According to a liver specialist, Hepatitis C is a silent disease that attacks the liver over many years. When it enters the body, there is a long incubation period of 7-8 weeks, then onset.
The majority (70-80%) of patients do not exhibit symptoms, only a small proportion of patients (20-30%) exhibit symptoms. However, these symptoms are not specific and very easy to be confused with some other common diseases.
Symptoms may be encountered:
– Fatigue like flu
– Unable to digest food
– Muscle or joint pain
– Pain in right upper quadrant
Then, absence of symptoms can last for many years. However, during this time the virus continues to proliferate in the liver. So in many cases, patients seek medical treatment when the disease has progressed to a more advanced stage, such as Cirrhosis or Liver Cancer.
When Cirrhosis occurs, patients with hepatitis C may experience muscles weakness, fatigue, and anorexia. Later symptoms of Cirrhosis may include fluid retention; leading to edema or ascites, internal haemorrhage, mental disorder and sleep. Other complications of Cirrhosis due to Hepatitis C is Liver Cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma or hepatoma), which can cause abdominal pain, weight loss, and fever.