Hepatitis is a chronic liver infection that is caused due to inflammation in the liver. In chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infection, the virus enters the cells of the liver, triggering an immune response and resulting in inflammation. In most cases, the body’s immune system is not able to get rid of the virus by itself. Without antiviral treatment, the inflammation of the liver continues, causing scarring of the liver called fibrosis. Ultimately, the areas of scarring become interconnected, and the texture of the liver itself changes. With due course of time, fibrosis can progress to an advanced stage called cirrhosis. And in extensive fibrosis (cirrhosis), blood is no longer able to flow through the liver, and hence the functioning of the liver becomes significantly decreased.
How does the liver work?
The liver is the most significant body part that weighs about 3 pounds and is the central area for many body features. It is situated in the upper-right part of the stomach under cover of the rib cage and consists of many heptagonal structures known as liver lobules.
The liver transforms meals into energy, stores nutritional value, fat, and vitamins; removes toxins from the body and creates necessary protein for blood vessels. The prominent role of the liver is to break down cholesterol into bile acid and eliminate it from the body to ward off risk of chronic liver diseases. It can make bile from water, potassium, chloride, necessary protein, organic salts, such as bilirubin and lipids. The bile helps absorb fat and natural vitamins that are demolished in fat.
The bile is required for the consumption of fat-soluble natural vitamins into the body because these natural vitamins are relatively insoluble in water. Bile melts these natural vitamins so they may be consumed appropriately.
How to protect your liver?
Your liver performs hundreds of essential body features, such as digestion, consumption of nutritional value, and eliminating the body of toxic substances to stay alive. This is also important to protect against viral hepatitis.
It is essential to maintain a healthy liver because many serious complications can arise if you develop issues. Specific issues with the liver cannot be prevented; however, you can take action to prevent other types of liver issues.
Mostly everything you eat, drink, and breathe eventually passes through your body and reaches your liver, even things that are absorbed by your skin. The liver is responsible for controlling your metabolism – this is the procedure in which your liver smashes down nutritional value into energy. It is also the function of the liver to break down toxins into wastes that are eliminated from the body.
Signs and symptoms of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C has been known as the ‘silent killer’ because the virus often hides in the body for quite a long time, escaping recognition as it attacks the liver. Since most individuals don’t have indicators of Hepatitis C, they don’t seek treatment for many years.
Also Read: All You Need To Know About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C treatment
Hepatitis C treatments have vastly improved over time. Today’s medications are more effective at eliminating the body of the virus, and they have fewer adverse reactions.
Today, Hepatitis C is highly treatable. Up to 90 percent of cases can be cured with new anti-viral medications, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
(With inputs from Dr. Ravinder Pal Singh, Director and HOD, Gastro Sciences and GI Surgery, Saroj Superspeciality Hospital, New Delhi)
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