6 Symptoms of Hepatitis C

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Hepatitis C is caused by a virus that is most often contracted through the use of drug paraphernalia such as needles. There is some risk of contracting hepatitis C through intimate contact, but the risk is believed to be quite low. Sexual contact with multiple infected persons can raise the risk significantly. For the vast majority of people, the body’s immune system is not able to kill off a hepatitis C infection. The infection mostly affects the liver, and can can cause significant scarring (cirrhosis) and eventually lead to liver failure if left untreated.

Hepatitis C is a disease that can easily go undiagnosed because up to 80 percent of those infected show now symptoms at all, even years after they were first infected. For reasons that are not clear, baby boomers seem to be more at risk for contracting the disease, making it a good idea for those born between the years 1945 and 1965 to get tested.

If symptoms do develop, they are likely to include the following:

1. Fatigue

This is one of the most common symptoms of hepatitis C, and since it is such a common symptom for such a wide range of health problems, it can be easily overlooked and attributed to something more common such as a cold, the flu, or even an iron deficiency. Diminished liver function that is often caused by hepatitis C can cause toxins to build up in the body and degrade the efficiency of all major organs, which will usually result in feelings of overall weakness and fatigue.

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