Ways to prevent liver damage caused by Hepatitis C

Ways to prevent liver damage caused by Hepatitis C

Liver damage begins to occur when Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects the liver. Although liver damage signs cannot be noticed in the early stages of the infection, scar tissue can be observed when collagen starts forming on the liver. This build-up is stimulated by the immune system to counteract the disease and repair any damage caused to the liver.

When does liver damage actually occur?
Over time, the scar tissue takes over much of the liver, and this stage is called fibrosis. The build-up prevents blood from flowing into liver cells, thereby damaging the liver severely. This stage is called cirrhosis or liver failure.

Risk of hepatitis C

  • Drug addicts who resort to the use of injectable recreational drugs are at high risk of contracting and spreading the Hepatitis C virus.
  • Getting a tattoo with used needles can put you at risk of getting infected.
  • People with HIV, healthcare workers, people who underwent organ transplant or people who received blood before 1987 are at risk of HCV.

Prevention of Hepatitis C

Even today, no vaccine can treat or recover liver damage signs found in advanced stages of Hepatitis C. The only way to prevent such a life-threatening infection is by not allowing someone else’s blood to come in contact with your own bloodstream. Some common practices to follow are:

  • Never share needles and make sure you safely dispose of used needles.
  • Do not share your personal grooming items such as the razor, toothbrush or nail clipper with anyone and most certainly not someone with HCV.
  • On your visit to a healthcare professional, make sure he/she wears a fresh pair of gloves before examining you.
  • In the case of multiple sexual partners, it is advisable to use a condom.
  • If you are about to get a haircut or a shave in a salon, ensure that the barber uses sterilized scissors and sealed razor blades.

The practices mentioned above are the most practical ways to prevent Hepatitis C and liver damage signs. Since treatment is only possible with prescribed medication for earlier stages, make sure you visit a doctor immediately, if you feel you have come in contact with the Hepatitis C virus.

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