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How Does Hepatitis C Affect Your Liver?

In most cases, you won't have symptoms of hepatitis C until your liver becomes really damaged. That can take a long time -- years or even decades.

If you have the disease for many years and don't get treatment, you may get cirrhosis. This is a condition that inflames and scars the liver.

Recommended Related to Hepatitis

Hepatitis Patient Education Center

Visit WebMD's Hepatitis Health Center Newly Diagnosed With Hepatitis C? Find Help Here Healthwise From WebMD: Hepatitis C Topic Overview Healthwise From WebMD: Hepatitis C Treatment Overview Looking for Clinical Trials? Check This Page Hepatitis C Message Board: Living Day to Day Healthwise From WebMD: Related Concerns -- Cirrhosis Top...

Read the Hepatitis Patient Education Center article > >

Symptoms of Cirrhosis

In cirrhosis, scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue. If this continues unchecked, scarring blocks blood flow through the organ. That makes it hard for it to do its many jobs:

  • Remove harmful toxins from your blood
  • Fight infection
  • Digest food and process nutrients, hormones, and drugs
  • Make proteins to control blood clotting
  • Store energy

When this happens, you may have symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Sore muscles
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Dark-yellow urine
  • Light-colored stools
  • Joint pain

When Cirrhosis Gets Worse

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on November 11, 2014

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