Hepatitis [Hepatitis means inflammation of the live] C is an infectious disease affecting primarily the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV
This year has seen the introduction of a breakthrough medicine for hepatitis C which, in more than 90 per cent of cases, will cure the disease within 12 weeks. Further drugs are expected to be approved in the next few months, representing the biggest advance in treatment for hepatitis C since the virus was identified in 1989.
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that infects the cells of the liver.
What does the liver do?
The liver is in the upper right part of the abdomen. It has many functions which include:
Storing glycogen (fuel for the body) which is made from sugars. When required, glycogen is broken down into glucose which is released into the bloodstream.
Helping to process fats and proteins from digested food.
Making proteins that are essential for blood to clot (clotting factors).
Processing many medicines which you may take.
Helping to remove or process alcohol, poisons and toxins from the body.
Making bile which passes from the liver to the gut down the bile duct. Bile breaks down the fats in food so that they can be absorbed from the bowel.