Natalie Cole's representative has confirmed that Natalie Cole was diagnosed with hepatitis C. Cole was forced to pull out of a concert in California last week due to the chronic illness.

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne disease which means it is spread through contact with infected blood such as blood transfusions, using dirty needles, body piercings, tattoos, or in Natalie's case, by snorting cocaine. Sexual transmission of hep C is rare except in cases where an individual is infected with HIV.

Hepatitis C is usually diagnosed by accident since most patients don't show symptoms until the liver is affected. Chronic Hepatitis C (longterm infection) can cause inflammation of the liver (hepatitis). Most people stricken with hepatitis C show no symptoms sometimes for many years. Those who do show symptoms have advanced to cirrhosis of the liver and ultimately, liver failure.

About one third of patients infected with hepatitis C develop conditions like portal hypertension (increased pressure in the liver) which leads to esophageal varices (distended veins in the esophagus, the tube which delivers food to the stomach). This condition manifests itself in projectile vomiting of pure blood when the varices burst and blood fills the stomach.

Signs and symptoms of hepatitis C are usually vague. They include:

  • fever
  • fatigue (feeling sleepy all the time)
  • abdominal pain
  • ascites (abdominal swelling)
  • jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  • itching
  • nausea and vomiting

Consult your personal physician if you experience any of these signs/symptoms or if you have any questions. This has been your medical minute.

  • http://www.myspace.com/msmeka2cute Mz_Magnificent1

    OMG that is horrible...drugs are terrible, my health is NOT worth getting high. Fyck that...I get high off life lol.

  • http://myspace.com/latituded400 H-Town Shan

    I am sorry to hear that. Natalie has endured a lot in her lifetime. I'll keep her and her family in my prayers.

  • mizzdallas

    I hate that for her, I read where back in the day she was going hard on those DRUGS.

  • cupcakes

    Wow....sad! Hope all gets well.

  • http://www.findentertainmentnow.com miesha@FindEntertainmentNow.com

    GULP! this is so sad. wow.

  • http://www.myspace.com/themdivasinc Mimi Renee

    I hope she does well. I do remember that she was heavily into coke back in the day like so many other celebrities and that is ashame. People dont realize the long term effects of cocaine use.

  • prynsexxx

    Scary......

    #6 said:

    People dont realize the long term effects of cocaine use.
    ____________________________________________________________

    Aint that the truth. I have a friend, my BFF to be exact who has been on that mess since we were juniors in high school. Beautiful model type chick and very, very, very talented. Now she can't sing like she used to. She's always walking around with a snotty nose. Just a mess. It breaks my heart too.

  • MOCHAMOMMY

    Yeah she was strung out back in the 80's I believe. But there's nothing out that says exactly how she got it so lets try not to assume. I hope she's getting treatment & gets well soon. She's one of my favorite singers... "I'm Catchin Hell" & "Love On My Mind" are 2 of my favorite songs

  • NYCUTIE

    I had NO idea she was on drugs... WOW!

  • MOCHAMOMMY

    Quick question... Is PETA gonna go after her since she's wearing fur in this picture?

  • http://www.myspace.com/hune916 HunE916

    I don't think PETA gets mad when you wear road kill.

  • http://www.myspace.com/themdivasinc Mimi Renee

    #7 exactly...i knew someone around the way that used it heavily to the point that it literally ate away at his nose. its crazy.

  • prynsexxx

    Sandra said:

    Signs and symptoms of hepatitis C are usually vague. They include:

    fever
    fatigue (feeling sleepy all the time)
    abdominal pain
    ascites (abdominal swelling)
    jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
    itching
    nausea and vomiting
    _____________________________________________

    Give or take a few, but aren't those symptoms of periods and pregnancies?

  • http://www.myspace.com/millyly milly

    Po thang... I hope she takes care of herself and gets better

  • MzDetermined

    OMG...I feel sorry for her. I hope everything works itself out for her.

  • MOCHAMOMMY

    I'm comin out the corner to go get HunE916... U just earned a strong mojito and a place on the blanket while we study all of Rihanna's magazine covers.

    Back on the subject, I hope she gets well. I hate that a talented, beautiful black woman has the same thing that Pamela Anderson has :(

  • starr

    Shame shame. I hope she gets better. But i gotta question.... Whats the difference between Hep A, B, and C.??

    Just goes to show you that, so many people do things when they are younger, and they see nothing wrong with it, and they don't think about the consequences, and years later, after you've gotten yourself together, it comes back.

  • MOCHAMOMMY

    @ Starr:

    Hepatitis A
    Hepatitis A or infectious jaundice is caused by a picornavirus transmitted by the fecal-oral route, often associated with ingestion of contaminated food or with anal/oral sex. It causes an acute form of hepatitis and does not have a chronic stage. The patient's immune system makes antibodies against hepatitis A that confer immunity against future infection. People with hepatitis A are advised to rest, stay hydrated and avoid alcohol. A vaccine is available that will prevent infection from hepatitis A for up to 10 years. Hepatitis A can be spread through personal contact, consumption of raw sea food or drinking contaminated water. This occurs primarily in third world countries. Strict personal hygiene and the avoidance of raw and unpeeled foods can help prevent an infection. Infected people excrete the hepatitis A virus with their feces two weeks before and one week after the appearance of jaundice. The time between the infection and the start of the illness averages 28 days (ranging from 15 to 50 days) and most recover fully within 2 months, although approximately 15% of sufferers may experience continuous or relapsing symptoms from six months to a year following initial diagnosis

    Hepatitis B
    Hepatitis B is caused by a hepadnavirus, which can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis. Chronic hepatitis develops in the 15% of patients who are unable to eliminate the virus after an initial infection. Identified methods of transmission include blood (blood transfusion, now rare), tattoos (both amateur and professionally done), sexually (through sexual intercourse or through contact with blood or bodily fluids), or via mother to child by breast feeding (minimal evidence of transplacental crossing). However, in about half of cases the source of infection cannot be determined. Blood contact can occur by sharing syringes in intravenous drug use, shaving accessories such as razor blades, or touching wounds on infected persons. Needle-exchange programmes have been created in many countries as a form of prevention.

    Patients with chronic hepatitis B have antibodies against hepatitis B, but these antibodies are not enough to clear the infection that establishes itself in the DNA of the affected liver cells. The continued production of virus combined with antibodies is a likely cause of the immune complex disease seen in these patients. A vaccine is available that will prevent infection from hepatitis B for life. Hepatitis B infections result in 500,000 to 1,200,000 deaths per year worldwide due to the complications of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis B is endemic in a number of (mainly South-East Asian) countries, making cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma big killers. There are six FDA-approved treatment options available for persons with a chronic hepatitis B infection: alpha-interferon, pegylated interferon adefovir, entecavir, telbivudine and lamivudine. About 65% of persons on treatment achieve a sustained response.

    Hepatitis B is the most infectious bloodborne pathogen known

    Hepatitis C
    Hepatitis C (originally "non-A non-B hepatitis") is caused by a virus with an RNA genome that is a member of the Flaviviridae family. It can be transmitted through contact with blood (including through sexual contact if the two parties' blood is mixed) and can also cross the placenta. Hepatitis C may lead to a chronic form of hepatitis, culminating in cirrhosis. It can remain asymptomatic for 10-20 years. Patients with hepatitis C are susceptible to severe hepatitis if they contract either hepatitis A or B, so all hepatitis C patients should be immunized against hepatitis A and hepatitis B if they are not already immune, and avoid alcohol. The virus can cause cirrhosis of the liver. HCV viral levels can be reduced to undetectable levels by a combination of interferon and the antiviral drug ribavirin. The genotype of the virus determines the rate of response to this treatment regimen. Genotype 1 is more resistant to interferon therapy than other HCV genotypes.

    Hepatitis D
    Hepatitis D is caused by hepatitis delta agent, which is similar to a viroid as it can only propagate in the presence of the Hepatitis B virus.

    Hepatitis E
    Hepatitis E produces symptoms similar to hepatitis A, although it can take a fulminant course in some patients, particularly pregnant women; it is more prevalent in the Indian subcontinent

    **I hope that helped :)**

  • http://www.myspace.com/hune916 HunE916

    MOCHAMOMMY Says:

    I’m comin out the corner to go get HunE916… U just earned a strong mojito and a place on the blanket while we study all of Rihanna’s magazine covers.
    ___________________________________________

    LMAO! Hey, I'm just sayin'! She might need to have that coat tested!

  • ckarinwhite

    I got the hepatitis vaccaine several years ago.

  • ggouch

    Ms. Cole has gone through so much it seems. Estrangement from her mother, Drug abuse and the journey towards her drug free life, the ups and downs of her career and now this. My prayers go out to her. I also hope she continues to demonstrate such divine class. She is absolutel royalty in my eye and I wish that today's music industry makers did more to honor her, like we do Diane Ross, or Aretha.

  • ggouch

    ....uhm.....Are those TREE BRAIDS?......Coley Cole!!! I love you but noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • ggouch

    MOCHAMOMMY Says:

    I hate that a talented, beautiful black woman has the same thing that Pamela Anderson has
    _________________________________________________________
    LMAO!!! Mocha as usual!!! I am cracking up.....

  • http://myspace.com/mullatos SnootyPooty1

    @MOCHAMOMMY... Girl those are are my jamz... I feel sorry for her....