Welcome to Wellness Wednesday and Dr. Jorge Rodriguez talking to us from London regarding Hepatitis C, its impact in the world, and a cure.
Over three million Americans have Hepatitis C and over half of them are unaware they are infected. This virus, which mainly affects baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965, can quietly and without symptoms slowly destroy the liver until all that is left is a scarred, cirrhotic, non-functioning liver. But now there is a cure.
The liver is one of our vital organs. Located under the right rib cage it quietly goes about its business of ridding our body of dangerous toxins. It produces proteins that allow our blood to clot. It is also vital in our blood’s sugar balance. Without a normally function liver anyone’s prognosis is grim.
Hepatitis C is a virus that specifically targets the liver. Some people that are infected with Hepatitis become jaundiced and very ill at the time they acquire the virus. The majority, however, have no symptoms at all. The virus can live in their liver for decades; every day destroying a small piece of liver. Until one day they become ill. Small wonder Hepatitis C is called a silent killer.
Hepatitis C is usually transmitted through blood. Therefore, anyone who has ever used IV drugs or received a blood transfusion is at high risk of having Hepatitis C. Since no test for Hepatitis C was discovered until 1992 anyone who received a blood transfusion before 1992 is considered at VERY high risk. Actually, 67% of all people with Hepatitis C were born between 1945 and 1965. If you don’t fall into any of these groups don’t feel too comfortable because up to 30% of all Hepatitis C cases were transmitted sexually. So, anyone who has ever had unsafe sex can also have Hepatitis C.
Up to two years ago the only treatment for Hepatitis C was a combination of pills and some very potent yet toxic injections. The treatment had to be taken for a year. Unfortunately only 30% of those who were strong enough to complete the treatment got cured. No wonder many people were more afraid of the treatment than the actual disease. However, two years ago all of that changed! Now there are medications that can easily treat Hepatitis C. The treatments are as simple as one pill a day for three months, with an over 90% success rate. That is remarkable.
If you were born between the 1945 and 1965, had a blood transfusion before 1992, used IV drugs or have ever had unprotected sex you may be at risk for Hepatitis C. Please ask your health professional to check you for Hepatitis C. All it takes is one simple blood test that can save your life.
For more information ask your doctor or go to www.hepchope.com #HepatitisC #HepatitisCAwareness #Hepatitis #Liver #DrJorge #DrJorgeMD