak)
- glecaprevir-pibrentasvir (Maviret)
All of these drug combinations are protease inhibitors. This means that they prevent the virus from getting the proteins it needs to reproduce. Over time, usually 8 to 24 weeks, the virus disappears and is removed from your system.
For all protease-preventing drugs, the goal of hepatitis C treatment is to achieve a sustained virological response (SVR). SVR means that the amount of hepatitis virus in your system is so small that it cannot be detected 12 weeks after the end of treatment.
If you achieve SVR after treatment, you can say that hepatitis C has been cured.
Can a transplant cure hepatitis C?
If you develop chronic hepatitis C and it causes liver cancer or liver failure, you may need a liver transplant. Hepatitis C is one of the most common reasons for liver transplantation.
Liver transplantation removes the damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy one. However, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases indicates that it is possible for hepatitis C to return, even after transplantation. The virus lives in your bloodstream, not in your liver. Removing the liver will not cure the disease.
If you have active hepatitis C, the damage to your new liver will most likely continue, but that would only happen if hepatitis C is not treated. However, if you achieved SVR before the transplant, you are not likely to develop another case of hepatitis C.
Are there alternative medicines?
Some people believe that certain forms of alternative medicine help treat hepatitis C. M
Milk thistle and silymarin are herbs that are usually recommended for the treatment of liver disease. In addition, artmisinin is mentioned as an antiviral agent that has been shown to be excellent in combination with hepatitis drugs. Artemisinin is an anti-malarial drug that has very pronounced anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties
Is there a way to avoid hepatitis C?
There is currently no vaccine that protects people from hepatitis C. However, there are vaccines for other hepatitis viruses, including hepatitis A and hepatitis B. According to the CDC, researchers are also working on developing a vaccine against hepatitis C.
If you have been diagnosed with hepatitis C, your doctor may advise you to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B. This is because these viruses can also cause liver damage and complications during the treatment of hepatitis C.
Since hepatitis C cannot be avoided with the vaccine, the best prevention is to avoid exposure. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne pathogen, so you can limit your chances of exposure by practicing a healthy lifestyle.
Avoid sharing needles. Use the appropriate protocol if you will be exposed to body fluids, for example in first aid. Hepatitis C is not usually transmitted through sexual contact, but it is possible. Limit your exposure to condom use unless you and your partner are monogamous.
Because hepatitis C is transmitted through the blood, it can be obtained by transfusion. However, blood infusion testing has been available since 1992. It is recommended that you consult your doctor about testing for hepatitis C if you are a baby boomer (born between 1945 and 1965) or have received a transplant or blood transfusion before 1992. years.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?
All cases of hepatitis C begin as acute. They appear a few weeks after the exposure. For many people, this stage of the virus has no symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, they may begin weeks or months after exposure to the virus. Possible symptoms include:
- dark urine
- clay-colored chairs
- joint pain
- yellow skin
Most cases of acute hepatitis C will turn into a chronic condition. Chronic hepatitis C usually has no symptoms until it causes a large amount of scars on the liver (cirrhosis) and other liver damage. For many years, the virus attacks the liver and causes damage. This can lead to liver failure or even death.
Because hepatitis C does not always cause symptoms, the only way to make sure you have the virus is to get tested.
A simple screening test can tell your doctor if you have antibodies to hepatitis C in your blood. The presence of antibodies indicates that you have been exposed to hepatitis C. Another test for virus levels will tell your doctor if you have the disease.
What is the forecast?
It is definitely possible to have a positive response to the treatment of hepatitis C. A large number of people who are treated with protease inhibitors will achieve SVR and be cured.
According to a 2015 study. years, people who achieve SVR have a relapse rate of 1% to 2% and a very low chance of death caused by liver failure.
How to treat hepatitis with home remedies?
One of the best natural remedies for treating hepatitis is soy lecithin granules, which, thanks to the content of a substance called choline, help reduce inflammation of the liver. It is also a fairly simple home remedy to use, you should take only a few tablespoons of lecithin granules a day to improve liver function.
Milk thistle is an excellent plant for the natural treatment of hepatitis and many other liver diseases. It improves the regeneration of liver cells and protects the liver from further damage. You can buy its leaves in natural product stores, make an infusion with them and drink three cups a day.
It is also possible to buy burdock milk in tablets and drops, to consume it by following the instructions on the package.
Plant artichokes is also popularly known for its properties to reduce liver inflammation and improve its condition. Several of its substances and acids protect the liver from further degeneration, and at the same time stimulate bile function.
To take it, mix two tablespoons of dried artichoke leaves in one liter of water and take a cup of this liquid before each meal. It is recommended to drink three cups a day.
Dandelion is a very popular medicinal plant. Dandelion is a powerful liver cleanser that helps remove toxins, also helps reduce inflammation and heal the liver. It is recommended to be taken as an infusion, taking three cups a day.
Natural treatments to treat hepatitis
Although these natural treatments can help you improve the condition of your liver, it is very important to understand that hepatitis is a very serious disease, so it is desirable that the progress is monitored by a doctor, respecting all indications of this disease.
You should also consider other recommendations if you want to reduce liver inflammation and guarantee the health of this organ:
You should drink plenty of water to encourage the elimination of toxins
Consumption of alcohol, soft drinks, caffeinated beverages or energy drinks is not recommended
It is also not recommended to take medication unless prescribed by a doctor.
Fried foods, grilled foods, processed sugars, high-fat foods, sausages, dairy products and their derivatives and eggs should be avoided
You should eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, fatty fish and cereals.
Before any major change in diet, you should consult a doctor or nutritionist.