Electron microscope image
of the hepatitis C virus.
refers to a liver
disease caused by a viral infection, resulting in the liver
becoming tender and enlarged and unable to function properly.
Those who contract
the virus may show no signs of the disease, although symptoms commonly
include nausea, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain as the liver
begins to malfunction and toxins build up in the body.
As the condition
worsens, later symptoms can appear as dark urine, light colored
stools, abdominal pain, or jaundice marked by a noticeable yellowing
of the skin and whites of the eyes.
All are contagious
by various means. Hepatitis A is easily spread through casual contact,
and hepatitis B (also known as serum hepatitis) is usually contracted
through transfused blood and contaminated syringes. However, vaccines
have been developed for hepatitis A & B that have shown great
success in protecting against these forms.
is usually spread through unprotected sex, blood transfusion, or
intravenous drug use, and is the most pervasive form of hepatitis
recently replacing alcoholism
in the U.S. as the primary cause of cirrhosis.
On the Web,
find out more about the risks of getting the disease, how it's diagnosed
and what vaccines or drugs are being used to treat it, with more
on alternative therapies and nutrition guides for boosting the immune
system for a growing population living with hepatitis ...
More information about hepatitis around the Web:
hepatitis fact sheet - Good intro to the topic with information for
women on how various forms of hepatitis are contracted, typical
signs & symptoms, methods of treatment, information for pregnant
women and how to protect newborns from the disease, facts on the
hepatitis A & B vaccines, and related resources.
C and Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Extensive
overview of alternative treatments for hepatitis C with discussions
on milk thistle, ginseng, licorice root and related therapies, including
a table comparing herbal treatments and associated clinical studies,
with relate links and research citations.
- Comprehensive information on the disease with guides to populations
at risk, vaccines, treatment options, patient support resources,
clinical trials, FAQ, related glossary of terms and a searchable
directory of liver specialists by U.S. state.
is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.