Hello. I was diagnosed with Hepatitis non A non B in 1992 on my first birthday. Back then, Hep C was so unknown that the doctors weren't expecting me to live much longer. I get regular blood tests, and my liver function is always high. I have been told that I don't have it full blown, I am just a carrier. Then I looked online and saw that there was no such thing as a carrier. I am worried about this because I have recently been displaying symptoms of it, such as fatigue, weight gain, and restless sleep. Is it possible to be symptomless for so long? It's been 20 years.
If you have been diagnosed its already know you have hepatitis C. You really need a liver biopsy if you haven't had one. Your liver functions being high are a justified reason for getting. Do you know your Genotype and last viral count?
You are correct, there is no such thing as a Hepatitis C "carrier." You either have Hepatitis C or you do not.
Many doctors do not know how to interpret Hepatitis C test resuts. Many doctors think that if you have positive antibodies, then you have chronic Hepatitis C. That is not necessarily true.
15-20% of people who contract Hepatitis C will clear the infection on their own. The other 80-85% go on to have chronic Hepatitis C. However, even if a person is lucky enough to clear the infection on his/her own, that person will always be positive for Hepatitis C antibodies.
So, you need to know which tests have been performed. Have you had an HCV RNA test done (viral load test) in addition to the Hepatitis C antibody test? If you have not had an HCV RNA test done, then you need to have that test run to see if you have a viral load. Then you will know if you have chronic Hepatitis C or not.
After you have had an HCV RNA, if it comes back with a detectable viral load, then you will know for sure if you have chronic HCV infection. Then you should see a Hepatologist for further testing (liver biopsy, etc.) and treatment.
If one does have Hepatitis C, it is possible to stay symptomless for many years. The symptoms you describe may be from Hepatitis C if you have Hepatitis C.
I think things depend on what your doctor meant when they used the term " carrier". A person exposed to hepatitis C will always test positive for the antibodies. Ask your doctor if there is evidence of a RNA PCR test in your records. This confirms a chronic hep C diagnosis. Then, if positive, there is genotyping and quantitative tests to be had.
These are the first steps to take.
The good news is that hep c is a disease of slow progression. If you do have chronic hep c your doctor may order a liver biopsy to determine the health of your liver.
This is a good site and I wish the best in having your status determined,
I just want to add something. If your HCV RNA comes back negative for Hepatitis C, you still need to find out why you have consistently high liver function tests. That is generally not normal and the doctors should be trying to determine the cause.
Your profile states that you are 21 years old.
You say you tested positive in 1991.
Are you certain that you have this straight because you had to have been 1 or 2 years of age when you tested positive?
How old are you and how old were you when you tested positive?
Gee, I really skimmed over that first line.
I apologize for not reading more carefully.
That is a first for me - diagnosed at year one with non A non B.
Back then I really don't know how accurate that diagnosis was for Hep C.
What can she do other than get tested?
I guess that's already been said.....ad nauseum.
Hello. I was diagnosed with Hepatitis non A non B in 1992 on my first birthday.
I would hope you have been tested long after that one test as that test may not even be a true reflection of your having HCV as the consensus is that until 18 months you may not have even cleared your mothers "antibodies".
There are two basic blood tests for Hep C, the antibody
test, and the PCR test. Babies born to mothers with Hep
C “appear” positive at birth for Hep C antibodies because
babies are born with their mother’s antibodies from the
pregnancy. The baby develops its own immune system
after birth and the mother’s antibodies will disappear
by about 18 months, when an accurate antibody test
can be done.
If the antibody test is negative at 18 months your baby
does not have Hep C. If the antibody test comes back
positive, another test called a PCR test will be done to
check for the presence of the Hep C virus itself before
a diagnosis is confirmed. The PCR test can be done as
early as 4 months of age, but as with the antibody test,
the longer you wait the more accurate the results
I would just go get a "Quantitiative viral load test", to see if you actually still carry the virus, and then get back to us, Colleen. If you do indeed have Hep C, then it does tend to surface after a 20 yr period.
Not to worry though, you can get rid of this virus, just like I did. Make sure you get back to us, and we will help~
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