Why Hepatitis C Symptoms Are So Elusive

The Short Answer from a hepatologist

Why Hepatitis C Symptoms Are So Elusive

Q: Why are the symptoms of hepatitis C so elusive?

A: The symptoms of hepatitis C may be called elusive because most people infected with this disease of the liver develop no symptoms.

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Uncommonly acute hepatitis C can cause you to have dark urine, stomach pain or nausea, yellow skin, yellow in the white part of the eye, pale or clay-colored stool, low-grade fever, loss of appetite, and fatigue.

However, the majority of people carry the virus for many years without any symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to get screened if your doctor recommends it.

People born between 1945 and 1965 should get screened as they are most at risk. About 70 percent of the people who have hepatitis C are baby boomers, but many of them don’t even know they have it.

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Intravenous drug users of any age are also at increased risk and should get screened.

— Hepatologist William Carey, MD

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