Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hepatitis C Frequently Asked Questions

Hepatitis C is a viral condition that is comparatively widespread all through the world. This article, will tackle a few of the questions that people most often have about this disease in order to alleviate fears and misunderstandings.

Q: What symptoms are seen when one has hepatitis C?

A: As low as twenty percent of hepatitis C sufferers experience no significant symptoms. In those who do experience symptoms, abdominal pain, darkened urine, and a yellowish hue in their epidermis typically are present. Nausea and loss of appetite may also go along with the condition.

Q: Which are groups that are more at risk for the disease?

A: Sadly, hepatitis C has been shown to happen more often in military veterans, especially those of the Vietnam War. Studies have shown that approximately twenty percent of veterans tested for the disease came up positive.

Also, hemophiliacs are at a higher risk due to their need for regular blood transfusions. The medical field only tested for hepatitis C in blood after 1987, so anyone who has received a blood transfusion before then should be wary. Also, one out of three HIV positive people are also afflicted with hepatitis C. The two diseases can be very dangerous when present together and treatment should be a high priority for anyone with the two diseases.

Q: How widespread is hepatitis C today?

A: The disease known as hepatitis C is present in society in a very big way. As a matter of fact, nearly four million Americans alone are afflicted with the disease, accounting for approximately two percent of the American population. Within the next ten to twelve years, that number is expected to more than double to an estimate of 10.8 million Americans with the disease.

Q: What's the difference between interferon alpha and pegylated interferon alpha?

A: Pegylated interferon alpha is a type of the drug that has come about in more recent years. Whereas regular interferon alpha therapy requires an injection to occur as often as once per day, pegylated interferon alpha makes the process much easier on the patient, with only one injection per week being necessary.

Q: How long does it take before hepatitis C starts doing significant damage to the body?

A: While everybody is different, hepatitis C generally takes a good amount of time before it starts doing damage to the body. Most people with hepatitis C can expect to be victim to liver disease around twenty years after their infection takes hold. After liver disease begins to occur, if a liver transplant is not performed, the patient may die from the disease within five to ten years.

These are just a few of the issues that many people wonder about when they are researching hepatitis C. There are many different resources out there when it comes to learning about the disease, and we encourage you to learn all that you can in order to protect yourself. Your health is your responsibility and it's important to take life by the reins and learn all that you can.

About the author:

Ms. Boulay recommends visiting www.medopedia for more on Hepatitis C treatment

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