First Signs of Hepatitis C

First Signs of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C does not always have symptoms. It can take weeks or months for any signs to show up. During the acute phase, some people have mild symptoms while others get very sick. During the chronic phase, the symptoms may not be noticeable at all – for years. Here is what to look for at the first signs of hepatitis C.

Loss of appetite

When nothing really sounds good, you don’t want to eat. Even when someone places your favorite dish in front of you, it gets pushed away. If nothing sounds good, you’ve really lost your appetite.


Sometimes you get a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. If your tummy is empty, it can feel like a giant cave, but something tells you not to eat. Or you may have just eaten and feel like it is going to come right back up, it is best to have a trash can nearby, or go to the restroom.


If you are unable to hold food down, get into a safe position to get sick. Keep your head elevated or lean forward to keep from aspirating. If there is any red blood or a dark “coffee grounds" look to your vomit, go to the hospital. It’s a sign of internal bleeding.

Body aches

An achiness that is deep within your bones is sign that there is inflammation. It is possible that your body is responding to an inflamed liver.


When your liver backs the blood up into your spleen, it hangs onto the platelets. With very few platelets cycling through your blood stream, there is not enough clotting going on. If you are bruising easy, it could be from hepatitis C.


If you feel more tired than usual, check your diet and rest patterns. Insomnia is a sign of liver disease and can make you more tired during the day.

Dark urine

This is related to your bilirubin and is an indication of liver disease.


Yellowing of the skin or eyes are also related to bilirubin. When your kidneys are not able to flush well, there is too much bile in your body.

Light-colored stool

A build-up of bilirubin can lead to light-colored stool.

Dry skin

Dry skin is another sign of liver disease. If the dryness doesn’t respond to creams, or if an itchy rash begins to spread, it’s time to pay attention.

Ascites (swollen belly)

When your body begins to hold excess fluids in your abdomen, arms, and legs, it’s a sure sign that your liver disease is progressing.

What begins as acute hepatitis C slowly moves into liver disease as it becomes chronic. These symptoms can come on gradually, one at a time. If they are ignored, they can pile up and make life very difficult for you.

I had no clue what was happening to my body. Many of these symptoms were there in small ways. They added up to end stage liver disease and my liver failed. I was lucky enough to get treated quickly.

If you can check three or more of any signs, take notice. I wish I had. I thought they were unrelated. The key is to look for a pattern. If you are progressing in liver disease, it is good to take these facts to your doctor. Get the help you need today!

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