There is a possible association between hepatitis C (HCV) and Fibromyalgia (FM). Hepatitis C and FM share many symptoms such as fatigue, depression, cognitive issues, muscle and joint pain. The exact association has not been discovered, but many experts believe that HCV may act as a trigger to the onset of FM. Of interest, one study found that people with FM and HCV exhibit symptoms such as inflammation around joints, bursa (sac containing fluid for lubrication of joints) and/or tendons, and vasculitis (blood or lymph vessel inflammation), that are not seen in FM in people without HCV.
The prevalence of FM in people with hepatitis C has been found to be much higher than in the general population – 15% to 19% compared to approximately 2% of FM seen in the general U.S. population.
Of note, FM is believed to be triggered by viral infections. If we can test, treat and cure hepatitis C as early as possible there is a very real possibility that we can prevent many of these extrahepatic manifestations such as FM.
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