Complications of Hepatitis C
Dr. Shireen Furtado
Sahakara nagar, Bengaluru Mar 19, 2019
Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC), if not treated properly, can have several complications in the body affecting the liver and other organs. The liver is an integral part of your body, and when Hepatitis C impairs the function of the liver, it develops a range of complications including chronic infections, liver disease, cirrhosis, and others. CHC Complications caused outside of the liver includes,
Chronic Hepatitis C can cause several hematologic (blood) disorders, such as Cryoglobulinemia. Cryoglobulinemia is a condition in which Cryoglobulins (abnormal proteins) thicken and clump together in the blood vessels. The significant parts affected by this are joints, skin, nerves, kidneys, muscles, and liver.
CHC produces auto-antibodies against its tissues and develop autoimmune disorders including:
- Sialadenitis – It is a condition that causes pain, inflammation, and swelling affecting your salivary gland. It also decreases saliva production.
- Thyroid disease – This is a common disease that occurs among people with CHC. The thyroid produces hormones that regulate growth and metabolism. If not treated, it can also lead to other chronic problems.
- Autoimmune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ATP) – People with CHC experience Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) due to the absence of healthy bone marrow cells.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Sjogren’s syndrome – It is a chronic autoimmune disease in which our immune system attacks moisture-producing glands.
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) – It is a condition in which our immune system attacks the healthy tissue, affecting the kidneys, skin, brain, joints, and other organs.
Some common dermatologic conditions associated with CHC include:
- Raynaud Phenomenon – It is a condition that reduces the flow of blood in response to emotional stress and cold.
- Psoriasis – It is an autoimmune disease that can be marked by scaly patches, itchiness, and redness of the skin.
- Purpura – CHC can lead to internal bleeding from small blood vessels, which causes Purpura (purple spots on the skin).
- Cutaneous Vasculitis – It is a situation that triggers diseases involving systemic inflammation, such as SLE. It also includes purport, nodules, rash with hives, and ulcers.
CHC can associate a range of disorders affecting the eyes, such as ulcers forming on the cornea, dry eye, Sicca syndrome, and Uveitis.
People with CHC are at higher risk of developing diabetes. If you have Chronic Hepatitis C, then factors like diabetes and obesity in your heredity can increase your chances of developing diabetes.
Hepatitis C Virus develops various musculoskeletal disorders, including muscle pain (myalgia), loss of bone mineral density, joint pain (arthralgia), and arthritis.
If left untreated, CHC can develop the risk of Glomerular disease in which Glomeruli gets destroyed. Glomeruli are the structure within the kidney that helps your body to filter waste products. The glomerular disease affects the functioning of the kidney and creates an imbalance of certain substances in the blood.