Hepatitis C Infection (HCV, Hep C): Causes, How It's Spread, and Treatment Guidelines for the Cure

  • Medical Author:

    Sandra Gonzalez Gompf, MD, FACP is a U.S. board-certified Infectious Disease subspecialist. Dr. Gompf received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami, and a Medical Degree from the University of South Florida. Dr. Gompf completed residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of South Florida followed by subspecialty fellowship training there in Infectious Diseases under the directorship of Dr. John T. Sinnott, IV.

  • Medical Author: Siddharth Bansal, MD
    Siddharth Bansal, MD

  • Medical Author: Ashwani Singal, MD, MS, FACG
  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Quick GuideHepatitis C (Hep C) Symptoms and Treatment

Hepatitis C (Hep C) Symptoms and Treatment

What are the symptoms of hepatitis C infection?

About 75% of people have no symptoms when they first get hepatitis C infection. The remaining 25% may have

  1. fatigue,
  2. loss of appetite,
  3. muscle aches, or
  4. fever.

Very few people experience hepatitis symptoms or signs such as dark urine, yellow eyes, or clay colored stools in acute or early infection. Over time, people with chronic infection may develop signs of liver inflammation. This is often the first suggestion that the infection may be present. Infected individuals may become easily fatigued or complain of nonspecific symptoms.

As cirrhosis develops, symptoms and signs increase and may include:

  1. Elevated liver enzymes in the blood
  2. Weakness
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Weight loss
  5. Breast enlargement in men (gynecomastia)
  6. Redness of the palms
  7. Difficulty with the clotting of blood
  8. Spider-like blood vessels on the skin
  9. Abdominal pain
  10. Clay colored stools
  11. Bleeding from the esophagus
  12. Fluid in the abdomen
  13. Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)
  14. Confusion
  15. Coma
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/12/2016

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