Hepatitis C is a kind of liver infection that causes serious damage when left untreated. Government reports mention that there are more than 3 million people in the United States living with this condition, and there are many more cases that go unreported too. Here are some common symptoms of hepatitis C you should know about.

  • Tiredness: One of the early common symptoms of hepatitis C is feeling tired without obvious reasons. As the body gets infected, the immune system tries hard to fight the infection off and this causes tiredness and fatigue in the body. Tiredness can settle in a few weeks after you are infected.
  • Joint and muscle pain: Another symptom of the condition is that you will experience joint and muscle pain. This is also because of the overactive immune system trying to fight the infections in the initial stages. As the virus keeps multiplying in the body, the joint and muscle pain intensifies too.
  • Jaundice: About 20% of all patients with hepatitis C will experience jaundice. Jaundice is a condition that causes the eyes and skin of a person to get a yellow tinge. This is a result of high levels of bilirubin in the blood. The liver is responsible for processing bilirubin and if it is affected because of hepatitis C, you can develop jaundice.
  • Clay-colored stools: Another common symptom of hepatitis C is clay-colored stools. When the flow of bile from the liver is reduced or disturbed, your poop can turn clay-colored. This is to be considered a vital sign of the condition and you should get yourself tested right away.
  • Stomach pain: Without the right amounts of bile breakdown, the gall bladder gets inflamed. This causes stomach pain near the upper abdomen on the right side of the body. The improper processing of bilirubin also causes fluid build-up in the stomach that also leads to cramping and stomach pain.
  • Itching: One of the later common symptoms of hepatitis C is severe itching in the body. The liver is responsible for removing toxins from the body. When it is affected because of this infection, there is a toxin build-up that can cause severe itching.
  • Appetite loss: People with this condition suffer from loss of taste and appetite loss. A chronic form of hepatitis C leads to an alteration in their taste buds when it comes to umami and sweet tastes. This prevents one from enjoying food.

All these common symptoms of hepatitis C vary from person to person depending on their age and stage of infection. Getting yourself tested when you go through one or more of these symptoms will help you treat the condition early on.