What is Hepatitis : Signs, Types & Treatment

Hepatitis is the medical word for liver inflammation (swelling). It can be triggered owing to viral infection or when the liver is exposed to toxic substances such as alcohol. Hepatitis can manifest with few or no symptoms, but it frequently results in jaundice, anorexia (low appetite), and general ill health. There are two types of hepatitis: acute and chronic.

Hepatitis is classified as acute if it lasts less than six months and chronic if it lasts longer. Hepatitis is most commonly caused by a group of viruses known as the hepatitis viruses, although it can also be brought on by other infections, autoimmune disorders, toxic substances (especially alcohol, some medications, some industrial organic solvents, and plants), and other viruses.

Causes of Hepatitis 

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission methods include the following and involve blood contact:

  • While using illegal street drugs, and sharing needles. this is the main method of spreading hepatitis. using non-sterile tools and needles for body piercing and tattooing. receiving an organ from a donor who has HCV infection, such as a kidney, liver, or pancreas.
  • Blood transfusions were once a significant method of HCV transmission. However, as screening HCV Antibody tests are now conducted on all given blood, this problem has almost been resolved.
  • Sharing toothbrushes, blades, knives, nail clippers, or other personal care tools with an infected person.

Hepatitis Signs and Symptoms of Hepatitis 

  • Some people with hepatitis have no symptoms. Others may:
  • abdominal pain and bloating
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • dark urine and pale stools
  • stomachache
  • jaundice, yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • slight fever
  • itch
  • weight loss

Hepatitis can be mild or severe. Some lead to scarring called cirrhosis and liver cancer. When you first get hepatitis B or C, you may not have any symptoms. You can develop liver failure at any time later. People who have risk factors for any type of hepatitis should be tested frequently. Hepatitis may resolve spontaneously. If it doesn’t go away, it can be treated with viral hepatitis treatment. Hepatitis can be lifelong. Vaccines help prevent some viral types.

Types of Hepatitis 

These are the forms of hepatitis:

1. Hepatitis Virus:

Hepatitis A: The hepatitis A virus is the source of the acute (short-term) infection known as hepatitis A. (HAV).

Hepatitis B: The hepatitis B virus is the cause of hepatitis B. (HBV). Frequently, this is a chronic (ongoing) problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 257 million people worldwide and 826,000 persons in the United States have chronic hepatitis B.

Hepatitis C: Hepatitis C is brought on by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is one of the most prevalent blood-borne viral infections in the United States, and it typically presents as a chronic illness.

Hepatitis D: is a rare form of the disease that only manifests itself in the presence of hepatitis B infection. Similar to other strains, the hepatitis D virus (HDV) causes liver inflammation, but it can only spread if a person already has hepatitis B.

Hepatitis E: The hepatitis E virus is the cause of this waterborne infection (HEV). 

2. Alcoholic Hepatitis: 

Excessive alcohol use is the main cause of cirrhosis and a substantial contributor to alcoholic hepatitis. The most important risk factors for the onset of alcoholic hepatitis are the amount and frequency of alcohol usage.

3. Ischemic Hepatitis: 

Shock, heart failure, or vascular insufficiency can all result in a decrease in blood flow to the liver, which is what causes ischemic hepatitis. The most typical cause of the condition is heart failure, however, sepsis or shock can also be to blame.

4. Autoimmune Hepatitis: 

When your immune system attacks liver cells, it can result in inflammation of the liver. Although there is no known etiology for autoimmune hepatitis, 

Treatment for Hepatitis 

Damage to the liver cannot be specifically treated, but it can be prevented or stopped by treating the underlying condition, such as an infection. Although it takes time, the liver has the ability to replace damaged tissue. If left untreated, ongoing liver injury and regeneration alter its structure, which is the root cause of cirrhosis.

You should quit drinking if you have hepatitis in any form. Moreover, stop using acetaminophen (Tylenol), medications that raise your risk of bleeding, like aspirin, and supplements that may worsen liver damage. Just take the necessary treatment for hepatitis as directed by your doctor.

Liver transplant

Liver failure or end-stage liver disease can develop from untreated or poorly managed liver inflammation. For those who have significant liver disease and liver failure, a liver transplant may be an option.

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