Hepatitis C Specialist

GI Consultants

Bhavin Dave, MD

Gastroenterology located in Dover, DE

Hepatitis C causes liver swelling, and could eventually leave you with a nonfunctional liver. At GI Consultants in Dover, Delaware, Bhavin Dave, MD, offers hepatitis C treatment to help preserve your liver function and regain your health. Use the online appointment tool or call the office to schedule your consultation today.

Hepatitis Q & A

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a serious virus affecting your liver. It causes liver inflammation and swelling. There are two general types of hepatitis C: acute and chronic.

Acute hepatitis C

Acute hepatitis C develops sometime in the six-month period following virus exposure. In some cases, hepatitis C is short term, but 75-85% of acute hepatitis C sufferers develop the chronic form of the condition.

Chronic hepatitis C

Chronic hepatitis C can last your whole life if you don't get treatment. The hepatitis C infection grows worse over time, often leading to severe liver damage, liver cancer, or liver scarring. Your liver could shut down completely. Untreated, hepatitis C can be fatal.

Both types of hepatitis C require attention immediately. With fast treatment, you can avoid long-term liver damage.

How do you get hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is passed through blood and can be passed from mother to child during birth. The most common way to get hepatitis C is through shared drug needles. You can also get hepatitis C through:

  • Accidental used needle sticks
  • Sexual contact 
  • Shared personal items, like razor blades
  • Unsterilized tattoo or piercing tools

You can’t get hepatitis C from sharing a drinking cup or from kissing, and you can’t get it when an infected person coughs or sneezes around you either. Blood contact is the only way it’s spread.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C doesn’t always cause symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, you might have:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Joint pain
  • Exhaustion
  • Poor appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark urine
  • Yellow-tinted eyes or skin

If you have some of these symptoms or think you were exposed to hepatitis C, call GI Consultants for help as soon as possible. 

How does the doctor diagnose hepatitis C?

Your GI Consultants gastroenterologist typically performs blood tests to diagnose hepatitis C. You might also need a biopsy, in which your doctor tests a very small sample of your liver for the hepatitis C virus and liver damage.

How is hepatitis C treated?

Treatment typically includes specific oral antiviral medications for around 12 weeks. This is effective for most hepatitis C sufferers. But if you have severe liver damage or your liver stops working, you might eventually need a liver transplant. 

The earlier you get hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment, the better chance of making a full recovery.

The GI Consultants team is waiting to help you through the challenges of hepatitis C. Book your appointment online or by phone today.