Understanding Hepatitis C -- Symptoms
Hepatitis C is a sneaky virus. You may not have any symptoms at all. Most people don’t. Your doctor could check you liver and see only a little damage. You might not get diagnosed until he spots a problem with your liver enzymes after a routine blood test.
The disease is called acute when you first get it. The symptoms are similar to those of the flu. They may include:
If you don’t get diagnosed and treated, you could have the disease for years and not know it. Doctors call this the chronic form, because it lasts a long time. Some people who've had it for a while get liver cancer.
Signs that your liver isn’t working like it should include:
- Dark yellow urine
- Yellowish eyes and skin
You could get scarring of the liver, called cirrhosis, after you’ve had hepatitis C for 20 or 30 years. If you have it you might:
- Retain water
- Bleed and bruise easily
- Notice skin and eyes turning yellow with jaundice
When to See the Doctor
If you have symptoms of hepatitis C or think you may have been exposed to the virus, make an appointment to be tested.
The CDC suggests anyone born between 1945 and 1965 get checked.