In 2012, doctors at the CDC took a closer look at hepatitis C. They looked at the medical records of thousands of men and women diagnosed with the disease and found that 75 percent of them were Baby Boomers. At this point, they started urging that people born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for hepatitis C.
If your mom and dad are in their late-60s or early-70s, they need to be tested for the disease. Most patients wait until they’re experiencing the symptoms of liver disease. The CDC estimates that almost 4 million people have hepatitis C. There’s no preventative vaccine, so treatment is essential. Caught early, hepatitis C can be cured.
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a virus that’s passed from person to person through contact with blood. It might be passed through sharing things like razors or toothbrushes or sexual intercourse.
Hepatitis C can be tricky.
Some people never show symptoms. Unless they’re tested, they could pass the virus to someone and not know it. This is why testing is essential for Baby Boomers. For those who do experience symptoms, they usually start with appetite loss, fatigue, and fever. Eventually, dark urine, abdominal pain, and jaundice occur.
Up to 70 percent of those infected with hepatitis C end up with a chronic liver disease. As many as 20 percent can end up with cirrhosis of the liver. Up to 5 percent battle liver cancer because of the virus.
What Are the Treatment Options?
There are several treatments for hepatitis C. In 1 out of 4 acute cases, the virus clears up on its own. Others need to take as many as three medications. Even with medications, the virus may remain or return. One of the new medications used to fight hepatitis C is Harvoni. It has a cure rate of 94 to 99 percent. Intron A is another medication used to treat hepatitis C. It has a success rate of approximately 50 percent.
When you do have hepatitis C, one of the first things you’ll hear is to stop drinking alcohol. You also need to give up over-the-counter medications that affect the liver. You don’t want to damage the liver more than the virus already has.
Get your mom and dad to take the test. If hepatitis C is diagnosed, elder care professionals can help get housework done. Your parent will fatigue easily, so it’s important to have help around the home. They’ll benefit from help with housework, laundry, and meal preparation. Call an elder care agency to discuss the possible services.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Gateway, FL, please contact the caring staff at Touched by An Angel Senior Care today. Call 239-215-8803 today.