Link between Hepatitis and Thyroid Diseases

The Correlation Between Hepatitis and Thyroid Diseases

Nurse scanning patient's thyroid gland
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With many chemicals in this world that are continually used for many different purposes, people often can’t help but be affected and infected by them. This is more likely to occur especially if you have a weak immune system, because, when you naturally have a feeble immune system, you’re more prone to acquire infections around you.  

One of the most common disorders of people all over the world is hepatitis.

 It can be classified as either an acute or chronic problem in the liver.

Hepatitis is categorized from A, B, C, D, E wherein the first three are known to be the most common and the C being the last stage or worst case among these three. Hepatitis C refers to a contagious liver disease which may as well be associated with hepatic manifestations. Hepatitis C has no certain symptoms. For some, they hint to the symptoms of this case with the sudden change of their lifestyle, while for others, they don’t experience any difference in their quality of life at all.  Commonly, the related symptoms for this chronic stage are as follows:

  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue and non-sleep
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty to concentrate
  • Digestive problems
  • Muscle and joint pain and aches
  • Pain or discomfort in liver area
  • Itching
  • Abdominal pain

General Effects of Having Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C can affect many functions in the body.

It can affect the digestive system in the proper breaking down of body fats, as the liver is known to be responsible for generating bile. Bile is used to combine with digestive fluids and stomach acids from the pancreas that helps to easily break down fats and the intestines to absorb nutrients in the bloodstream.

 

When the liver doesn’t filter the toxins coming from the blood, these toxins could damage the nervous system which is called hepatic encephalopathy.  Having this infection leads to various symptoms such as musty or sweat breath, sleep disturbances, and weakening of tiny motor skills.

Toxins accumulate in your brain and can cause forgetfulness, confusion, personality changes and poor concentration.  The symptoms of this may include agitation, abnormal shaking, slurred speech and disorientation and in worse cases, it might cause comatose. 

As you may know, one of the functions of the liver is to filter toxins and get them out of the bloodstream. It produces the needed protein to acquire healthy blood.  It also helps regulate the process of blood clotting.  So, in case that the liver poorly functions, this can lead to problems associated in the normal blood flow and increase in the portal vein pressure which is directed to your liver. All this in turn causes portal hypertension that forces the blood to look for an alternative vein.

This vein could burst if it’s really constricted, which leads to severe internal bleeding or “variceal bleeding.”

In addition to this, a poorly-functioning liver cannot extract iron properly from blood and it just stores iron molecules to be used later on, which results to another problem called anemia. 

Hemoglobin, which refers to a protein molecule, is said to be found in the RBC or red blood cells. This molecule is used to transport iron and oxygen to the cells all throughout the body. The mentioned iron is very important in sustaining cells which constitute thriving hair, skin, toenails and fingernails.

Effects of Hepatitis C on the Thyroid

The endocrine organs help regulate hormones. The thyroid gland, a fixture of the endocrine system, delivers hormones in the bloodstream.  If you have hepatitis C, this sometimes causes your immune system to misguidedly attack or injure the thyroid tissue. When this occurs, the functionality of the thyroid gland is affected, which leads to either overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), or under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism). The former situation leads to weight loss and sleep disorders while the latter could make a person feel sluggish. This is how hepatitis is being linked with thyroid diseases.

Individuals who had a thyroid problem can be constantly infected by hepatitis C. This has become an increasingly usual occurrence for people all over the planet. Likewise, according to some works of research, hepatitis C significantly renders a higher risk of getting thyroid diseases. Therefore, people should be aware of the symptoms of both disorders.  They must consult their doctor immediately so that prevention and immediate cure to this situation can instantly be sought.

In order to make certain that you’re free from any diseases around, like the hepatitis and thyroid diseases mentioned above, you must observe a healthy way of living. This means that you have to be certain of the nutritional value you get from the food you eat and avoid eating unhealthy and processed foods.  Also, one should be meticulous in using any products with strong chemical substances.

References:

Antonelli A, Ferri C, Fallahi P, Ferrari SM, Ghinoi A, Rotondi M, Ferrannini E. Thyroid disorders in chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Thyroid. 2006 Jun;16(6):563-72.

Abu-Elmagd KM, Aly MA, Fathy OM, E-Ghawlby NA, el-Fiky AM, el-Barbary MH, el-Hak NG, el-Ebady GE, Sultan A, Bahgat OO, et al.Ten years of experience with patients with chronic active liver disease variceal bleeding: ablative versus selective decompressive therapy. Surgery. 1993 Nov;114(5):868-81.

Haruna Y, Kanda T, Honda M, Takao T, Hayashi N. Detection of hepatitis C virus in the bile and bile duct epithelial cells of hepatitis C virus-infected patients. Hepatology. 2001 Apr;33(4):977-80.

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