Hepatitis C is a liver disease triggered by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can inflict both acute and chronic hepatitis, running in intensity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, constant 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.
Internationally, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
A major number of those who are chronically affected will acquire cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 399 000 people die every year from hepatitis C, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Antiviral remedies can cure more than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, in doing so reducing the danger of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but access to diagnosis and treatment is low.
There is at present 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) associated with 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 acquire 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 disorder 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 commonplace 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 result in an inflamed liver, a condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
As many as 40% of people with NAFLD develop NASH. NASH can result in scarring of the liver; severe scarring, called cirrhosis, increases your risk of liver cancer.
A growing problem.
Although drinking a lot of alcohol can cause fat buildup in the liver, NAFLD affects people who consume little or no alcohol.
Instead, the main perpetrator is surplus weight-- which causes extra fat to get stored in the liver-- and is related to 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 customary diet of more processed foods and high amounts of carbohydrates, in conjunction with more sedentary lifestyles," says Dr. Kathleen Corey, director of the Fatty Liver Disease Clinic at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. But, she adds that some individuals with fatty livers have none of these risk aspects, which implies that genes can play a critical role.
Establishing healthy eating habits isn't as difficult or as restrictive as many people imagine. The necessary steps are to eat mostly foods derived from plants-- vegetables, get more info fruits, whole grains and legumes (beans, peas, lentils)-- and limit highly processed foods. Begin on your healthy diet by following the links in this article.