Hepatitis C and Diabetes: the Connection
Hepatitis C and diabetes are two diseases that can be linked. Studies have shown that having hepatitis C is also a risk factor for developing type 1 and 2 diabetes. Moreover, people with diabetes can actually worsen hepatitis C.
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus which is spread by making contact with an infected person’s blood. It can also spread through sharing any equipment that are used to prepare and inject drugs. Usually, hepatitis C does not heal on its own and a person can get serious liver disease from it.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?
An infection with hepatitis C can develop differently. Most people with hepatitis C have no symptoms in the first years of the disease, or are just a bit tired. We call this chronic hepatitis. Some people get acute hepatitis. Within a few months of being infected, they will suffer from:
- less appetite
- nausea or vague abdominal pain
- yellow whites of the eyes and yellow skin (jaundice)
- dark urine (the color of strong tea)
- light stools (putty color)
How does hepatitis C develop?
Hepatitis C is caused by a virus. You can get the virus if blood with the virus gets into your blood. For example, there may be contaminated blood on: needles (drug use; abroad: piercings, tattoos and acupuncture (legal shops in the Netherlands work hygienically), a toothbrush (due to bleeding gums), a razor blade, bandages, plasters and sanitary towels. virus in infected blood can enter the body through wounds or minor damage to mucous membranes.
The chance that the hepatitis C virus is transmitted through sex is small. The chance is greater if wounds develop in the mucous membranes of both partners during sex. This can happen with anal sex, for example. If you are HIV positive or have another STI, you are more susceptible to hepatitis C. In some countries you can become infected if you receive blood from someone else with a blood transfusion. In the Netherlands, Western Europe, the United States and Australia, blood for transfusions has been checked for hepatitis C since 1992. If a woman with hepatitis C becomes pregnant, there is a small chance that she will infect the baby during delivery.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is a metabolism disorder; the way your bodies use digested food for energy. Most food we eat is broken down into glucose; it is the principal source of fuel for your body.
Immediately after the digestion of food, the glucose enters your bloodstream. Your cells use this glucose for energy. However, glucose cannot be consumed by your cells without the presence of insulin; insulin makes your cells absorb glucose.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. After eating, the pancreas automatically releases enough insulin to move the blood glucose into the cells, as soon as glucose enters the cells blood-glucose drops back.
Diabetes is a condition with a high blood sugar caused by improper glucose metabolism. A person with diabetes after eating his/her blood glucose elevates too much (hyperglycemia). It is because the body does not produce enough insulin, no insulin, or cells not responding correctly to the insulin. It results in elevated glucose level in the blood even though the blood has plenty of glucose, the cells not able to get essential fuel for energy.
The connection between hepatitis C and diabetes
If you have hepatitis C, the disease increases the chances of developing other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and other immune system disorders. In fact, one-third of people who have hepatitis C also have type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes develops if the cells in the body cannot absorb glucose or blood sugar. Every tissue of the body absorbs glucose as its source of energy. Insulin helps glucose enter the cells.
Hepatitis C boosts the insulin resistance of the body, causing type 2 diabetes to develop. If the body has insulin resistance, glucose will not be able to go where it is supposed to go.
Medical centre in Abu Dhabi
Adam and Eve Specialized Medical Centre has internal medicine doctors that will help you recover from hepatitis C and diabetes. If you are experiencing symptoms of these disease, consult with our internal medicine doctor today.