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National Stroke Awareness Month

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Image is from National Stroke Association

The National Stroke Awareness Month is an event that occurs during the month of May every year in the United States. This annual event is observed to promote public awareness of stroke in the United States, help save lives of people experiencing a stroke, and reduce the incidence of the disease in America. Crucial resources for stroke survivors are mostly unveiled during this period by various concerned parties.

The National Stroke Awareness Month commenced in May 1989 under President George H. W. Bush. As mentioned earlier, it aims to promote public awareness by warning the masses on the signs and symptoms of stroke and how to prevent it. During this month, the public is well informed of the risk factors of stroke and how it impacts on caregivers, families, and survivors. It is also a timely reminder of survivors of stroke and how organizations like the National Stroke Association supports them throughout their lifetime journey of recovery.

Apart from the United States government, other key players that combine efforts to educate American citizens include; the American Heart Association, numerous non-profit organizations, and the National Stroke Association.

Warning signs and symptoms of stroke

This momentous program emphasizes on informing the masses about Acting FAST. The National Stroke Association suggests that 80% of strokes can be prevented if individuals can act FAST since the victims can get treated. FAST is an acronym for the following signs of stroke that can be witnessed in a suspected victim:

  • F – Face / Check if the face droops on one side when the suspected victim smiles
  • A – Arm / Confirm if one of the arms drifts downwards when you raise both arms of the suspected victim
  • S – Speech / Notice if the suspected victim’s speech sounds slurred after they repeat a simple phrase
  • T – Time / If you observe any of the above, call 9-1-1 (if in US or 999 in UK) and ask for medical assistance.

Other symptoms that may come along with FAST signs include:

  • Sudden dizziness
  • Sudden loss of coordination or balance
  • An ‘impromptu’ headache without a known cause
  • Rapid confusion and trouble understanding speech or talking
  • Sudden trouble seeing
  • Sudden numbness on one side of the body

Types of Stroke

There are three main types of stroke namely; Ischemic, Hemorrhagic, and Transient Ischemic Attack.

  • Ischemic (clots)

This type of stroke accounts for around 87 percent of all cases of stroke. It’s brought about by a hindrance within a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain.

  • Hemorrhagic (bleeds)

This is a type of stroke that is brought about by a rapture of a weakened blood vessel. Aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are the two main types of weakened blood vessels that cause bleeds. However, high blood pressure (hypertension) is the most common cause of hemorrhagic stroke.

  • TIA (transient ischemic attack)

TIA is mostly caused by a temporal clot. Although it’s mostly referred to as a “mini stroke”, it should be taken very seriously.

Prevention of Stroke

Strokes can be prevented since 80 percent of strokes occur due to an unhealthy lifestyle. Although few risk factors including race and age are uncontrollable, there are numerous steps individuals can undertake to significantly reduce their chances of falling victims of stroke.

Identifying the signs and symptoms of stroke is crucial since tPA (a clot-busting drug) can only be administered within the first three hours of the stroke’s onset. For this same reason, the National Stroke Awareness Month is observed to educate the public on how to recognize the symptoms of stroke.

 

 

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Causes and Risks of Heart Disease

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Image is from Fox News

Heart disease (also called Coronary heart disease) is the leading cause of death among adults in the USA. Learning about its causes and risk factors may help you prevent heart problems.

What Causes Heart Disease?

Heart disease typically occurs when plaque (a waxy substance made up of fatty molecules, minerals, and cholesterol) develops in the blood vessels and arteries leading to the heart. The plaque ends up blocking oxygen and vital nutrients from reaching your heart. Elevated cholesterol or triglycerides, cigarette smoking, and high blood pressure usually destroy the inner lining of an artery thereby providing room for plaque to accumulate.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Several risk factors play a significant role in determining your chances of developing a heart disease. Out of the many factors, few stand out since they are beyond your control. These are age, gender, post –menopausal, and heredity. Men are more likely to get heart disease than women. The risk of Coronary Heart Disease intensifies when men are around 45 years, and women are around 55 years of age. The latter implies that the risk of women increases after they reach menopause. If you are related to close family members with a history of the disease, your risk may be greater. Other common risk factors for heart disease include the following;

  • eating unhealthy diets
  • smoking
  • obesity
  • Age
  • being physically inactive
  • clinical depression
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • diabetes or insulin resistance

Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices

Living an unhealthy lifestyle can also play a huge role in increasing your risk of developing a heart disease. Some of these unhealthy lifestyle choices that can contribute to heart disease are:

  • excessive drinking
  • smoking
  • Lack of proper stress management techniques while living in a stressful environment
  • lack of enough physical exercise and living a sedentary lifestyle
  • eating an unhealthy diet that contains high sugary foods, fat proteins, sodium, and trans fats
  • not managing or controlling your diabetes

Depression

Several studies have shown that people suffering from depression are at higher risk of developing heart disease than the general population. Depression can result in some changes in your body that can increase your chances of developing heart disease. Consistently feeling sad or too much stress can elevate your blood pressure and your levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is typically a marker for inflammation in the body. CRP levels that are higher than normal have shown to predict Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Type two diabetes

Doctors estimate that individuals with type 2 diabetes (especially those at middle age) are twice likely to experience a stroke or get a heart disease as individuals who don’t have diabetes. Diabetic adults tend to have multiple heart attacks if they have high blood glucose levels or insulin resistance

How to avoid heart disease

Though heart disease is catastrophic, it can be prevented in most cases. By maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle, everyone would benefit. However, it would be more advantageous to those with increased risk. The following strategies can help you avoid heart disease:

  • drink in moderation
  • stop smoking
  • take supplements, as recommended by your doctor
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • reduce stress in your life
  • exercise on a regular basis
  • maintain a healthy diet
  • Learn the warning signs of strokes, heart disease, and heart attacks
  • get annual physicals from your doctor to assess risk factors and detect abnormalities

One of the most effective ways of preventing stroke, heart attacks, and heart disease is by living a healthy lifestyle as mentioned above. Preventing heart disease should be a priority regardless of your age.

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Understanding Heart Disease

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Heart disease is a very serious problem in the United States. Each year, over 600,000 people die of heart disease each year. It is the leading cause of death in men and women. Because heart disease is such a serious problem, it is important that you know what causes the disease and ways that you can prevent it.

What is Heart Disease

There are a few types of heart disease and if not caught in time, they can be fatal. The types of heart disease include:

  • Heart attack
  • Irregular heart rhythm (Arrhythmia)
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Heart valve disease
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • Congenital heart failure
  • Enlarged heart (Cardiomegaly)
  • Heart muscle disease
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Restrictive Cardiomyopathy
  • Pericarditis
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Marfan Syndrome
  • Heart murmurs

What are the Symptoms of Heart Disease

The symptoms of heart disease can differ, depending on the type that you are suffering from. Overall, however, most of the symptoms are alike, making it difficult to tell what is wrong unless you see a doctor. Also, it is important to understand that heart disease can present very differently in men than in women. Some of the most common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Heart palpitations (A fluttering or flip flopping in your chest. You could also feel as though you are skipping heartbeats.)
  • A strong pounding feeling in the chest
  • Pain, pressure, or tightening in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

There are certain risk factors that make it more likely for one person to suffer from heart disease than another person. These risk factors include:

  • Sex (Males are more likely to develop heart disease than females)
  • Old age
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Post-menopausal women
  • Race (Mexican-Americans, African-Americans, and American Indians are more likely to develop heart disease than Caucasians)
  • Smokers and tobacco product users
  • Individuals with high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and low LDL (good cholesterol)
  • People who are physically inactive
  • Obesity (and individual who is 20 percent over their ideal weight)
  • Excessive drinking
  • Recreational drug use
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Uncontrolled stress
  • Uncontrolled anger

How To Lower the Risk of Developing Heart Disease

If you have a risk factor for developing heart disease, there are a few things that you can do and changes that you can make to reduce your risk. Some of these include:

  • Quit smoking: Smokers have more than twice the risk of developing heart disease than non-smokers.
  • Improve your cholesterol levels: You can improve your cholesterol levels by changing your diet. If that doesn’t work, your doctor can prescribe medication.
  • Control your blood pressure: You can control your blood pressure through diet, exercise, and weight management. If necessary, your doctor can prescribe medication.
  • Keep your diabetes under control.
  • Achieve a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
  • Become more active by walking or exercising.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet, low in salt, cholesterol, trans fat, saturated fat, and refined sugars. Introduce more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains to your diet.
  • Manage your stress and anger: Poorly controlled stress and anger can be treated with relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and massage. You can also try to manage your time better and set realistic goals to reduce your stress. An anger management class can help you control your anger.
  • Quit drinking: Seek professional help if necessary.
  • Quit doing recreational drugs; Seek professional help if necessary.

Heart disease is a leading killer in the United States. If you know the risk factors for heart disease, you can start trying to make changes to live a healthier life.

 

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How to find your ideal heart rate?

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When you think about the idea of maintaining a balanced and healthy heart rate, then you have to take multiple things into consideration. However, instead of just trying to feel good, you also need to have some actual numbers to base your heart rate on. Look to the following points to better understand what your ideal heart rate should be.

What is Your Heart Rate

You first need to understand what a heart rate is. Your heart is an organ (arguably the most vital) that pumps oxygenated blood throughout your body. The more beats per minute, the harder your heart is working. The average heart rate for people will then vary depending upon multiple factors that are related to both short term activities and changes to your body as well as long term changes. This is the exact reason why you need to know what your ideal heart rate is, because it can change from both person to person, as well as within the same person over shorter periods of time.

Ideal Heart Rate Range

The ideal heart rate will vary. However, the average heart rate for a normally functioning human being is between 60 and 80 beats per minute. In other words, your heart will beat roughly every second in order to push blood throughout your body. If it works too slowly, then you could have a problem because you aren’t getting enough oxygen to the rest of your body as well as your brain. That being said, if it works too quickly, then you could have a problem where your body and heart have to work too hard to push your blood through your veins and you could have high blood pressure.

Another point to remember is that when individuals are doing more strenuous exercise, you have to take into consideration the fact that different aged individuals should be mindful of their ranges. For example, a 40 year old can work out in high intensity exercises and allow their heart rate to reach 150 beats per minute. However, a 70 year old shouldn’t go above 125 to 130 unless approved by their medical provider. Too much pressure and too much exercise can be a bad thing in certain circumstances.

Varies on Age, and On Activity

While your resting heart rate should be between 60 and 80 beats per minute, it will have to change just a little bit depending upon your personal activity. If you work out and run or do a lot of cardio exercises, then you are conditioning your heart to work harder. That means when your heart is resting it has no problems with simple blood flow through out the body.

How to Measure

When you are actually trying to measure your heart rate it isn’t the most difficult thing in the world to perform, but you have to be prepared to measure it correctly. You cannot use your thumb when checking your pulse because your thumb has its own pulse and that will obviously mess with the reading. What you can use is your index finger and middle finger. Gently press those two fingers (together) over the blood vessels in your wrist (or other areas where you can find a pulse such as on the neck). Then you count the beats you feel for a full minute to get your pulse. You can also use the short cut method by counting for 10 seconds and multiplying the number by six.

As you can see, in order to get your ideal heart rate you just need to have some knowledge and then keep active, too.

 

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Reblog: What is Hepatitis C?

Intro1

Inforgraphic provided but HealthLine. For more information you can also go to http://www.healthline.com/health/hepatitis-c/facts-statistics-infographic#1

 

What is Hepatitis C?

What makes Hepatitis C dangerous is the fact that even though you are infected with this virus, you will, most likely, have no symptoms.  In the meantime, an infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus can attack your liver leading to its inflammation.  While you are unaware of a hepatitis C infection, your liver may be damaged, and the damage may not show up until routine tests are performed on you decades later.

As many as 3.5 million people in the U.S. are infected with the disease.  Since most of them have few symptoms, they simply don’t know they are infected.  Many forms of the hepatitis C virus exist, however, the most common in the U.S. is type 1.  Of all the forms, none is more serious than the others, but each respond to treatment differently.

Hepatitis C Symptoms

Although there are usually no symptoms for Hepatitis, you might notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Jaundice: This condition causes yellow skin and eyes and dark urine as well.
  • Appetite loss
  • Pain in stomach
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

How Can You Get Hepatitis C?

You can contract Hepatitis C through body fluids or blood of a person infected with the virus.  You can catch this virus in any of the following ways:

  • The sharing of needles and drugs
  • Being stuck with infected needles
  • Having sex with several partners or by having rough sex especially if you have an HIV infection or an STD.

Casual contact, food or water does not spread Hepatitis C.

Who Should be Tested for the Disease?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you be tested for the disease, if you:

  • Received blood from a donor with the disease.
  • Had an organ transplant or blood transfusion before July 1992.
  • Have injected drugs at any time.
  • Have HIV.
  • Have been on kidney dialysis long-term.
  • Were born between 1945 and 1965.
  • Were born when your mother had hepatitis C.
  • Have had abnormal liver tests or have had symptoms of liver disease.
  • Received concentrates for blood-clotting that are used in treating blood disorders before 1987.

Hepatitis C Virus Tests

At your first exam at your doctor’s office, he or she will question you in order to know your past medical history.  After an initial physical exam, you doctor will check the enzymes of your liver in order to determine whether they are high.  If these enzymes are high, this can be considered a sign that you may have the hepatitis C virus.

If your doctor thinks that there is a possibility that you have the hepatitis C virus, he or she will order the following:

  • Test for hepatitis C virus: A blood test is performed to check as to whether you have antibodies in your blood that fight against the hepatitis C virus.  If the antibodies are present, it means that you have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus.
  • Your doctor will also have your blood tested for the genetic material of the hepatitis C virus in order to determine whether you are indeed infected with the virus.
  • Your doctor will also order a blood test to determine the genotype or kind of hepatitis virus you have.  The genotype will determine if you need to be treated as well as what is the best treatment for you.

Hepatitis C Home Test
You can find out whether you have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus by  purchasing the Home Access Hepatitis C Check kit at your local drugstore.  However, it is essential that you discuss the results with your doctor.

 

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Top 5 Heart Disease in Children

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Infographic from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Heart conditions can wreck real havoc in any adult’s life. However, they are even more tragic when the condition attacks a child or young person. Numerous types of heart conditions and diseases attack children. These include:

  • Congenital heart deficiencies
  • Viral infections that cause heart failure
  • Illness triggered heart diseases
  • Genetic syndrome heart conditions
  • Arrhythmias
  • Kawasaki diseases among others

The best way to treat such conditions is to understand their causes and addressing them immediately. Treatment of most of these diseases depend on the symptoms exhibited. Here are the five most common conditions to kids.

Congenital heart diseases

This is a heart condition that suffering children are born with. It is normally caused by heart defects that are present at birth. Most defects found in children are structural and of this nature occurring in eight out of the possible 1000 births. These defects touch on heart muscles or heart valves:

  • Mitral valve prolapse which causes the mitral valve to leak
  • Aortic valve narrowing which restricts blood flow
  • Left and right heart walls (Septum) defects
  • Underdevelopment of the left heart side
  • Holes in the heart especially between major blood vessels leaving the heart
  • Combination of all the above defects which is known as Fallot tetralogy

The congenital defects of the heart can have a long-term defect on a child’s health. They are however treated through surgery, medication, catheter procedures and heart transplants in case of severe conditions. You can improve your child’s life quality by dealing with the heart condition as soon as it is realized.

Atherosclerosis

This refers to a situation where fat and cholesterol plaques accumulate in the arteries. The increase of these deposits causes the arteries to stiffen and narrow. As such, blood clots increase and the risks of heart failure continue to heighten. Avoid conditions that out children at such risks such as hypertension, obesity and diabtetes.it is important to have regular screening for children whose family history has high indications of its occurrence. Also, focus on regular exercising and make dietary adjustments and modifications.

Arrhythmias

This is refers to a condition where the heart beat at an abnormal rate. As such, the heart tends to pump inefficiently. This condition affects children in different ways including fast heart rate, slow heart rate, Long Q-T syndrome and Wolff Parkinson white Syndrome. Parents should watch out for symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, fainting, difficulty feeding and fatigue. Treatment depends on the specific type of arrhythmias hence the need to have a doctor diagnose and prescribe the necessary treatment.

Kawasaki Disease

This rare disease affects children only and can cause inflammation of blood vessels in the mouth, feet, lips, arms and hands as well as the throat. Researchers are yet to know what causes it but it leads to swelling in the lymph nodes and is accompanies by fever. It is feared to be a major cause of children with heart conditions since it affects one in every five children.

Most of those affected are under the age of five. Treatment is based on the extent of the diseases with gamma globin or aspirin being used. Usually, children with this condition will spend their lifetime going for regular checkups. The heart has to be monitored all the time.

Heart murmurs

This is a condition where a whooshing sound is made when blood circulates through the heart’s chambers. This is condition could be harmless but at times it is an indication of an underlying heart condition. It is important that you get the necessary test to confirm that your heart is in good condition.

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What is the main cause of a Heart Attack

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Infographic from myheartsisters.org

Established Accepted Research Facts

Previously, researchers reported in error that only 50 percent of heart attacks were caused by risk factors such as smoking cigarettes or unbridled cholesterol. But now they recapitulate that the cause of 90 percent of all heart attacks  occur because of nine risk factors that you as an individual have the ability to avoid.

Before listing the nine beasts that form the main cause of a heart attack, you should read and mentally acknowledge that these risks are equal opportunity killers.  They attack men and women, young and old, black, white, Asian, European and American.

You cannot reverse the dangers that two of the risks affect, so there is no escape hatch built into the human body.  However, you can affect a decrease of risk by adopting a lifestyle of diet, exercise and moderate alcohol consumption.

Validating Study

Salim Yusuf, MD, leading cardio scientist for the above-referenced study, conducted the study of 30,000 patients, 50 percent being first heart attack survivors, and 50 percent being healthy volunteers comprising similar age, race and gender to the first group of heart attack survivor patients. The study was performed in 52 different countries and on every populated continent, and concluded that it is definite that the same factors of risk and heart dangers causing a heart attack in a white European also causes a heart attack in an Asian.

Compiled Risks Causing Heart Attack:

That last risk being abstaining from alcohol might be puzzling.  However, scientific studies show males who drink up to two alcohol drinks per day, and females who drink up to one per day do have lower risk of heart disease.  One drink is four to five ounces of wine, a 12-ounce beer or one ounce of liquor.

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Measure Your Risk by Your Waistline

Instead of figuring the traditional body mass index, the study researchers took waistline measurements. A waist of more than 80 centimeters or 32 inches in women produced increased risk of heart attack.  In men, a waistline more than 85 centimeters or 34 inches increased their heart attack risk. The waist measurement is a better and more accurate predictor because it is abdominal fat.  That is the type far closely associated with heart attacks.

Summarizing Risk and Effect

The limits of your cardiovascular specialist and cardiologist to protect you from dying of a multi-infarct lie in their ability to provide you with latest scientific data, professional advice and a preventive treatment program.  If prevention does not work and you suffer a major heart attack, your cardiologist will prescribe a more aggressive treatment plan.  If that also fails, then a cardio surgeon might have an opportunity to participate in your treatment by arterial stent implantation or open heart surgery.

They cannot push the carbohydrates and fats off your fork and are unable to shove you into a gym or nature walk regularly.  Their medical background is extensive and grueling, but requires your participation to be effective.

The road you take depends upon whether you choose to travel to prevention of a heart attack or take the highway to the major heart attack exit.

 

Families in Canada order more medicines per human than any other area. The variety of medications marketed by companies is no doubt a contributing question to prescription medicament abuse epidemic. Various remedies are used to treat Bladder inflammation. Certainly it isn’t all. Kamagra is a preparation prescribed to treat many upsets. What do you think about http://levitra-cost.com/levitra-20-mg.html? When you order medications like Kamagra you have to have in mind about levitra 20 mg. More info about Kamagra available at levitra 20mg. Generally, both men and women are afflicted by sexual dysfunctions. At times another disease can cause to impotency. Preparatory to purchasing Kamagra or other generic, speak to your dispenser if you have any allergies. Talk to your health care professional any changes in libido you have experienced. Online pharmacy is a best way to find a doctor in your area who treats this kind of dysfunction.

Tagged , , ,

What is Hepatitis C?

Intro1

Inforgraphic provided but HealthLine. For more information you can also go to http://www.healthline.com/health/hepatitis-c/facts-statistics-infographic#1

What is Hepatitis C?

What makes Hepatitis C dangerous is the fact that even though you are infected with this virus, you will, most likely, have no symptoms.  In the meantime, an infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus can attack your liver leading to its inflammation.  While you are unaware of a hepatitis C infection, your liver may be damaged, and the damage may not show up until routine tests are performed on you decades later.

As many as 3.5 million people in the U.S. are infected with the disease.  Since most of them have few symptoms, they simply don’t know they are infected.  Many forms of the hepatitis C virus exist, however, the most common in the U.S. is type 1.  Of all the forms, none is more serious than the others, but each respond to treatment differently.

Hepatitis C Symptoms

Although there are usually no symptoms for Hepatitis, you might notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Jaundice: This condition causes yellow skin and eyes and dark urine as well.
  • Appetite loss
  • Pain in stomach
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

How Can You Get Hepatitis C?

You can contract Hepatitis C through body fluids or blood of a person infected with the virus.  You can catch this virus in any of the following ways:

  • The sharing of needles and drugs
  • Being stuck with infected needles
  • Having sex with several partners or by having rough sex especially if you have an HIV infection or an STD.

Casual contact, food or water does not spread Hepatitis C.

Who Should be Tested for the Disease?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you be tested for the disease, if you:

  • Received blood from a donor with the disease.
  • Had an organ transplant or blood transfusion before July 1992.
  • Have injected drugs at any time.
  • Have HIV.
  • Have been on kidney dialysis long-term.
  • Were born between 1945 and 1965.
  • Were born when your mother had hepatitis C.
  • Have had abnormal liver tests or have had symptoms of liver disease.
  • Received concentrates for blood-clotting that are used in treating blood disorders before 1987.

Hepatitis C Virus Tests

At your first exam at your doctor’s office, he or she will question you in order to know your past medical history.  After an initial physical exam, you doctor will check the enzymes of your liver in order to determine whether they are high.  If these enzymes are high, this can be considered a sign that you may have the hepatitis C virus.

If your doctor thinks that there is a possibility that you have the hepatitis C virus, he or she will order the following:

  • Test for hepatitis C virus: A blood test is performed to check as to whether you have antibodies in your blood that fight against the hepatitis C virus.  If the antibodies are present, it means that you have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus.
  • Your doctor will also have your blood tested for the genetic material of the hepatitis C virus in order to determine whether you are indeed infected with the virus.
  • Your doctor will also order a blood test to determine the genotype or kind of hepatitis virus you have.  The genotype will determine if you need to be treated as well as what is the best treatment for you.

Hepatitis C Home Test
You can find out whether you have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus by  purchasing the Home Access Hepatitis C Check kit at your local drugstore.  However, it is essential that you discuss the results with your doctor.

 

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