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Recently diagnosed with hepatitis C

The first 6 months

During the first 6 months of living with hepatitis C most people have no symptoms and feel OK. A minority may have flu-like symptoms or jaundice. Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. 2 in 5 patients may clear the virus from their bodies.

After 6 months

Chronic hepatitis C infection develops after 6 months. For some, the virus stays active but they don't develop symptoms for many years.

You may not develop symptoms or liver problems, but you still carry the virus. This means you can pass the virus on to others, for example, by sharing needles.

Chronic hepatitis C symptoms

Chronic hepatitis C symptoms include:

  • extreme tiredness
  • depression
  • short-term memory problems or difficulty concentrating
  • mood swings
  • digestive problems
  • joint and muscle aches and pains
  • headaches
  • flu-like symptoms
  • pain or discomfort in the liver area
  • stomach pains
  • itching

Other complications are very rare, but can include:

  • dryness of the mouth and eyes
  • patches of itchy skin
  • swelling inside the kidneys
  • sensitivity to light, leading to blisters and ulcers on the skin
  • underactive thyroid gland
  • overactive thyroid gland
  • non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (a type of cancer that affects the body's lymphatic system)
  • insulin resistance and diabetes
  • gallbladder disease

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