Hepatitis C infection most often occurs through the blood
Health issues are the most important and most significant in everyone's life. But, as often happens, prevention, and even the treatment itself, we leave to the last resort. There are always priority tasks, more important issues, priority actions and small financial difficulties. All these reasons are excellent excuses and convincing facts for cleaning your own conscience. Particularly noticeably, this mechanism works in cases with diseases that do not have pronounced symptoms, negative manifestations and, relatively slowly affecting the body. Insidious viral hepatitis refers precisely to such diseases, which are recognized as a result of irreversible consequences.
Hepatitis is damage to the liver, one of the largest internal organs of man. There are many infections that affect his work. Lifestyle, nutrition and excessive consumption of alcohol also play an important role in the destruction of normal, healthy liver. Hepatitis A, B and C, the most common hepatitis viruses, their pathogens are dangerous because they are viruses of a particular group. Hepatitis A and B have already been vaccinated and are often recommended for infants. A newborn is not vaccinated against hepatitis C. The fact is that the virus itself was discovered relatively recently, just over twenty years ago, and it is so variable that it is still impossible to find an effective vaccine. At this stage, the major six genotypes of viral hepatitis C (HCV) and more than fifty subtypes (1, 1b, etc.) are known. Scientific research on this issue continues.
The main type of transmission of infection, according to studies conducted in most countries of the world, is the injection of non-sterile equipment. But drug addiction is not the only source of the virus. According to WHO statistics, more than five hundred million people are officially carriers of the virus. At the same time, more than three hundred thousand people die each year from various complications associated with primary infection with hepatitis C. After learning about the complications caused by the disease, everyone wants to know where and how it is possible to get hepatitis C? Unfortunately, there is no unequivocal opinion. Gastroenterologists claim that the virus can enter the body with absolutely any biological fluid. Blood, sperm and, in some cases, even the saliva of the carrier of the virus, on contact can reward the disease. But more often hepatitis C is transmitted through the blood. Cuts in shaving or haircuts in the cabin and even some types of contact sports are quite real dangers. A banal treatment by a dentist, simple tattooing or piercing can be the reason for getting the pathogen of the virus into the blood.
Symptoms of hepatitis C in adults are different. It is completely illiterate to think that the disease causes yellowing of the skin. Unfortunately, only 20% of the patients have such a pronounced symptom. In other cases, the disease secretly progresses for years, sometimes even decades. Painful sensations in the abdominal cavity do not often disturb the patient to such an extent that he hurried to take tests. Typical symptoms of hepatitis C are lethargy, weakness, mood swings, nausea and insomnia - the true companions of most residents of megacities. That's why you need to know and understand the seriousness of the situation.
Signs of hepatitis in men do not differ much from the symptoms of hepatitis C in women. It can be pain in the muscles and joints, headaches, indigestion and night sweats. Some patients report loss of appetite and confusion of thoughts. Jaundice, bloating, frequent urination and fever are signs of a late stage of hepatitis C, usually accompanied by cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis is the process of death or damage to the liver cells. Usually they are replaced with scar tissue, which leads to a malfunction of blood flow and the death of other, full-fledged cells. Scarring lasts as long as the liver is able to exercise most of its functions.
It is generally believed that the incubation period of hepatitis C is between 2 and 26 weeks. At this time, an infected person may not experience any side effects at all. Normal state of health and complete absence of typical symptoms, does not guarantee the absence of the virus in the blood. Chronic infection in the body and chronic liver disease, according to statistics, currently prevail. A person may not suspect for years of the presence of HCV in the body and be, at the same time, contagious to others. Of course, all this time the disease will gradually destroy healthy liver cells, but the resistance of the body and overall immunity are purely individual, therefore the length of stay in ignorance often reaches decades.
Acute hepatitis C is the initial stage immediately after infection. Its duration can reach 6 months. Lethal outcome due to cirrhosis or liver cancer, as severe consequences of infection with hepatitis C, occurs in 1-5% of cases.
Hepatitis C in children
Fortunately, hepatitis C in children rarely develops rapidly and takes on severe forms. Nevertheless, the presence of a chronic, dangerous disease in the child can not but worry the parents and other relatives. If you start the process, the probability of cirrhosis is the same as in adults. In addition, with visible stability of the condition, sudden activation of the virus is possible, which greatly increases the risk in the absence of vigilance on the part of relatives. Sometimes the disease is transmitted to infants from an infected mother, because during childbirth it is impossible to avoid getting a woman's blood on the baby. When breastfeeding, infecting the baby is more difficult, but such cases are also real if the chest is sour and bleeding, or when the baby bites the mother during the eruption of the first denticles. In general, self-healing from hepatitis C happens in children more often than in adults, and the development of complications occurs much less often.
Diagnosis and testing helps prevent a worsening of the disease and the development of negative consequences. First of all, regular examinations should be carried out by those who fall into the group of high risk. These are children born from infected mothers; People with HIV; medical workers; Drug addicts and people whose test results for liver cells deviate from the norm.
Can hepatitis C be cured? Modern methods of diagnostics and a spectrum of medical possibilities allow completely to recover from a dangerous disease, and not to cure or prolong life. The only problem is that antiviral therapy is an expensive treatment, and 100% guarantee of recovery, in each case, can not be given even by the best specialist. Of course, for such a chance you need to grab, but not all can provide the necessary, stable funding.
The standard treatment regimen for hepatitis C involves preliminary diagnosis. General health of the patient, the activity of hepatic enzymes and the determination of the genotype of the virus-pathogen, the priority issues of any doctor. A routine blood test for antibodies does not make it possible to recognize a chronic and acute infection. To confirm the expected diagnosis, recombinant immunoblotting (RIBA) is performed in combination with testing for hepatitis C virus RNA (RNA, this is a virus with single-chain ribonucleic acid). To assess the liver, an additional, profile testing, including special laboratory tests, PCR and biopsy, is always performed.
Treatment of hepatitis C
A typical treatment regimen involves a combination of officially approved tablets: pegylated interferon and ribavirin. The usual, all known injectable interferon, in the form of a solution in ampoules, has an immunostimulating, antiviral and antitumoral effect. This medicine, which is based on the natural proteins of the immune system, contained in the body. In composition, this is a human recombinant interferon alpha-2. Pegylated interferon (PEG) is a special, adapted long-acting interferon. To maintain a constant level of interferon in the patient's blood, it is enough to inject only once a week. The oral drug ribavirin is absolutely not effective against HCV in the autonomous mode, but, together with PEG, has an excellent antiviral effect.
When undergoing treatment for hepatitis C virus, it is important to carry out regular testing, to monitor the body's reaction and timely detection of side effects. Among the most dangerous consequences may be congenital defects of the fetus and miscarriages, so during treatment of hepatitis C it is necessary to be especially carefully protected. It makes sense to postpone conception before the end of the course of treatment.
To reduce side effects, it is recommended to drink plenty of water, take a dose of interferon right before bed, fractional and often eat, and periodically change the injection site.
In order for the treatment to be effective, and the recovery to be rapid, one must consciously choose the attending physician. Why is that? One of the components of the treatment of severe diagnoses is psychological comfort. This is the same faith that supports in a difficult moment and gives hope even in critical situations. Only trusting the doctor, you can sincerely hope for the result. And only an excellent professional will pay maximum attention to his patient. Awareness is very important in this situation. The more accessible and detailed the doctor will tell about the disease, diagnosis and the stages of treatment, the less will worry the sick.
Some patients are observed in parallel at the psychiatrist and need the help of a physiotherapist. The psychological component is very important, because it is important to prevent the emergence of depression. Living with a chronic disease, the test is not easy. Fear, panic, anger and sadness can be pursued endlessly. To avoid apathy and anxious thoughts, it is better to do sports. The number of permissible loads, the selection of certain movements and the duration of daily training is determined by a specialist. But, if there is no possibility to seek advice, you can independently engage in athletic walking. It's all an affordable, safe and enjoyable method for a uniform load.
If necessary, relieve the patient's anxiety, the psychologist may prescribe antidepressants. The course of taking medications usually try to pass before the beginning of the main treatment. Support for loved ones is often more significant and effective than any medication, so enlisting the help of relatives is also very important.
A good prognosis for treatment with interferon or a combined method of taking medications is observed with a lucky coincidence. It is most likely that complete excretion of HCV from the body takes place if:
- the infection period was not prolonged;
- the virus does not belong to genotype 1;
- the disease is mild (the load is low and is less than 2 million copies);
- the patient is a young man or woman.
The consequences of false positive analysis are disappointing. Just imagine how many painful hours or even days, the person who has received the terrible diagnosis spends. Most often, unexpected news causes a shock. Given widespread ignorance and information from questionable sources, the infected person perceives the disease as a fatal event. Many believe that hepatitis C is not treatable. The terrible "deadly disease" stamp haunts most of the cases. Of course, the hepatitis C virus is more resistant to physicochemical effects than hepatitis A and B viruses. It is more difficult to treat. But, despite all the negative opinions and high cost of treatment, the chances for a full recovery are very high. Only now, not knowing about such statistics, people who have received news, fall into the deepest depression. It is cruel and unfair to report such a diagnosis, but even physicians are sometimes mistaken. For this reason it is absolutely necessary to always undergo repeated examinations and not panic. First of all, having received the test results, it is necessary to find out in detail all the components of the diagnosis and the prospects for treatment in this particular case. Then, in the process of preparation for treatment, be sure to require additional tests. Cross-collection of data has not prevented anyone.
Prevention of disease
Prophylaxis against hepatitis C requires careful attitude to one's own health, careful choice of places and sexual partner visited, strict adherence to the following requirements. For example, it is necessary to exclude the use of foreign objects and devices: it is strictly forbidden to take a toothbrush, a razor, scissors, a set for manicure and pedicure, and other people. To administer medications, use only disposable needles. Do not visit dubious establishments for making tattoos, tattooing and piercing ears, piercings.
Patients infected with hepatitis C are recommended other preventive measures:
- vaccination against hepatitis A and B, to prevent the occurrence of concomitant infections;
- timely and proper antiviral therapy (do not give up medical care, even if nothing bothers);
- regular monitoring for the earliest diagnosis of disease modification, taking into account the possible transition from acute stage to chronic.
The lifespan of the carriers of the virus has positive statistics. There are cases of drug-free self-healing at the stage of acute infection with the hepatitis C virus. However, with the slightest decrease in immunity or the occurrence of other provoking factors, it will be difficult to avoid the development of the disease. How many live with hepatitis C? The answer is unequivocally impossible, but the life expectancy with proper nutrition and compliance with prescriptions of the doctor may exceed a quarter of a century. Many factors affect the specifics, including age, smoking and alcohol, the state of immunity and the duration of infection. Concomitant diseases only worsen the clinical picture, while adequate treatment gives positive dynamics. Compliance with diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help prolong life for many years.
Along with the incredible high cost of official treatment, the hepatitis C treatment is becoming increasingly popular with folk remedies. Among the popular methods for cleaning and repairing liver cells, there are the use of mummies, sea cabbage and various infusions and broths. Most often it is recommended to brew herbal remedy. It is better if the set includes: birch leaves, dog rose, dandelion, mint, celandine, viburnum, tansy and mother-and-stepmother. The use of juice from cabbage or beet is considered no less miraculous. The main rule of any folk methods is the duration and precise regularity of use.
Diet with hepatitis C
Nutrition for hepatitis C should be different from the standard diet. Observance of a specific diet is urgently needed, therefore, it is necessary to take changes with all responsibility. Complete exclusion of alcoholic beverages is the first and mandatory item. In addition, there is a perfectly acceptable list of foodstuffs that are allowed to be consumed:
- vegetable and light butter;
- transparent, vegetarian soups (vegetables, cereals, noodles);
- low-fat chicken and fish boiled;
- beef, rabbit, veal, steamed or boiled. Meatballs, cutlets and other variations of meat dishes should be prepared in a double boiler;
- curdled milk, yogurt and fat-free cottage cheese;
- pasta all kinds of cereals;
- fresh and boiled vegetables, except for legumes, garlic and radish;
- raisins, dried apricots, prunes and ripe, juicy, sweet fruits.
Sweets, spicy, salty, smoked, fried foods and raw eggs must be ruled out irrevocably. Choosing the tactics of proper nutrition, remember that to fully satisfy the body and build new cells, the composition of food should be not only carbohydrates, proteins and fats, but also vitamins, minerals, water. A strict but balanced diet is very important the first six months of treatment, and it is better to stick to such a diet for several years. The longer you eat according to the list, the easier it is to finally abandon the prohibited products. We quickly get used to changes, new tastes and dishes. If you learn to eat a fraction 4-5 times a day, cook food for a couple, generously allow yourself fresh fruit and regularly eat dried fruits, vitamin supply and energy will be very helpful on the way to recovery.
Another question that worries all infected: how to protect loved ones? Resigned to the diagnosis, patients begin to worry about their relatives. I want to immediately dispel all doubts, because it is difficult to infect someone with a virus in the home. Given that hepatitis C is transmitted through the blood, it is sufficient to avoid direct contact with bleeding wounds. At usual dialogue, joint residing, the infection does not extend. Coughing, sneezing, hugging and kissing do not harm the health of loved ones. That friends and acquaintances are not afraid of the consequences, it is necessary to clearly instruct them about the possible danger and tell you which items can not be shared. In other words, everything where a patient's blood can potentially be, should belong exclusively to him. Toothbrushes, razors, napkins, feminine hygiene products, etc. Things must be guarded carefully from touch. In the rest, when in contact in ordinary life, there is no danger to others.
In order to avoid emotional burnout in the fight against such a ruthless disease, it is vital to have a source of positive, kindness, love and understanding. With a harmonious combination of therapy and faith in one's own strength, there is always a long-awaited recovery. Try not to forget about your needs and take care of your health. Being knowledgeable and prepared, it is easier to pass life tests.