"Hepatitis" means inflammation of the liver. In addition to a virus, hepatitis can also result from overuse of drugs or alcohol, illnesses, medications, or even an immune disorder.
The liver's jobs are to clean your blood, help digest fats, and store energy. A liver that's swollen and damaged by hepatitis C slowly stops working as it should.
Hepatitis C can stay active in your body and slowly damage the liver over time. This is called chronic hepatitis C. You may develop cirrhosis, a condition in which most of the liver has been destroyed and has become scar tissue.