What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It can be self-limiting or can progress to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis in the world but other infections, toxic substances and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.
It is classified as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. A different virus is responsible for each type of virally transmitted hepatitis. Hepatitis A is always an acute, short-term disease, while hepatitis B, C, and D are most likely to become ongoing and chronic. Hepatitis E is usually acute but can be particularly dangerous in pregnant women.
Common 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.
Some signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis include:
- dark urine
- flu-like symptoms
- loss of appetite
- unexplained weight loss
- yellow skin and eyes, which may be signs of jaundice
- pale stool
- abdominal pain
Chronic hepatitis develops slowly, so these signs and symptoms may be too subtle to notice.
Some noteworthy things for Hepatitis C and Liver cirrhosis:
- Your liver may regenerate and heal after the Hepatitis C treatment. This organ has the capacity to regenerate most of its own cells when they become damaged. However, the degree of liver regeneration will depend on the severity of scarring present due to cirrhosis.
- Diet plays an important part while treating Hepatitis C and cirrhosis. Diet is a key part in helping your liver function better especially if you have severe scarring from cirrhosis. Cirrhosis can hinder the body’s use of nutrients and can lead to malnutrition. A low sodium, balanced protein diet is generally recommended in such cases.
- Do not be tempted to start alcohol after getting cured from Hepatitis C even though you have cirrhosis? Alcohol especially for patients with cirrhosis is very damaging to the liver. The functions of the liver are compromised from liver damage and for patients who drink alcohol the damage accelerates.
Must know facts about Hepatitis B:
- Despite there being a vaccine, Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) kills one person every 30-45 seconds.
- Most of the people who are infected are unaware of their infection and this has made it one of the biggest threat to the health of the world.
- HBV is about 10 times more prevalent than HIV infection worldwide.
- The general perception is that HIV virus is very infectious and contagious however Hepatitis B Virus is 100 times more infectious than HIV.
- If not properly monitored or treated HBV infection can kill 25% of the infected people due to liver cancer or liver failure from cirrhosis.
- HBV and Hepatitis C together have infected 530 million of the 6 billion people worldwide.
- Pregnant women who have hepatitis B infection or those who are carriers of hepatitis B virus can pass this to their babies at birth.
Correct diagnosis and timely treatment of Hepatitis is crucial to save your liver from any further damage. Consult our team of experts at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital for any Hepatitis related queries. Contact us anytime for emergencies and consultations. Please see below link: