hepatitis C is a viral disease of the liver, it can also cause diseases in
other organs. These diseases and/or symptoms outside the liver are called
'extrahepatic manifestations'. According to a French study, three-quarters of
people with hepatitis C have at least one extrahepatic disorder.1,2,3,4 The following complications
occur relatively frequently:
- Joint and muscle pains
- Kidney damage
- Depression and anxiety
- Changes to the skin and
- Lack of energy and tiredness
- Cardiovascular disease and
type 2 diabetes.
but somewhat rarer, symptoms are anaemia (reduced level of red blood cells), skin
and thyroid diseases.
proportion of people with HCV, particularly women, develop autoimmune disorders
of varying severity. These include:
- Vasculitis: a painful blood
- Autoimmune thyroid disease.
- Autoimmune hepatitis: this
is a more serious form of liver disease than viral infection.
- Glomerulonephritis: a
serious form of kidney disease in which the blood filtering function
- Polyarthritis: multiple
joint pains and swelling.
- Cryoglobulinaemia: a
condition in which abnormal proteins called cryoglobulins form in the
- Porphyria cutanea tarda: a
condition in which by-products of haemoglobin production build up in the
- Scleroderma: hardening of
- Sicca syndrome: a chronic
condition characterised by dry eyes and dry mouth.
infects the lymphatic system as well as the liver and the blood. Nearly all
people with hepatitis C have virus in their lymphatic vessels and organs. Hepatitis
C has also been linked to low blood cell counts and to diabetes and other