I have hep c and would like in laymans terms signs and symptoms of liver failure I was told that I have hep c about a year or so ago and I would like to know signs physically when things are getting bad. I have not had any treatments at this time. My medi
There are several. Most patients with hep c (hcv) don't develop liver failure. Liver failure develops only after patients have developed cirrhosis. Signs of liver failure are often first seen in the blood (low albumin, elevated inr). Fluid in the abdomen (ascites), confusion (encephalopathy) are also signs of a failing liver. Jaundice (yellow) is not necessarily a sign of failure.
There . There are many signs of liver disease. Probably the most familiar of these is jaundice, or a yellow discoloration if the skin. Jaundice is caused by an increase in the level of bilirubin, a chemical normally removed from the blood by the liver. Yellow discoloration in the white part of the eye (called icterus) is another sign of elevated bilirubin. So is itchiness all over the body, a symptom called pruritis. Because bilirubin stays in the blood, it does not wind up in the stools, which become pale instead of brown. As the liver becomes scarred by hepatitis c, the flow of blood through it becomes restricted. This increases the pressure in veins that normally flow from the intestine to the liver. As this pressure rises, varicose veins form in the stomach and esophagus, and these can cause bleeding. Vomiting of blood is often seen. Blood in the stomach can also cause the stools to become black. Another side effect of this increased pressure is fluid collecting in the abdomen (called ascites). The belly can become markedly distended, and can be covered with large varicose veins. Liver disease also causes abnormalities in the blood's ability to clot, so easy bruising or prolonged bleeding after minor injuries can often be seen. Of course, this compounds the problem of bleeding from varicose veins in the stomach and esophagus. Another risk with hepatitis c, but which is not externally visible, is the development of liver cancer. The risk of liver cancer, especially in hepatitis c patients who are still drinking, is increased more than 10 times over that of the normal population. You say that you are not being treated for your condition. That is probably a big mistake. While they don't always work, there are medical therapies that can reduce your viral load and with it your risk of all of the above. You should be seen and evaluated by a hepatologist to find out what options are available to you. You should also have ultrasound or ct imaging on a periodic basis to keep an eye out for liver tumors: if they occur, they need to be treated early, because they can be very difficult to treat once they get large. Also: if you are drinking, stop now. That's probably the most important thing you can do to prolong your life. And finally: hepatitis c can be spread through body fluids. You should not donate blood, get tattoos, share intravenous needles, or participate in any similar activities. If you are sexually active, you should use a condom.