According to studies, there are a surprising number of people who are diagnosed with both fibromyalgia and Hepatitis C. In one study, the prevalence of fibromyalgia among those with Hepatitis C is around 15-19%. This is much higher than the occurrence of fibromyalgia in the entire American population, at only 2%. Such study suggests that chronic hepatitis C may be among the triggering factors of fibromyalgia.
What is Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a type of liver infection triggered by Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). This is a blood borne virus that spreads in the body when the blood from an infected person gets into the blood stream. Before the widespread screening of blood supply, the spread of HCV was mainly due to blood transfusions. These days, the virus spread through needle sharing in drugs.
Similar Symptoms in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Hepatitis C
Both fibromyalgia and chronic hepatitis C share similar clinical features, which include muscle pain and fatigue. Although the two conditions do not often accompany each other, certain symptoms are unique if a person suffers in both fibromyalgia and hepatitis C. One study found that those diagnosed with both conditions exhibit certain symptoms. The particular symptoms are inflammation in the joint, vasculitis, and bursa. These symptoms are not present in people who have hepatitis C but do not have fibromyalgia.
Increase in Immune Proteins in Both Fibromyalgia and Hepatitis C
Interleukins are a type of cytokine that triggers pain in a person. Cytokines are those types of proteins that regulate the body’s immune response. Several interleukins are said to be elevated significantly in fibromyalgia patients. Coincidentally, A group of researchers in Harvard found that these same interleukins increased after exposure to the virus of Hepatitis C.
Musculoskeletal Pain in Both Fibromyalgia and Hepatitis C
A lot of those who have hepatitis C complain of arthritis and widespread pain. Unlike other liver diseases, the frequency of musculoskeletal pain in hepatitis C is more common. 48% of alcoholic liver disease patients suffer from musculosketetal pain while 59% of Hepatitis B patients suffer from musculosketetal pain . However, 91% of Hepatitis C patients suffer from musculosketetal pain. Being the most prominent symptom of fibromyalgia, it is not surprising why musculoskeletal pain may be the link between Fibromyalgia and Hepatitis C.
Aside from the widespread pain and fatigue, other common symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Hepatitis C include:
- Mood swings
- Brain fog
- Digestive problems
- Night sweats
- Liver pain
- Flu-like symptoms
- Vision problems
Clearly, Fibromyalgia and chronic Hepatitis C have several common symptoms. Thus, experts suggest fibromyalgia patients to undergo screening for hepatitis C.