What is the natural progression of Hepatitis C?
The Hepatitis C virus lives in your liver. When it invades healthy liver cells, it causes those cells to become inflamed. Over time, this will affect the way your liver functions. You can live with HCV for many years without experiencing any major symptoms, or you might experience minor symptoms such as fatigue. Symptoms can come and go over time and the presence or absence of symptoms do not relate to the degree of liver damage that may be occurring. Chronic, long term inflammation of the liver can cause liver cell damage and result in fibrosis (liver scarring), or even cirrhosis. These changes can happen in as little as 5 years, or can take as long as 30 years. About 20% of Chronic Hepatitis patients develop cirrhosis within 10-20 years. The use of recreational drugs or alcohol affect how fast inflammation develops into fibrosis or more seriously, cirrhosis. Certain drugs, including some that you may take without a prescription, can cause further damage to your liver. You should ask