At UAMS, our caring and compassionate specialists provide treatment to patients who have the hepatitis. Hepatitis C, one type of hepatitis, is a blood-borne virus that causes inflammation and permanent damage to the liver.
Transmission of hepatitis C occurs primarily from contact with infected blood but can also occur from sexual contact or from an infected mother to her baby. Blood transfusions prior to 1992 and the use of shared needles are other significant causes of the spread of hepatitis C.
Those who may be at risk for hepatitis C include:
- Children born to mothers with the virus
- People who have a blood-clotting disorder such as hemophilia and received clotting factors before 1987
- People who require dialysis for kidney failure
- People who received a blood transfusion before 1992
- People who may participate in high-risk activities such as intravenous (IV) drug use or unprotected sexual contact
Common symptoms of hepatitis C include but are not limited to:
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vague stomach pain
- Dark yellow urine
- Light-colored stool
- Muscle and joint pain
Symptoms of hepatitis C generally occur six to 12 weeks after exposure and may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Diagnosis involves a blood test or liver biopsy, and those who are at risk should receive regular screenings. Hepatitis C patients are also susceptible to liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. In severe cases, a liver transplant may be necessary.
If you are diagnosed with hepatitis C, we will provide you with a personalized treatment plan that will usually include treating your symptoms with prescription drugs.