Hepatitis C is a viral infection that targets the liver and leads to severe inflammation. It can easily spread via contaminated body fluids, especially blood. You will be surprised to know that many people with hepatitis C remain undiagnosed for years, primarily owing to the fact that they do not experience any related symptoms. Many people tend to delay the treatment till the symptoms become adverse or unbearable. However, the symptoms do not always determine the severity of the infection and as such you should not overlook even the mildest of these. Experts from the top liver transplant hospital in Mumbai suggest that Hepatitis C can progress silently, over years and it might even take a decade for the symptoms to become evident. In many cases, by the time the condition is diagnosed, major damage is already done.
If you are still sceptical about going for the treatment or think it's too early, here are some common complications associated with untreated Hepatitis C, as listed by the best liver specialist in Pune.
Liver problems - The primary impact of the virus is on your liver. The more you delay the treatment, the more the symptoms aggravate. It has been found that nearly 75 to 85 per cent of patients suffering from Hepatitis C, who have been exposed to the infection for a long period of time, are likely to develop life-threatening liver conditions like cirrhosis, hepatic cancer or liver failure.
Haematological and vascular problems - Patients suffering from Hepatitis C are at a high risk of developing cryoglobulinemia, a condition marked by the fusing of the proteins in the blood at cold temperature. As this happens, there is a blockage in the blood vessels which can abstract the normal flow of blood to various different areas of the body, resulting in the deficiency of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood in those parts. Hepatitis C can also impact the production of white blood cells and platelets, which play a very important role in fighting infections and clotting, respectively.
Cancers - As per the specialists from the best hospital in India, see can increase the risks of developing non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It is a cancer that directly targets the immune system. The cancer originates from the white blood cells, also known as lymphatic cells, which are very important for fighting diseases and infections. Long-term Hepatitis C infection has also been linked with cancer of the liver and bile duct.
Elevated blood sugar - Our body cells absorb glucose from the food that we eat, making sure that its level does not cross the healthy mark. However, hepatitis C can make a difficult for your body cells to absorb glucose from food. To compensate for this your pancreas will start producing more insulin. Excessive accumulation of glucose in the blood can cause your sugar levels to spike, thereby elevating your risks of developing Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Musculoskeletal pain - Hepatitis C can trigger arthralgia or joint pain, as we commonly know it. This is quite different from degenerative joint diseases like arthritis, which are usually marked by painful and swollen joints. However, it is very much possible for a person suffering from hepatitis to develop arthritis related to it. Another painful condition which has been linked with Hepatitis C is Fibromyalgia.
All these complications are possible if you do not see timely care and let your infection progress. Proper treatment and timely care cannot only help to stop the progression of the disease but also help to reverse the damage caused by it. Hence, you should consult an expert at the earliest.