Hepatitis C is a liver disease triggered by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can generate 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.
Worldwide, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
A significant number of those who are chronically affected will develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 399 000 people die annually from hepatitis C, normally from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Antiviral treatments can cure in excess of 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, thereby reducing the chance of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but accessibility to diagnosis and treatment is low.
There is presently no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this field is ongoing.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both chronic and acute infection. Acute HCV infection is often asymptomatic, and is only very rarely (if ever) related to life-threatening disease. About 15-- 45% of infected persons spontaneously clear the virus within 6 months of infection with no treatment.
The remaining 60-- 80% of persons will develop 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 liver function test this hard-working, supersized organ is prone 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 appearance of fat in more than 5% of liver cells. It is the most common liver disease and affects up to 25% of American adults, 60% of whom are men.
The disease raises your risk of heart disease and left untreated, NAFLD also can lead to an inflamed liver, a condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
As many as 40% of people with NAFLD develop NASH. NASH can cause scarring of the liver; severe scarring, called cirrhosis, increases your risk of liver cancer.
A growing problem.
Taking 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 liver fluke 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 regular diet of more highly processed foods and high amounts of carbohydrates, coupled with more sedentary lifestyles," says Dr. Kathleen Corey, 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 variables, which reveals that genes can play a critical role.
Acquiring healthy eating habits isn't as challenging or as restrictive as some people imagine. The crucial 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.