What Are the Effects of Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is caused by a virus that attacks the liver, causing inflammation. Symptoms of hepatitis C usually don’t manifest until liver damage begins. Hepatitis C is considered the most serious of the hepatitis diseases. Hepatitis C is most commonly passed through contaminated blood through needle sharing from illegal drug use.

Flu-Like Symptoms

As the virus begins to attack the body, the immune system becomes infected as well. The result is the development of flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite. Your doctor may recommend traditional treatment of these symptoms.


You may experience generalized muscle and joint pain with particular pain and tenderness near the liver. Your abdominals may also be painful or feel tender to the touch. For some patients, abdominal pain is caused by ascites. Ascites is excess fluid in the space between the tissue lining of the abdomen and the abdominal organs.

Liver-Related Symptoms

As the liver becomes damaged, you may experience jaundice. When the liver becomes damaged, it cannot properly process red blood cells. Pigmentation from the blood cells build up, and your skin and the whites of your eyes may take on a yellowish hue. The liver plays a vital role in processing chemicals and toxins out of the body. Because the liver is not functioning properly, some patients report generalized itching as certain toxins begin to accumulate in various parts of the body.

Excretory Symptoms

You may notice that your urine is dark or that your stools are pale and clay-colored. Notify your doctor immediately if this occurs and monitor the duration of these symptoms.

About this Author

Shemiah Williams is a young but experienced writer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business and technology and a master’s degree in clinical psychology. She serves as a subject matter expert in many areas of health, relationships and professional development.