Hepatitis

Hepatitis pain

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview of hepatitis

Viral infections are extremely common in tropical and temperate regions of the world that have ideal climatic conditions for the propagation of these pathogens. Environmental factors, hygiene and dietary habits also contribute to these diseases. A very common infection of viral origin that affects mainly children is – Hepatitis. The liver is severely attacked in this disease. The current global burden of hepatitis is very high. The reason behind this is the lack of immunization in the low and middle-income countries. According to the global estimates by the World Health Organization, nearly 1.4 million deaths were reported in the year 2010 due to Hepatic diseases. Global health organizations are spreading mass awareness regarding the importance of immunizations to reduce the current mortality and morbidity rates.

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis infectionHepatitis is a type of viral infection that causes inflammation and enlargement of the liver. It is a systemic disease mediated by the Hepatitis A, B or C virus. It may be of two types namely- Acute Hepatitis and Chronic Hepatitis.

An acute Hepatic disease is caused due to some recent or past infection. It is usually short-lived and does not cause irreparable damage to the liver.

Chronic Hepatic disease, on the other hand,is more persistent in nature and can cause permanent damage to the liver.

Two other forms of Hepatic diseases have also identified- Hepatitis D and Hepatitis E. Hepatitis in any form occurs through a few distinct stages and causes progressive damage to the liver.

What causes hepatitis?

Hepatitis is usually caused by the Hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D or E. The physiological and environmental causes that predispose a person to Hepatitic diseases are described below-

  • An elevated level of bilirubin in the blood due to increased heme metabolism
  • Abnormalities in enzyme functions
  • Obstruction of bile duct due to the presence of gallstones or tumors
  • Existing diseases like Gilbert’s syndrome or Haemolytic anemia
  • Infections of the liver, gallbladder or pancreas
  • Food poisoning (due to accidental consumption of poisonous mushrooms or some expired food items)
  • Prolonged intake of certain medications such as Acetaminophen or Tylenol
  • Excessive smoking or alcoholism
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • History of Hepatic diseases

In the following section, the different types of Hepatic diseases will be discussed along with their symptoms. 

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis painThis is a form of liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus. People swallowing the virus through contaminated food or water usually get infected with Hepatitis A. During diagnosis, the virus is usually found in the fecal matter of the infected person. Hepatitis A usually results from a few unhygienic habits such as- not washing hands properly after using the bathroom, having left-over of food eaten by some other person or having food and water containing the virus. The vulnerable groups of Hepatitis A are people living with infected patients, people having sex with Hepatitis A patients, people having street-drugs, people traveling to countries having a high prevalence of Hepatitis A virus, workers in child-clinics and laboratory workers dealing with viruses.

The common symptoms of Hepatitis A are described below-

  • Yellowish discoloration of skin and eyes
  • Dark brown or dark-yellowish urine
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gastrointestinal disorders (especially diarrhea)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

Hepatitis B

This is a kind of liver infection mediated by the Hepatitis B virus. It is of two types- Acute Hepatitis B and Chronic Hepatitis B. Acute Hepatitis B occurs within 6 months of being infected with the Hepatitis B virus. It is usually of short duration and is manifested through mild or no symptom at all. People having a history of Hepatitis B infection develop natural immunity and cannot have recurrent infections. Chronic Hepatitis B infections may persist throughout the patient’s life. It can cause irreparable damage to the liver. In a few critical cases, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer may occur, leading to death.

This disease has the following transmission routes-

  • Sexual intercourse with an infected person
  • Sharing of needles or syringes for intravenous injections
  • Working in health clinics
  • Transplacental connection (infection from mother to foetus)

The symptoms normally manifest themselves within 3-6 months of infection. The following symptoms are usually observed-

  • Pale or greyish discoloration of stool
  • Yellowish discoloration of skin and eyes
  • Dark brown urine
  • Joint pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting

Hepatitis C

This is defined as the acute infection of the liver caused by the Hepatitis C virus. It is of two types- Acute Hepatitis C and Chronic Hepatitis C. Acute Hepatitis C is caused within a few to several months of infection with the Hepatitis C virus. It is usually not so severe in nature and resolves within a short period. Chronic Hepatitis is more severe in nature and may cause permanent liver damage and liver failure.

Following are the vulnerable groups of this disease-

  • People undergoing blood transfusion or organ transplants (acquire the Hepatic disease from infected donors)
  • People having sexual intercourse with an infected partner
  • Those having multiple sex partners
  • Breastfeeding infant (acquires infection from mother)
  • People having tattoos or body piercings under unhygienic conditions

The symptoms of Hepatitis C are same as that of Hepatitis B, as discussed above.

Hepatitis D

This is a kind of liver infection caused by the Hepatitis D virus. It usually occurs in people already affected with or having a past infection of Hepatitis B. This disease spreads through direct contact with blood or other body fluids of the patient.

Hepatitis E

It is caused by the Hepatitis E virus. The virus usually attacks people suffering from other forms of hepatic diseases (mainly Hepatitis A, B or C).

Diagnosis

The following diagnostic tests are usually recommended by doctors-

  • Blood tests are conducted to look for Hepatitis A, B or C antibodies
  • RNA test (only for Hepatitis C)

Treatment & Prevention

Hepatitis liverThe treatment methods followed for different types of hepatitis are:

  • Hepatitis A & E are usually acute viral infections in which the symptoms disappear gradually. Patients should get proper rest, refrain from consuming alcohol, and take the prescribed dosage of medications.
  • Hepatitis B and C are usually treated with drugs such as lamivudine and ribavirin.
  • If hepatitis B, C, or D has worsened the liver condition, a liver transplant might be used to treat the condition.

Prevention of hepatitis can be done by:

  • Washing and sanitizing your hands after using the washroom and before and after eating.
  • Practicing safe sex. Always use a latex condom for vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
  • Not indulging in substance abuse of drugs and sharing needles.
  • Getting piercings and tattoos done only at professional and licensed places.

TL;DR?

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Hep-C medications can have drastic interactions with other drugs the individual might be taking. Provide complete drug history to the doctor before starting medications.
  • Stay hydrated to keep ward-off flu-like symptoms.
  • Practice safe sex.
Don'ts
  • Drink alcohol and smoke.
  • Expose yourself to noxious chemicals such as paints, paint thinners, fabric cleaners etc during your Hep-C treatment period.
  • Miss out on medication doses.

 

 

 

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Miracle extract from the root of maca: 10 ways it can help you! Maca root has been used for years in herbal medicine. Today scientific research is unearthing fresh evidence in…
Poop chart: Top things you didn’t you your poop could reveal about you Bristol poop chart was designed during the 1990s in order to help doctors identify various types of poops…
ASTtest-liver
AST- Aspartate Aminotransferase Test AST test is a blood test that is used to measure the level of a particular liver enzyme…
thyroid_scan
Thyroid Scan Thyroid scan is a diagnostic procedure that aims to view the thyroid gland and detect any growths or…
Thyroid disorders
Thyroid Profile Thyroid profile is a panel of blood tests performed to check if an individual is suffering from any…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket Dragon fruit is packed with nutrients but low on calories. It is the dream food that can help…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as this power-packed fruit…
gallbladder diet tomato
Gallbladder surgery :Tips on post-operative care and diet What to eat post a gallbladder surgery? What are the key things to avoid if you had a…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
Shilajit: A miracle Himalayan herb for an active and happy life The Himalayas contain more wonders than you thought. Shilajit is a miracle herb that is widely used in…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
SIBO Diet: The important dos and don’ts of this gut-healing diet A SIBO diet is a diet that works by eliminating certain sugars from your diet and adding fibers…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
antiHEV IgM test
Anti hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV) IgM Test Anti HEV IgM test determines the level of the IgM antibodies in the blood, The disease is often…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find out why should…
DHEA wrinkles
DHEA: Now get unbelievable age defiance with this wonder hormone! DHEA is known popularly as the age-defying hormone. This supplement is widely used to slow down aging and…
Find all the instant ways to get rid of blackheads Blackheads - Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but if left untreated these can cause bacterial overgrowth on…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that rise out of…
Diabetes blood test
Diabetic Profile The diabetic profile is a set of tests used for testing and monitoring the various kinds of Diabetes…
rosacea-treatment--before-_-after
The best and safest ways to treat rosacea Rosacea is a skin disease that is characterized by reddish hives and rashes on the face. Read more…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body in ways you…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find a list of…
Low fat diets
A complete list of low-fat diets and how to follow them Low-fat diets help you lose weight in a healthy way, but it works only with regular exercise and…
Gua sha: Scraping away layers of pain with this ancient healing tool Gua sha is an ancient oriental healing method which focuses on scraping the body with specific tools to…
Inversion Therapy: The anti-gravity way of healing chronic back pain Inversion therapy involves suspending a person upside dow using different types of equipment. This works by taking the…
LFT-test
Liver Function Test – LFT LFT or Liver Function Test is a blood test used to determine the levels of hepatic enzymes which…
Vitamin-D-blood-test
25-Hydroxy Vitamin D test 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test is a blood test used to measure the level of vitamin D in the…
amylase test
Amylase Test Amylase test is done by checking the level of this protein in the blood sample and also in…
fructosamine test
Fructosamine Test A fructosamine test measures blood sugar glucose content. Fructosamine level can indicate blood sugar level in past 2-3…
leptospira Igm test
Leptospira-IgM Test A Leptospira-IgM test is a blood test which is carried out to detect anti-Leptospira IgM antibody. Leptospirosis is…
shoudler exercises
Keep your shoulders pain-free with these shoulder exercises Shoulder exercises are important in order to prevent chronic back and neck pain. Learn more about how you…
Cayenne: The remarkable benefits of these red hot chili peppers These may make you rush for a glass of water, but cayenne pepper is actually a healthy additive…
Erythritol: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another marketing ploy? Erythritol is a popular choice of a healthy alternative sweetening agent in foods. But how healthy can a…
sodium chloride
Halotherapy: How inhaling salt can work wonders for your body Halotherapy is quickly gaining popularity amongst those with respiratory diseases. It has shown promise in its treatment.
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…

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