Another condition linked to hepatitis C is hypothyroidism, which means an underactive thyroid. This can cause fatigue and weight gain. Or, the thyroid can become overactive, meaning hyperthyroidism, which causes weight loss and weakness.
The brain becomes affected by hepatitis C. About 50 percent of people living with hepatitis C report “brain fog” symptoms. It’s possible that anyone living with hepatitis C could also experience dry mouth, itchy skin, bruising and bleeding, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and cryoglobulinemia, a condition that causes skin, joint and kidney inflammation.
As hepatitis C progresses, it can lead to long-term liver damage. Cirrhosis of the liver happens when the liver is scarred and loses its functionality. Between 5 and 20 percent of people living with hepatitis C develop cirrhosis over a 20 to 30-year period.
Liver cancer is another long-term effect. Between 1 and 5 percent of people with hepatitis C develop liver cancer. There’s also a risk of liver failure, which is when the liver completely stops working. A liver transplant is the only treatment.