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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 C Tests

    You can be infected with the hepatitis C virus and have no symptoms. Your doctor could find it when he checks your blood and sees that your level of certain liver enzymes is high. If that happens, he'll follow up with other tests to confirm you have the disease.

    Read the Hepatitis C Tests 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:

    When Cirrhosis Gets Worse

    WebMD Medical Reference

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

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