The most often reported clinical symptoms are: fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, intermittent nausea, vomiting and, sometimes, jaundice (CDC).
However, often doctors incorrectly assume that hepatitis C is a liver disease and that the only “real” symptoms of hepatitis C are related to liver disease and liver dysfunction
But the virus itself has been found in the nervous system, the lymphatic system, the muscles and the heart where it causes direct inflammation. Many physicians, unfortunately, do not take this other activity and the stress it subjects us to into account. Rather than relying on the latest tests and literature to help form a diagnosis, they often mistakenly assume that hepatitis C is only a liver disease, and that, unless the patient has obvious cirrhosis, the complaints are psychosomatic
However, just as HIV often causes death by AIDS-related pneumonia, but HIV is not a lung disease, hepatitis C often causes death through liver failure or liver cancer but it is not a liver disease. Hepatitis C is a virus that lives in and attacks many other organs of the body. But hepatitis C is also an active virus which engages the immune system to the point of exhaustion. The high viral activity is called viremia.
When your body is under attack from a hepatitis C viral flare-up, the immune system mounts a defense which produces symptoms much like that of having the flu. The primary symptoms are aches, tiredness, fogginess and maybe a slight fever. These symptoms are the result of the immune system’s response to the hepatitis C virus.
For a list of common reported symptoms of hepatitis C see the survey above.