Skip to content

Hepatitis Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

Symptoms

Most people who are infected with hepatitis C—even people who have been infected for a while—usually don't have symptoms.

If symptoms do develop, they may include:

Recommended Related to Hepatitis

Hepatitis C: Diet and Exercise

Contrary to the claims of many books and web sites, there's no such thing as a proven hepatitis C diet or exercise regimen. But while you have to be wary of any programs promising cures, you should eat right and get exercise. "There's no hard data about exercise or eating right with hepatitis C, but I always tell people to do it," says David Thomas, MD, professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. "Exercise can make them feel better, especially with depression caused by...

Read the Hepatitis C: Diet and Exercise article > >

  • Fatigue.
  • Joint pain.
  • Belly pain.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Sore muscles.
  • Dark urine.
  • Jaundice, a condition in which the skin and the whites of the eyes look yellow.

A hepatitis C infection can cause damage to your liver (cirrhosis). If you develop cirrhosis, you may have:

  • Redness on the palms of your hands caused by expanded small blood vessels.
  • Clusters of blood vessels just below the skin that look like tiny red spiders and usually appear on your chest, shoulders, and face.
  • Swelling of your belly, legs, and feet.
  • Shrinking of the muscles.
  • Bleeding from enlarged veins in your digestive tract, which is called variceal bleeding.
  • Damage to your brain and nervous system, which is called encephalopathy. This damage can cause symptoms such as confusion and memory and concentration problems.

Many other health problems are linked with long-term cirrhosis. For more information, see the topic Cirrhosis. There also are many other conditions with similar symptoms, such as other liver infections and liver damage caused by drinking too much alcohol.

Contagious and incubation periods

The incubation period—the time it takes for symptoms to appear after the hepatitis C virus has entered your body—is from 2 weeks to 6 months. But not all people have symptoms when they are first infected.

You can spread the virus to someone else at any time after you are infected, even if you don't have symptoms.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 15, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Hepatitus C virus
Types, symptoms and treatments.
liver illustration
Myths and facts about this essential organ.
 
woman eating apple
What you need to know.
doctor and patient
What causes it?
 
Hepatitis C Treatment
Article
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
liver illustration
Quiz
passport, pills and vaccine
Slideshow
 
Scientist looking in microscope
Slideshow
Fatty Liver Disease
Article
 
Digestive Diseases Liver Transplantation
Article
Picture Of The Liver
Image Collection