Hepatitis C causes inflammation of the liver. Yet your liver plugs away in spite of damage until it affects other organs. The good news is that the likelihood of getting rid of the disease is better now than at any time in history! I want to give you an “easy to hear” version. I’m your best friend and I will tell you the whole truth. But let’s keep our heads up. There is always hope. Do you hear me? Your liver is a hard working organ. I was so so very sick and scared when I first read about hep c. I was past Grade 4/Stage 4, I lay in my bed and wondered if I would wake up the next day. We’ll take it a little at a time. But you have got to know what you are dealing with. Ready?

When dealing with hep c, it is important for us to have a working knowledge of how the liver functions. If you are like me, you read and listen to your doctor, but the information can end up in a tangled balled up mess in your mind. It is not easy to digest a lot, especially when you’re sick. Let’s try to break it down for those of us who are medical terminology impaired. Liver disease is a broad term that encompasses many illnesses. One example is fatty liver, another is alcoholic cirrhosis. The damage can be the same. First of all we need to know how hep c can affect the liver.  We all feel like students trying to decipher words and phrases. Please remember - We do not have to know everything today. There are always experts to give us information regarding symptoms, lab and X Ray results, and treatment. By keeping our short term memory for all of the things that we personally need to treat and survive, we find it easier to ask others about the things that do not stick in our brain.  It’s okay to ask, and ask again for the more complicated questions that arise.

Thanks to our hard working liver
Thanks to our hard working liver

The liver is basically like an oil filter. It plays many important roles in our body. It is tucked right under our heart on the right side and is a big organ that does a lot of work. It is constantly filtering all of our blood. Everything we eat, drink, inhale, or put on our skin is filtered by the liver. The hep c virus needs cells to host it. It will invade every cell in our body, but the target is the liver. It sets up residence and multiplies in the liver. Remember those pics of cells multiplying from your science classes? Yep. It’s happening everyday in our bodies. Most of them are killed off by our immune system. That is why we may initially have a low viral load of hep c, but the damage is still being done.

The hepatitis C cells target is the liver. The damage is in our favor in one sense, and our enemy in another. Stick with me, I’ll get around to telling you how. The liver is the only organ that regenerates, or heals itself. Put simply, the liver tries to heal the injury caused by the virus. In the process, fibrosis is formed. Fibrosis is like scar tissue that our liver creates in its’ attempt to heal.

Click here to read the full blog entry on IHelpC.com.