Hepatitis C Specialist

Arizona Infectious Disease

Infectious Disease Specialists located in Lake Havasu City, AZ & Chandler, AZ

Hepatitis C is a serious disease, but recent advances in medicine have made it easier to treat than ever before. At Arizona Infectious Disease in Scottsdale, Peoria, Havasu, Glendale, Fort Mohave, Gilbert, Sierra Vista, Yuma, and Kingman, Arizona, Dr. Aman Dalal offers treatment for hepatitis C patients. If you have hepatitis C and need caring, expert treatment, call Arizona Infectious Disease or book an appointment online today.

Hepatitis C Q & A

What is Hepatitis C?

The word “hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver. It’s also the name of a family of viral infections that cause liver inflammation, including hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Of those three, hepatitis C is the only one for which there’s no vaccine yet.

Hepatitis C is a contagious disease that results from a viral infection of the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which most commonly spreads via contact with contaminated blood.

There are two phases of hepatitis C, acute and chronic:

Acute Hepatitis C 

This is a short-term condition that occurs within the first six months after you’ve been exposed to HCV. Often, the acute phase goes undiagnosed, because it rarely causes symptoms. In about 75-85% of cases, acute hepatitis C develops into a chronic condition. Less often, it resolves on its own.

Chronic Hepatitis C 

Chronic hepatitis C is a long-term condition that can cause serious complications, including liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.

How do you get Hepatitis C?

HCV spreads when the blood of an infected person enters your bloodstream. Certain factors can increase your risk of getting hepatitis C, such as:

  • Having a profession that exposes you to infected blood, such as working in health care
  • Injecting drugs and sharing needles
  • Getting a tattoo or piercing from unsterilized equipment
  • Being born to a mother with hepatitis C
  • Having sexual contact with a person infected with HCV
  • Sharing personal items, such as a razor or toothbrush, with an infected person

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis C?

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Bleeding and bruising easily
  • Yellowish skin and eyes
  • Dark urine
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Itchy skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

How Do You Test For and Treat Hepatitis C?

Dr. Dalal can test your blood to determine whether you have hepatitis C. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, he may recommend hepatitis C screening if you fall into a high-risk group.

If you have hepatitis C, they may use additional tests to assess liver damage, such as:

  • Liver biopsy
  • Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE)
  • Transient elastography

Treatment varies, depending on your needs. Dr. Dalal may recommend antiviral medications to treat hepatitis C. Recent medical developments have made these medications much easier to take and more effective than ever before.

If you’re suffering from, or at risk of, developing Hepatitis C, call Arizona Infectious Disease or book an appointment online today.