Hepatitis C is a serious viral infection that can affect people of all ages. The infection leads to liver inflammation and if left untreated, can cause permanent damage to the liver. Hepatitis C is transmitted through contaminated blood and body fluids. In the past, the only treatment for Hepatitis C was weekly oral medications or injections to keep the infection at bay. A great majority of those who were infected with Hepatitis C was not able to complete treatment due to the side effects of the medication or because unrelated medical issues interfered with the treatment. Now that medicine has advanced Hepatitis C is fully curable. An infected person can have their Hepatitis C infection cured by taking daily oral medications for a period of two to six months. Most people who have chronic Hepatitis C are unaware because most signs are not apparent until the liver begins to malfunction.
1. Fluid Buildup in the Abdomen
When Hepatitis C begins to spread in the body, many people will notice an increase in stomach cramps and stomach pain. This is caused by an increase of protein-filled fluid in the abdominal cavity. This fluid is called ascitic, which comes from the surface of the liver.
When this fluid builds up in the abdominal cavity it will cause the area to swell. If the buildup of ascitic is left unchecked it can lead to liver disease. A disease of the liver can lead to other complications such as high blood pressure in specific veins attached to the liver.
When the portal veins attached to the liver become damaged, it will cause cirrhosis of the liver. The ascitic buildup will also cause swelling in the abdomen that is visible to the naked eye. If HCV is suspected, medical professionals will test the fluid in the abdomen to determine if Hep C is the cause.