Can You Die From Hepatitis C? Risks and Complications
Can You die from hepatitis C? Of course I looked that question up on online when I was diagnosed. The new drugs weren’t out yet and things looked pretty bleak for me. Do you want to know what the weird part is? All of the scariest things that can happen to a person with liver disease from hepatitis C all happened to me. They could have all killed me.
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How is hepatitis C fatal?
Your portal vein in your liver gets all backed up. The blood moves toward your esophagus and stomach. It can also break out in your intestines. The little aneurysm type of veins called varices. can burst. When that happens, you can lose a lot of blood fast. It’s called a bleed out, and can cause death quickly. Get to the hospital if you see dark brown blood in your stool, or if you vomit bright red blood. If you don’t get help in time, it can be fatal.
My numbers got down in the 20’s several years ago. At that point, any little thing could cause internal bleeding. I thought about it all the time… in traffic, walking down the stairs, sitting on the couch. If your platelets get too low, you can lose too much blood quickly. So getting bonked on the head could be a killer. If your numbers are low, ask your doctor how they can treat it... and stay off of motorcycles.
This is when your body fills up with fluid because you can’t get rid of it fast enough. It’s important to take diuretics and other meds prescribed by your doctor. Eating a low sodium diet can help too. Don’t mess with ascites, the fluid can get infected and take you out.
As your liver progresses though stages, some of the cells can’t handle it. In my case, overgrowth of cells caused Hepatocellular Carcinoma. There are great weapons that will shrink the tumors. In some cases, you may not even need a second treatment. In other cases, you may need a transplant.
There is a long list of complications that are related to liver disease. The big ones are named above. You can also die from other things that are related to cirrhosis from hepatitis C. Your entire body takes a big hit from the virus. It weakens your heart. The burden on your kidneys make them work overtime. You can get too much ammonia in your blood from hepatic encephalopathy. While HE won’t kill you, it can lead to brain fog and you might make a poor choice that could jeopardize your life. Overall, the hepatitis C virus takes a toll on your body and can lead to death.
What you can do?
All of these things can scare the heck out of you. They scared me when I was facing them. You can die from hepatitis C from fatal complications. My friend recently passed away, another victim of cirrhosis. They had eventually treated for hep C but too much damage was done. Sounds bleak, doesn’t it? Here's what to do: Get treated as quickly as you can and give your body tender love and care. That’s what I’m doing anyway.
Does reading hep C patient stories aid you in your journey?