Those of who suffer from the Hepatitis C virus often find that over the years they develop other related conditions. These conditions dont affect the liver but other parts of the body. The most common of these include joint pain, numbness muscle pain, itching and dryness of the mouth or eyes.
A study of medical staff that had Hepatitis C found that seventy four percent of them experienced some joint pain. Fifteen percent had numbness or tingling, uncontrollable itching and muscle pain while eleven percent had the problem of dry eyes and mouth.
But this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are many conditions that are related to the Hepatitis C virus. Some happen because of the virus and others, while not caused by the infection are more likely to be found in people with Hepatitis C.
Vasculitis is a condition, which is characterized by swelling of the blood vessels and the lymphatic vessels. The symptoms are a purple discoloration of the skin, caused by the bleeding blood vessels and/or a reddish rash caused by more minor bleeding; there can also be fever, muscle aches and pain. This condition can be treated along with the drug treatment therapy a patient should use as it reacts well to Interferon and Ribavirin.
There is a form of kidney disease called Membranous Nephropathy that can occur in patients with Hepatitis C. Its caused by viral specks becoming dumped into the kidneys eventually causing damage. Again the Interferon treatment will help this. But if the kidney damage is already quite bad dont use the Ribavirin.
Mooreen Comeal Ulceration can be a problem for those who are Hepatitis C sufferers. It starts with some pain and inflammation. If left untreated it can lead to loss of sight. The destruction of the salivary glands is caused by an inflammation related to someone having hepatitis. It is called Sialadenitis and is what causes the feeling of dryness in a persons mouth.
Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
There is a skin disease that is researchers say is caused by the high enzyme production and the excessive proteins in the blood and urine of a patient with Hepatitis C. This disorder, Porphyria Cutanea Tarda, can cause blisters on the skin and discoloring of the skin, which can mean it gets lighter or darker, and hair loss.
Treatment includes reduction of iron in the diet, elimination of alcohol in the diet and diminished exposure to the sun. Pruritus is a condition affecting fifteen percent of Hepatitis C sufferers that causes itching that at times can be unbearable.
While all of those conditions show a direct link to the Hepatitis C virus, and many will be eliminated by the usual drug therapy, many more are linked to Hepatitis C not by cause but by the fact that among the population who have the infection these conditions appear more often. These include premature graying of the hair, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Non-Hodgkins Lymphomas and Thyroid Disease. Not all sufferers will have any or all of these.