Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can lead to both chronic and acute hepatitis, fluctuating in seriousness from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, permanent 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.
All over the world, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
A substantial number of those who are chronically affected will develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 399 000 people die yearly 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 at present no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this area is ongoing.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both chronic and acute infection. Acute HCV infection is generally asymptomatic, and is only very hardly ever (if ever) linked to life-threatening disease. About 15-- 45% of infected persons spontaneously clear the virus within 6 months of infection without any treatment.
The remaining 60-- 80% of persons will get 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 largest 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. This hard-working, supersized organ is susceptible to a dangerous and often hard-to-diagnose affliction 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 frequent 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 lead to 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 offender is excess weight-- which causes extra fat to get stored in the liver-- read more and is linked with dyslipidemia (abnormally high LDL cholesterol levels, low HDL levels, or both), high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Fatty Liver & Obesity
As the click here number of overweight people has increased, get more info so too has the prevalence of NAFLD. "Much of this can be attributed to a habitual diet of more highly processed foods and significant amounts of carbohydrates, as well as more sedentary lifestyles," says Dr. Kathleen Corey, director of the Fatty Liver Disease Clinic at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. But still, she adds that some individuals with fatty livers have none of these risk aspects, which reveals that genes can play an important role.
Cultivating healthy eating habits isn't as complex or as restrictive as some people imagine. The vital steps are to eat mostly foods derived from plants-- vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes (beans, peas, lentils)-- and limit highly processed foods. Kickoff on your healthy diet by following the links in this article.