Late Warning Signs of Hepatitis C
Last updated: August 2020
The late warning signs of hepatitis C are different for everyone. In talking with other patients over the years, I've noticed some trends. For example, some people are very aware of their body, while others have little or no sensitivity to changes. There are so many factors that it’s almost impossible to tell whose liver is super sick, and whose is plugging along just fine.
Hep C is no joke
I say that my liver gave out over night, because I was diagnosed in the ER after my liver and kidney totally failed. It sounds extreme, but I was seriously riding my bicycle one day, and then getting paracentesis and a blood transfusion within 24 hours. Hep C is no joke, and you need to know what can happen.
There are several warning signs of hep C that come later as your liver, and your whole body, becomes more sick. Some symptoms show up on the outside, and others are more internal. Check the following list to see if you have any of these symptoms. Try and remember when they first started. Then, write them down to share with your medical provider.
Outer late warning signs of hepatitis C
Outer (or external) warning signs may include...
- Swelling or Ascites
- Hormone changes like PMGS, or irregular periods
- Yellow skin and eyes, or jaundice
- Nail changes, including brittle, lines or striations, white, curling
- Pupura or blood spots
- Spider angiomas
- Skin rash
- Dark urine
Inner late warning signs of Hepatitis C
Inner (or internal) warning signs may include...
- Enlarged spleen, or splenomegaly
- Portal vein hypertension or thrombosis
Checking your blood labs
A lab test can give your doctor a clue that something is wrong. Get them done annually. However, please do not count on them. I had many labs tests with elevated liver enzymes only 1 time before my liver failed. A CBC and liver panel can offer clues to what is going on. The gold standard is to have your liver tested or biopsied to understand how the late warning signs of Hepatitis C are affecting your body. Your doctor may also look out for anemia due to varices bleeding, low platelets due to spleen health, or elevated ALT or AST (which are liver enzymes).
Little things add up
It may be something as trivial as what I went through. My nails began to get thick and painful. Within a year, I had some eczema on my ear and forehead. Those things so unrelated, but I also began to have brain fog. All of a sudden, I needed a sticky note to remember anything at work and at home. Even severe bruising and having swollen feet went on for more than a year. I was too brain foggy to notice.
Noticing the late warning signs
I hope this helps you to pay attention to the little things going on in your life. If you do have more than 2 of the symptoms listed above, talk to your medical provider. Ask your doctor about getting tested for hep C. Don’t ignore the changes that your body is going through if it might be related to a virus that is damaging your liver. There is a cure and you can be on the road to recovery, and leave the late warning signs behind.