By Nina L. Paul
A finished, empathetic consultant for someone struggling with this critical liver disease
Approximately four million american citizens and a hundred and seventy million humans around the globe be afflicted by hepatitis C, a viral liver affliction that's treatable yet now not curable. It debts for greater than forty percentage of U.S. liver affliction deaths-about 8,000 to 10,000 humans annually-and is the most typical reason behind liver transplantation. This compassionate consultant explains how hepatitis C impacts the liver and the physique and gives stable suggestion on modern day therapy options-from medications (and their unwanted effects) to transplants and substitute therapies-as good as pointers on facing the emotional and fiscal burdens the affliction brings with it.
Nina L Paul, PhD (New York, manhattan) earned her doctorate in infectious ailment epidemiology and immunology from Yale college. She has researched viruses (human immunodeficiency virus and others) and the immune procedure.
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Additional resources for Living With Hepatitis C For Dummies
Getting to know the players The immune system uses organs such as the thymus and spleen, as well as tissues in your lymph nodes, bone marrow, liver, and intestines. But the major players are cells and molecules, which I now describe: ߜ Antigen: Small segments on each “foreigner” (called antigens) are recognized by the immune system. Antigens are part of the signal for the immune system to attack. The hepatitis C virus has multiple antigens. ߜ T and B cells (lymphocyte): These are the cells that go after antigen.
But the liver also contributes to the immune, circulatory, and excretory systems. ) Picturing the hep C virus So what’s a virus, you may wonder. A virus is actually a small particle that infects cells. Biologists debate whether a virus is really alive because viruses can’t live on their own. A virus must find a host cell. Unfortunately, your liver cells become the host for hep C virus. The virus job description is straightforward: make more copies of itself (reproduce). Because they need to get into the host cell in order to reproduce, viruses have evolved tricky ways of entering the host cell and taking over to make more viruses.
This can happen from an accidental exposure on the job or in the home to chemicals such as cleaning fluids or pesticides. Poisonous mushrooms, when eaten in error, can also cause toxic hepatitis. People with hep C should avoid alcohol, dangerous drugs, and chemicals to prevent further damaging the liver. See Chapter 12 for more information on avoiding dangerous substances. 26 Part I: Understanding and Exposing Hepatitis C You’re considered to be infectious if you have the virus and can possibly pass it to others — even if you don’t have any symptoms.
Living With Hepatitis C For Dummies by Nina L. Paul