●Feeling tired or weak
●Lack of hunger
●Muscle or joint aches
In most cases, hepatitis C lasts for many years. That can lead to liver scarring, called "cirrhosis." Many people with cirrhosis have no symptoms.
●Share drug needles or cocaine straws
●Use infected needles for tattooing, acupuncture, or piercings
●Share toothbrushes, razors, or other things that could have blood on them
●Got a blood transfusion in the United States before 1990 (after that time, blood banks started testing donated blood for hepatitis C)
You can catch the hepatitis C virus if you have sex with someone who is infected. But this does not happen very often.
A pregnant woman who is infected can also give hepatitis C to her baby.
Some people who have hepatitis C do not remember how they were infected. In the United States, many people with hepatitis C were born between 1945 and 1965. If you were born during these years, your doctor might want to test you for hepatitis C even if you did not do any of the things that put you at risk of infection.
●Blood tests can show:
•If you have hepatitis C
•What type of the virus you have (there are at least 6 types)
•Which treatment will work best for you?
If you have hepatitis C, your doctor will also want to know if you have any liver scarring. Ways to check for scarring include:
●Liver scan – This is a type of imaging test that can show how much scarring you have. Not all doctors have access to the machine that does the scan.
●Biopsy – For this test, a doctor puts a needle into your liver and takes out a small sample of tissue. The sample will show how bad the damage is. Most people with hepatitis C do not need this test.
Your doctor can help you decide which medicines are right for you.
●Maintain a healthy weight
●Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B
●Get vaccinated for pneumonia, the flu, and other diseases
●Ask your doctor or nurse before taking any over-the-counter pain medicines (these medicines can sometimes damage the liver).
If you have hepatitis C, it is still safe to:
●Hug, kiss, and touch other people (but you can spread the infection through sex)
●Share forks, spoons, cups, and food
●Sneeze or cough