Hepatitis C (cont.)
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What are the signs and symptoms of chronic stage hepatitis C?
In the chronic stage, patients typically go years or decades with no symptoms. This is sometimes referred to as "latent" or "dormant" hepatitis C. Eventually, the chronic hepatitis becomes active with liver inflammation and scarring. Left untreated, this can progress to cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma), and death. The initial symptoms of chronic hepatitis C are:
These symptoms and physical changes occur because when the liver fails, it can no longer carry out its necessary functions. These functions include removing toxic substances from the blood, fighting infection, metabolizing various drugs, creating certain important proteins, manufacturing blood clotting factors, and storing vitamins, minerals, sugars and fat for use by the body.
Last Reviewed 12/5/2017
Robert Cox, MD
Bhupinder Anand, MD
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