Other Complication Of Hepatitis C

Primarily, HCV is a liver disease; still the virus can cause other medical problems.

These are called as extrahepatic manifestations because they happen outside the liver.

We have not been able to discover all the ways that HCV affects the body, here are some that we do know about.

Compared to a person who does not have HCV, a person with HCV has a higher risk of many cancers.

So is the case about cardio vascular diseases and stroke.

Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes

If the body does not use the insulin produced effectively, it is called insulin resistance.

Therefore, glucose builds up in the blood and does not get absorbed in the cells leading to Type 2 diabetes.

People with HCV are at a higher risk for this condition as is revealed by studies.


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Kidney Disorders

Chronic kidney disease is more with HCV patients. Other disorders of the kidney include

  • Cryoglobulinemia is a disorder caused by abnormal proteins (cryoglobulins) that clump together in the blood. These proteins can accumulate in the small blood vessels, particularly in the kidneys. Blood flow is restricted, which damages the kidneys.
  • Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis is a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy kidney cells, injuring the glomeruli (the kidneys’ filters).
  • Membranous nephropathy is a disease that also affects the glomeruli. The glomeruli become inflamed and thickened, which reduces kidney function.
  • Polyarteritis nodosa is an autoimmune disease that affects the arteries. Kidney failure may result.

Rheumatic Diseases
People with HCV have a higher risk of rheumatic diseases such as pain in the joints, muscles, connecting tissues etc.

The reason for this is an over active immune system which is trying to control the HCV. These are difficult to diagnose.

Certain medicines for HCV may accelerate these rheumatoid symptoms too. Some other rheumatic conditions include

  • Cryoglobulinemia may affect organs in addition to the kidneys, including the skin and peripheral nerves. “Cryo” is a disease in which proteins in the blood clump together and can damage blood vessels. There are many forms and varying severities of cryoglobulinemia, and in the case of hep C, HCV particles are deposited on the walls of small vessels, causing inflammation. Mixed cryoglobulinemia is the most common type of cryoglobulinemia associated with HCV. Patients with cryoglobulinemia may experience purpura (red or purple skin discolorations), severe fatigue, muscle aches and joint pain.
  • Peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that usually affects the feet or hands, but may affect the legs or arms. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, burning or other types of pain to the extremities. Peripheral neuropathy is associated with cryoglobulinemia, but may occur in hepatitis C patients who do not have it.
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon is a disorder in which blood flow is reduced to the fingers and toes. Triggered by cold or stress, Raynaud’s causes pain and numbness in the fingers or toes, and the extremities may whiten. Raynaud’s is also associated with cryoglobulinemia, but may occur in hepatitis C patients who do not have it.
  • Sicca syndrome is an autoimmune disease that causes dry eyes, dry mouth and arthritis-like pain. Also called Sjögren’s, sicca syndrome is associated with cryoglobulinemia, but may occur in hepatitis C patients who do not have it.

Skin diseases
Many dermatological conditions also are associated with HCV.

  • Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) may occur when there is a deficiency of the enzyme uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase, causing excess amounts of porphyrins to build up in the liver. Blisters develop on sun-exposed skin, such as the hands and face.
  • Lichen planus causes bumps on the skin, mouth, and genitals that are usually shiny, firm and reddish-purple. The bumps may be interspersed with white lacy lines. Lichen planus may be itchy.

Many studies reveal that a successful HCV treatment outcome also clears up HCV associated extra hepatic conditions and manifestations.


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Call 928-328-8909 to get helpful information, a Hep C guide, and facts about managing Hep C.

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