Hepatitis C is a liver disease triggered by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can induce both acute and chronic hepatitis, fluctuating in intensity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifetime 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.
Across the world, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
A significant number of those who are chronically affected will acquire cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 399 000 people die every year from hepatitis C, primarily from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Antiviral medications can cure more than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, in doing so reducing the hazard of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but easy access to diagnosis and treatment is low.
There is at this time no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this field is recurring.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both acute and chronic infection. Acute HCV infection is generally asymptomatic, and is only very seldom (if ever) associated with life-threatening disease. About 15-- 45% of infected persons automatically clear the virus within 6 months of infection with no treatment.
The remaining 60-- 80% of persons will cultivate 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 biggest 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 an often hard-to-diagnose and dangerous health 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 prevalent 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 lead to an inflamed liver, a condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
As many as 40% of people with NAFLD develop NASH. NASH can bring about scarring of the liver; severe scarring, called cirrhosis, increases your risk of liver cancer.
A growing problem.
Drinking too much alcohol can cause fat buildup in the liver, NAFLD affects people who consume little or no alcohol.
Instead, the main offender is excessive weight-- which read more 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 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. She adds that some people with fatty livers have none of these risk factors, which suggests that genes can play an important role.
Eating healthy and balanced
Cultivating healthy eating habits isn't as difficult or as restrictive as many 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. Begin on your healthy diet by following the links in this article.