Hepatitis C is a type of liver disease that can spread from person to person. It is caused by the hepatitis C virus, otherwise known as HCV or hep C. There is no current vaccine to protect against hepatitis C, although preventive measures can be taken to reduce a person's risk of contracting the disease. Unprotected vaginal and anal sex can lead to contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but people may wonder if the same applies to oral sex. Hepatitis C is a viral disease and is contagious — is it possible to contract hepatitis C from oral sex? Hepatitis C spreads through coming into contact with another person's blood. If infected blood from one person enters another person's bloodstream, that person may become infected. Overall, the risk of transmitting hepatitis C during any type of sexual activity is low. While highly unlikely, it could happen during oral sex if a person with hepatitis C has cracked and bleeding lips and the partner has an open wound. According to … [Read more...] about Can hepatitis C be transmitted through oral sex?
Liver Disease / Hepatitis
Biotin or vitamin B-7 is a water-soluble vitamin. It is an essential nutrient that helps convert food into fuel for the body and helps metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Biotin also plays a role in gene regulation and cell signaling and is associated with healthy hair, nails, and skin. It is important for the developing fetus in pregnant women and for liver health. As biotin is water-soluble, it is not stored in the body. However, biotin can be manufactured by bacteria in the gut, taken as a dietary supplement, or obtained by eating certain foods. The Office of Dietary Supplements state that an adequate intake (AI) of biotin for adults is 30 micrograms (mcg) daily, with breastfeeding women requiring 35 mcg. How much biotin food retains is affected by the processing techniques. For example, canning can reduce biotin levels. Also, some research suggests that it is difficult to estimate the biotin content of foods due to inaccuracies and gaps in the data of food composition … [Read more...] about What you should know about biotin-rich foods
The body stores fat in many areas of the body for use as energy and insulation. The liver is partially made up of fat, but if the fat content in the liver is too high, it may be a sign of fatty liver disease. There are two types of fatty liver disease: alcoholic liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It is also possible to get fatty liver disease due to pregnancy. Fatty liver disease damages the liver, preventing it from removing toxins and producing bile for the digestive system. When the liver is unable to do these tasks effectively, it puts a person at risk of developing other problems throughout their body. The primary treatment for fatty liver disease concerns making changes in diet and exercise, although some people may need to see a doctor for further treatment. A diet for fatty liver disease includes a wide variety of foods. Reducing calories and eating high-fiber, natural foods are a good starting point. Eating foods containing complex carbohydrates, fiber, and … [Read more...] about What to eat for a fatty liver
Proteins are vital to every part of the human body. They are found in bones, muscles, skin, and nearly every vital organ or tissue. Protein must be consumed through food, as it is needed by the body for proper functioning and survival. The body cannot store protein long-term for future use, as it does fat, so it requires an adequate protein intake each day. Hypoproteinemia is uncommon in developed countries where people eat a normal, well-balanced diet. But, it can affect people who have certain health conditions or have diets lacking in protein. Health conditions that affect the body's digestion or absorption of proteins from food, or the processes that allow the body to use protein, are often to blame. In other cases, undereating or very restrictive diets can be the cause. Malnutrition and undereating Hypoproteinemia can be related directly to a person's diet. This is especially so if calorie consumption is too low or certain food groups are eliminated. Diet-related hypoproteinemia … [Read more...] about What you need to know about hypoproteinemia
Low levels of the waste product creatinine in the body could be a sign that the liver or muscles are not working as well as they should. We find out what causes creatinine levels to drop, whether this is always a cause for concern, and what can be done to restore healthier levels. When the body uses the amino acid creatine for energy, creatinine is left behind as waste. The levels of creatinine in the bloodstream or urine can be checked if there is a concern that someone may have a disease of the liver or muscles. More often, low creatinine levels are a sign of losing muscle mass as people age, or it is a temporary condition during pregnancy or periods of illness, or due to malnutrition. The amino acid called creatine has gained popularity as a dietary supplement due to evidence that it may increase body mass, improve short-term intense exercise performance, and aid in recovery. When creatine breaks down as it is used for energy, creatinine is created as a waste … [Read more...] about All you need to know about low creatinine levels
The term choledocholithiasis refers to a condition when a gallstone or gallstones become lodged within any duct of the bile system. The ducts typically involved are the common bile duct, the cystic duct, and the common hepatic duct. The gallbladder is a small organ located underneath the liver. Its primary function is to store bile, which helps with digestion. Gallstones develop within the gallbladder and bile ducts from the buildup of hard particles of bilirubin or cholesterol. Gallstones can range from being microscopic to the size of a golf ball. Some people affected by gallstones may only have one or two, whereas others may have hundreds of stones within their gallbladder. In the United States alone, up to 25 million people are affected by gallstones, with nearly 10-15 percent of Americans developing gallstones at some point in their lives. However, up to 80 percent of people will not display any symptoms of the condition. Doctors usually discover these silent gallstones when they … [Read more...] about Choledocholithiasis: Causes, symptoms, and diagnosis
Metformin is a medication that helps manage type 2 diabetes and occasionally prediabetes. In general, drinking alcohol while taking metformin is not helpful and not recommended by doctors. The side effects of metformin can be life-threatening with excessive alcohol consumption. Metformin and alcohol both put stress on the liver, so intensifying the harmful effects and increasing the risk of liver complications. Metformin is a popular, effective, and inexpensive management medication, prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In 2014, some 14.4 million people in the United States were prescribed metformin. Metformin is also being used more and more frequently in prediabetes cases. Metformin use in overweight people with type 1 diabetes may also reduce insulin requirements and increase metabolic control. The drug works by improving insulin sensitivity, promoting the uptake of glucose into tissues and lowering sugar levels in the bloodstream. By increasing how effectively the … [Read more...] about Can you drink alcohol while taking metformin?
Bilirubin is formed by the breakdown of red blood cells in the body. The liver helps to excrete it. The levels of bilirubin in the blood can indicate the health of the liver. High levels of bilirubin can lead to jaundice. This disorder is easily recognizable due to a yellowing of the skin or eyes. The medical term jaundice comes from the French word for yellow, jaune. High bilirubin levels can occur in adults, but the disorder is more common in newborns. This is because a baby has fewer bacteria in the gut to help break down and dispose of bilirubin. The approximate normal range of bilirubin in the blood serum is: For adults, 1.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) For children under 18 years, usually 1 mg/dL The skin normally becomes yellow when levels reach 3 mg/dL or more. Anyone who gets yellowing of the skin or eyes should see their doctor. It may be a sign of a serious condition. Bilirubin is created by the breakdown of red blood cells (RBCs) in the body. The … [Read more...] about High Bilirubin Levels: Symptoms and Tests
Alcoholic hepatitis is a disease caused by drinking alcohol. The disease causes fat to build up in the liver cells, as well as inflammation and even scarring of the liver. The condition occurs most often in heavy drinkers. Those who have drunk heavily for several years and have poisonous levels of alcohol in their bodies are most at risk. Ethyl alcohol or ethanol is an ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor that can cause intoxication. Alcohol affects every organ in the body as well as the central nervous system. The effect of alcohol on a person depends directly on the amount they consume. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to a variety of health problems. It can result in serious health problems including: Cirrhosis Inflammation of the pancreas Cancer High blood pressure Psychological disorders Alcohol abuse or dependence In pregnant women, alcohol can harm the fetus or increase the chances of sudden infant death syndrome. Being reckless with alcohol can … [Read more...] about Alcoholic Hepatitis: Symptoms, Treatment, and Outlook
Telangiectasias are small, broken, or widened blood vessels found near the surface of the skin or mucous membranes. They typically appear as fine pink or red lines and will whiten when under pressure. Once the telangiectasia appears on the skin, the tiny lines can range in color from red through blue and purple. Telangiectasias typically measure between 1 and 3 millimeters in width. They are usually harmless but can cause itching and be painful because of pressure on the small veins. Telangiectasias commonly occur on the face, nose, chin, and cheek. Facial redness caused by telangiectasias on the face are due to broken blood vessels or spider veins in the face. Telangiectasias are also found on the legs, chest, back, arms, and legs. Those that appear on the legs are referred to as spider veins. A spider telangiectasia is a telangiectasia with a red, central feeding vessel and outward branches. Telangiectasias tend to be more of an image concern than a health issue. However, … [Read more...] about What is a Telangiectasia and Should I Be Worried?