You might have seen announcements about screening for Hepatitis C. Over 3.5 million people are infected with Hepatitis C and about ¾ of them do not know it. Hepatitis C is inflammation of the liver which will kill cells. Over time, there will be build up of dead cells leading to scarring. This can result in slow blood flow causing the liver to shrink, harden and stop working. We cannot survive without a liver.
Many people with Hepatitis C might not have experienced any symptoms. Sometimes, symptoms might be dismissed because they seem to be associated with something else or because they seem minimal. Some symptoms include:
- Feeling tired
- Mild flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, muscle and joint pain)
- Confusion or "brain fog"
- Pain in the area of the liver (on the right side of the abdomen, behind the lower ribs)
- Trouble sleeping
- Upset stomach
- Lack of interest in food or sex
- Depression (hopelessness, sadness, or irritability)
Check with your medical provider about screening for Hepatitis C particularly if you were born between 1945 and 1965. Infection rates were high in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and even decades later, someone might not even know they were infected.