Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver. It is commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis. These include autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs due to medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol.It is one of the leading causes of death globally. To raise awareness among people and to bring a change WORLD HEPATITIS DAY takes place on 28 July every year.
WHAT ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HEPATITIS AND HOW IT IS TREATED
- HEPATITIS A It is caused due to hepatitis A virus (HAV) and transmitted by consuming contaminated food or water, Vaccination for Hepatitis A available for adults and children between 12 and 18 months of age.
- HEPATITIS B It 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 and sharing razors with an infected person are the other causes behind it. It can be prevented with antiviral medicines and vaccine is also available for newborn which is completed over the first 6 months of childhood.
- HEPATITIS C Caused due to hepatitis C virus (HCV) and transmitted through direct contact with infected body fluids, typically through injection drug use and sexual contact. People who develop liver disease or cirrhosis may be candidate for liver transplant.
- HEPATITIS D Caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV) contracted through direct contact with infected blood. Rare form of hepatitis and only occurs in conjunction with hepatitis B infection. It can be prevented by getting the vaccination for hepatitis B as no drug treatment is specifically available.
- HEPATITIS E It is water borne disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV). Mainly found in areas with poor sanitation and typically results from ingesting fecal matter that contaminates the water supply. No specific therapy is required except adequate rest, plenty of fluids and no alcohol.
- AUTOIMMUNE HEPATITIS It occurs when your body starts making antibodies against your liver tissue. Corticosteroids, like prednisone or budesonide are used to treat it.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF HEPATITIS AND HOW ITS DIAGNOSIS IS MADE
- Flu-like symptoms
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Dark urine
- Pale stool
- Abdominal pain
- Yellow skin and eyes, which may be signs of jaundice
To diagnose it, physician will take history and will check abdomen to rule out pain/tenderness.
- Liver function tests by taking blood samples to check the efficiency of liver.
- Abdominal ultrasound to rule out liver damage/enlargement/ or tumor.
20-44% OFF on Health care products TIPS TO PREVENT HEPATITIS
- Maintain Hygiene Practicing good hygiene is one key way to avoid contracting hepatitis A and E. If you are traveling outside, avoid:
- Dairy products, raw fruits and vegetables or undercooked meat and fish.
- Always wash hands thoroughly after using restrooms and before having meals.
- Avoid water & food from street vendors
Hepatitis B, C, and D contracted through contaminated blood can be prevented by:
- Not sharing drug needles and razors
- Not using someone else's toothbrush or touching spilled blood
- Practicing safe sex by using condoms and dental dams can help decrease the risk of infection.
- Chronic hepatitis B or C can lead to serious problems of chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer.
- Therefore, it is advised to avoid alcohol in case of hepatitis B or C, as it can accentuate liver disease and failure.
- Complications of liver failure are kidney failure, hepatic encephalopathy, ascitis, bleeding disorders and hepatocellular carcinoma.