Hepatitis

Description

Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver. It’s commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis. These include autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins and alcohol. Viral hepatitis, including hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are a group of distinct diseases that affect the liver each have different hepatitis symptoms and treatments. Hepatitis C is a liver infection that can lead to serious liver damage. It’s caused by the hepatitis C virus about 3.9 million people in the U.S. have the disease.

The signs and symptoms of acute viral hepatitis result from damage to the liver and are similar regardless of the hepatitis virus responsible. Patients may experience a flu like illness and general symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, rash and joint pain.

Types of hepatitis 

  1. Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV), is the most common worldwide. The onset of hepatitis A usually occurs 15 to 45 days after exposure to the virus, and some infected individuals, especially children, exhibit no clinical manifestations. In the majority of cases, no special treatment other than bed rest is required; most recover fully from the disease. Hepatitis A does not give rise to chronic hepatitis. An effective vaccine against HAV is available and is routinely administered to children over two years of age living in communities with high rates of have.

   2.  Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a much more severe and longer-lasting disease than hepatitis A. It may occur as an acute disease, or, in about 5 to 10 percent of cases, the illness may become chronic and lead to permanent liver damage. Symptoms usually appear from 40 days to 6 months after exposure to the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Safe and effective vaccine against HBV is available and provides protection for at least five years. Passive immunization with hepatitis B immune globulin can also provide protection. Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with infectious body fluids, such as blood, vaginal secretions or semen, containing the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Injection drug use, having sex with an infected partner or sharing razors with an infected person increase your risk of getting hepatitis B.

   3.  Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) was isolated in 1988. It typically is transmitted through contact with infected blood. Infection may cause mild or severe illness that lasts several weeks or a lifetime hepatitis C comes from the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is transmitted through direct contact with infected body fluids, typically through injection drug use and sexual contact in the early 21st century an estimated 71 million people worldwide had chronic HCV infection. Treatment for hepatitis C involves a combination of antiviral medications, namely alpha interferon and riboflavin however, only about half of those receiving these drugs respond.

    4.  Hepatitis D

Infection with hepatitis D virus (HDV), also called the delta agent, can occur only in association with HBV infection, because HDV requires HBV to replicate. Infection with HDV may occur at the same time infection with HBV occurs, or HDV may infect a person already infected with HBV.  Hepatitis D is a rare form of hepatitis that only occurs in conjunction with hepatitis B infection. The hepatitis D virus can’t multiply without the presence of hepatitis B. It’s very uncommon in the United States.

Symptoms of Hepatitis

If you have infectious forms of hepatitis that are chronic, like hepatitis B and C, you may not have symptoms in the beginning. Symptoms may not occur until the damage affects liver function.

  • Pale stool
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort, especially on the upper right side beneath your lower ribs
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Intense itching
  • Low-grade fever
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Dark urine
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Sudden nausea and vomiting
  • Yellow skin and eyes, which may be signs of jaundice

These symptoms may be relatively mild and go away in a few weeks. Sometimes, hepatitis A infection results in a severe illness that lasts several months.

Causes for Hepatitis

Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that infects liver cells and causes inflammation. The inflammation can affect how your liver works and cause other signs and symptoms of hepatitis A.

  • Eating food handled by someone with the virus who doesn’t thoroughly wash his or her hands after using the toilet.
  • Other toxic causes of hepatitis include overuse or overdose of medications and exposure to poisons.
  • Drinking contaminated water.
  • It causes ongoing inflammation that can range from mild to severe, often hindering liver function.
  • Eating raw shellfish from water polluted with sewage.
  • Being in close contact with a person who’s infected even if that person has no signs or symptoms.
  • Having sex with someone who has the virus.

Diagnosis

  • To diagnose hepatitis, first your doctor will take your history to determine any risk factors you may have for infectious or noninfectious hepatitis.
  • High liver enzyme levels may indicate that your liver is stressed, damaged, or not functioning properly.
  • It can be done through your skin with a needle and doesn’t require surgery.
  • Sometimes the pancreas shows up on ultrasound images as well. This can be a useful test in determining the cause of your abnormal liver function.

Treatment

No specific treatment exists for hepatitis A. Your body will clear the hepatitis A virus on its own. 

  • Many people with hepatitis A infection feel tired and sick and have less energy.
  • Nausea can make it difficult to eat. Try snacking throughout the day rather than eating full meals.
  • The series of three vaccines is typically completed over the first six months of childhood. The vaccine is also recommended for all healthcare and medical personnel.
  • Your liver may have difficulty processing medications and alcohol. If you have hepatitis, don’t drink alcohol. It can cause more liver damage.

Hope this Symptoms and cure article will be helpful to all. Do not forget to share your valuable suggestions if any.

 

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