Hepatitis C Symptoms
Get Help with Hepatitis C Treatment
If you're suffering from Hepatitis C and experiencing Hepatitis C symptoms brought on by your drug addiction, there are treatment centers ready to help you NOW. Your addiction is an illness that is slowly destroying your body. Youíre sick, and this mental illness is taking over your life, perhaps hurting the people closest to you as well as yourself. You can feel its power over you, and you know itís time to break this bond, but you donít know how. We are here to put you in touch with centers for Hepatitis C treatment and drug addiction treatment.
What are Hepatitis C Symptoms?
People experience Hepatitis C in different ways. In fact, Hepatitis C symptoms may not appear until advanced liver disease is already present. It is also possible to have Hepatitis C symptoms, but minimal liver damage. This is why tests of your liver's health such as enzyme levels in your blood, other blood tests, a liver ultrasound, or a liver biopsy are important. All of these tests can be provided while you are a patient in a quality drug rehab program. You just need to locate a drug treatment program with a strong medical component. It is pertinent that you discuss all Hepatitis C symptoms to a medical professional as soon as they occur to avoid long lasting damage.
Hepatitis C symptoms may include (but are not limited to):
- Flu-like symptoms: fever, chills, muscle aches, joint pain, and headaches
- Nausea, aversion to certain foods, unexplained weight loss
- Psychological disorders, including depression
- Tenderness in the abdomen
What Is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The virus causes the liver to form tiny scars, which, over time, join together and begin to prevent blood from flowing freely through the liver. HCV is only transmitted through blood, so an infected person's blood has to get into your blood stream for you to become infected. The highest risk factor for contracting HCV is sharing needles or other "works" associated with drug abuse, including sharing straws or dollar bills for snorting drugs. Other high risk factors include blood transfusions before 1992, unprotected sex with someone infected with HCV, and unsterile tattooing and piercing.
Hepatitis C is a Symptomatic Condition
You might think that such a condition would make you feel sicker and sicker over time. The fact is that for many people, Hepatitis C is a symptomatic condition. This means you may not experience Hepatitis C symptoms for many years after infection. No one can tell you whether or not you will have Hepatitis C symptoms in the future. Here's the tricky part: a lack of Hepatitis C symptoms does not mean that Hepatitis C stops attacking your liver. The virus can stay active in the body without producing recognizable symptoms. In fact, some people experience no symptoms until after significant liver damage has occurred.
Hepatitis C and Drug Addiction
It is safe to say that drug addiction or alcohol abuse can only continue to damage the liver and compromise the immune system as the virus continues. Having Hepatitis C should not discourage you from going to drug rehab. It should be a motivating factor to get oneself into one of many drug addiction treatment programs or alcohol rehab programs and avoid hepatitis C symptoms from taking over your life.
How Do People Get Hepatitis C?
The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread through contact with infected blood. Common routes of infection include illicit injection drugs (sharing needles), blood transfusions (before 1992), needle stick accidents among healthcare workers, and any other blood-to-blood contact, such as may occur during sexual activity. Due to a high degree of risk taking behavior that takes place with drug abuse and alcohol abuse, it is easy to understand how people suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism represent a population with a high percentage of Hepatitis C. We encourage you to allow us to locate a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program capable of meeting your needs.
Enter Rehab Before Hepatitis C Impacts Your Health
Remember that the lack of Hepatitis C symptoms and how you are feeling does not always translate into the severity of your condition. If you wait to experience Hepatitis C symptoms before you start treatment, your liver may already be severely damaged. This is another reason to enter one of our alcohol rehab programs as soon as possible. Most, if not all, alcoholics require the services of an alcohol rehab program to discontinue drinking and an alcohol detox program to manage the medical problems.
How Can Hepatitis C Affect My Liver?
The liver is the largest organ in the body. Located in the upper right side of the abdomen, it acts as a filter to remove toxins (harmful substances) and waste products from the blood. A healthy liver filters blood at a rate of about 1.5 quarts per minute. That's 540 gallons of blood a day! The liver also stores nutrients, such as certain vitamins, minerals, and iron, and plays a role in making and controlling the amounts of certain chemicals and proteins in the body, such as cholesterol, hormones, and sugars. It helps the body digest food by producing a substance called bile, which is stored in the gallbladder.
The Hepatitis C virus attacks liver cells and uses them as a host to reproduce themselves. When the body attempts to fight the virus, it sends lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) to the liver, which results in inflammation (swelling). This inflammation is a normal response to infection, but over time this process, and certain chemicals released by the lymphocytes, can damage liver cells.
Addiction Treatment May Help Prevent Further Liver Damage
When the liver cells are damaged, they cannot function well and may die. Some of these cells may grow back, but severe injury may lead to fibrosis (a buildup of scar tissue on the liver). Fibrosis slows down the liver's ability to circulate blood and remove toxins. Addiction treatment may help prevent further damage or reduce progression of the condition. However, the longer addiction treatment is delayed, the more likely significant Hepatitis C symptoms and permanent liver damage will occur.
Over time, hardened scar tissue can replace large amounts of normal liver tissue. This condition, called cirrhosis, seriously impairs the liver's ability to function. As a result, blood that cannot pass freely through the liver may back up into the spleen, and this may lead to the destruction of healthy blood cells. In addition, the liver may not be able to produce enough bile to aid in the handling of nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, and most fats.
If your liver is damaged, or you are experience Hepatitis C symptoms there are some important steps you can take to keep the undamaged cells as healthy as possible. You should talk to your doctor or nurse about your specific situation, but, in general, the following measures can help:
- Avoid alcohol. The liver treats alcohol as a toxic substance and works to filter it out. In a person with Hepatitis C, alcohol significantly increases damage to the liver. It is especially important to avoid combining alcohol with acetaminophen (a nonprescription pain reliever). If taken together, these substances can cause additional damage to your liver. If you suffer from drug addiction or alcoholism, we suggest you enter an alcohol rehab or drug rehab immediately. This drug treatment program or alcohol rehab should be an accredited addiction treatment program, complete with its own drug and alcohol detox.
- Eat healthy foods. When the liver is damaged, your body may not get all the nutrients it needs, and you may feel weak or tired. You may also lose your appetite. It is important, therefore, to meet your daily nutritional needs so you can maintain your weight and energy levels. While in drug rehab, you will meet with a nutritionist to design a healthy eating plan for you.
- Drink plenty of water. Water is a vital substance for all of the body's functions. It helps to remove toxins and process important nutrients. Drinking extra fluids may also help reduce side effects while on therapy.
- Reduce salt in your diet. When liver disease is severe, signals are sent to the kidneys that cause them to retain both salt and water. The salt acts like a sponge, causing fluid to build up in the body. A low-salt diet can help reduce fluid buildup. Any licensed drug rehabilitation program will coordinate your nutritional needs with the kitchen staff.
- Get vaccinations against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. In people with Hepatitis C, infection with another strain of Hepatitis can cause further damage to the liver. Though there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C, a simple series of shots can protect most people from infection with the Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B viruses.
While all of these steps are helpful, if you are suffering from drug addiction or alcohol abuse call us now to locate reputable drug rehab programs. For those of you who are members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) community, we work with gay friendly drug rehabs to insure you receive effective drug addiction treatment.
Learn more about the dangers of Hepatitis C.
If you believe you or someone you know needs help with a drug addiction, or for immediate assistance finding drug rehab centers that specialize in Hepatitis C and drug addiction treatment, please call us now at 954-271-5047. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Don't wait - GET HELP NOW!