HEPATITIS

Definition

Hepatitis is an enlarged liver condition caused mainly by viral infection. The different types of hepatitis are:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatitis D
  • Hepatitis E

Each form of Hepatitis is caused by different viruses.Hepatitis A and E are acute hepatitis. Hence, are short termed whereas Hepatitis B, C, D are chronic hepatitis.There are other forms of Hepatitis which includes Autoimmune Hepatitis and Hepatitis that occurs as a byproduct of secondary sources such as medicines, drugs and alcohol.

Alcoholic Hepatitis and Viral Chronic Hepatitis B and C also cause Cirrhosis as a byproduct. Acute Hepatitis symptoms and Chronic Hepatitis symptoms may differ as per situations. The Acute Hepatitis is short termed and Chronic Hepatitis is long termed.

HEPATITIS A

Caused by Hepatitis Virus (HAV), this type of acute Hepatitis is a disease that is communicable and can be prevented by vaccination. It is short termed disease which usually gets cured within a few months of infection.

The HAV in most cases causes mild illness and gets cured by its own. A person many a times may not even realize that they are affected.

Hepatitis A is common in children. People suffering from Hepatitis A show certain symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Low apatite
  • Stomach pain
  • Jaundice
  • Flu
  • Dark urine
  • Light colored bowel movement
  • Itchy skin

Tranmission

The most common way of communication of HAV or causes of acute Hepatitis A are through fecal contact with an infected individual. It may also include consuming contaminated food or water.
Eating raw food, drinking tap water in infected areas, also not washing hands after use of toilets promote spread of Hepatitis A.

Treatment

This type of acute Hepatitis antibiotic remains in the body till the end. So, the best way of prevention is Vaccination. For the individuals who have been recently exposed to HAV virus and have not been vaccinated earlier, a single dosage of “single-antigen hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (IG)” should be given as early as possible within two weeks of exposure.

CDC provides guidelines for both the dosages as per different age groups of people:
For Single Antigen Dose: https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/havfaq.htm#protection
For IG Dosage: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6636a5.htm?s_cid=mm6636a5_e
IG is given to those individuals who are at alarming rate of fatal Hepatitis A, majorly people above the age 40.

Hepatitis A vaccination is to be taken by

All children at the age of 1 year.

People who are mediators or people who are bound to be in contact with the infected hepatitis A person should be given the recommended IG dosage. Eg: People in closed personal contact. Household or sexual, Care takers, staff or household members, People at common source. Eg: contaminated food handler,etc.

All those to wish to attain immunity.

HEPATITIS B

Hepatitis B is caused by a virus named HBV.
Hepatitis B is a chronic Hepatitis and stays in the body for a longer duration of time.
In the initial weeks and months, there are no acute symptoms but after a period of time it can cause serious damage in the body like cirrhosis, liver damage, liver cancer or liver failure. If happened to a child, he or she carries it along for a lifetime.

Diagnosis

The risk of Hepatitis B being chronic is subjective to age and occurrence. If infected in childhood, it stays with the person lifelong.
The symptoms noticed also varies with age and the stage at which the virus is diagnosed. Children below the age of 5 and recently infected people do not show any acute symptoms for HBV.

The acute symptoms as and when seen are
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice
  • clay colored bowel movement
  • abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

Transmission

Hepatitis B is spread through blood contact or contact with body fluids from an infected person.
It is most commonly spread through
  • Unprotected sex
  • Sharing needles, razors and tooth brushes.
  • Child birth; passed from infected mother to the child.
  • Contact with blood from open sores or wounds

Hepatitis B is not spread through food, water, sharing utensils, hugging, kissing, coughing and sneezing.
HBV virus can survive for 7 days outside our bodies and can even cause the infection after.

Treatment

It is most commonly spread through
  • People who have multiple sexual partners.
  • Partners from same gender.
  • People injecting illegal drugs.
  • Child taking birth by an infected mother.
  • Healthcare workers.
  • Hemodialysis patients.
  • HIV positive person.
  • Blood and tissue donors.
  • Person infected by Hepatitis C

There is no treatment for Chronic Hepatitis or for acute infections, however there are treatments that can act as a supportive remedy.
There are several antiviral medications that can be prescribed for HBV. There are certain guidelines provided by American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) for treatment of chronic Hepatitis B- https://www.aasld.org/publications/practice-guidelines-0
Vaccination is the best way to prevent Hepatitis B. Any person looking for immunity against the HBV virus can use vaccination
Person highly allergic to the prior dose of Hepatitis B vaccine or yeast should opt for a different combination of vaccination.
The Vaccination effect lasts for about 30 years in healthy individuals thus ensuring a long term protection against chronic Hepatitis
Hepatitis B vaccination can also be given during pregnancy and lactation.
The vaccination can also be given after exposure to HBV, however they may not receive any benefit from it.
The best way to avoid getting chronic hepatitis is to prevent yourselves from situations of probable spread of infection.

HEPATITIS C0

Hepatitis C is spread by Hepatitis C virus, HCV. This is a blood borne virus.
This form of Hepatitis is caused by sharing needles or equipment used for medical testing. Chances of sexual transmission is low but cannot be neglected. It is a Chronic Hepatitis and causes severe long term damage, even death.
Most of the times people are not aware of the HCV infection as there is no acute illness associated to it. Studies have shown that people born during the years 1945 – 1965 have high risk of Hepatitis C infection.
There is no vaccination for Hepatitis C. The best way to prevent Hepatitis C is to avoid situations where one can possibly come in contact with infected blood.

Diagnosis

There are no prominent signs or symptoms of being HCV infected, it effects the liver and may cause serious damage to the liver.
There are a few signs or symptoms noticed which are:
  • Easy bleeding
  • Easy bruises
  • Itchy Skin
  • Fluid buildup in abdomen
  • Swelling in legs
  • Weight Loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Spider like blood vessels on skin
  • Confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech
Acute hepatitis C doesn’t show much symptoms, however, some minor symptoms may be fever, jaundice, nausea, muscle ache and can be seen in first few weeks of exposure to the virus.

Transmission

Few people who are at risk of Hepatitis C are
  • Healthcare worker who is exposed to infected blood where there are chances of pricking of needles
  • Person born to an infected mother
  • Had blood transfusion before 1992
  • Person having HIV
  • Got a tattoo by any infected needle or equipment
  • Got a piercing with a probable infected needle
  • Ever injected drugs illegally
  • Gone through hemodialysis for a long time
  • Were in prison
  • Were born in years 1945-1965
After prolonged exposure to HCV, there are chances of cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Treatment

There is no vaccination for Hepatitis C.
All cases of acute hepatitis may not become chronic hepatitis. With several antiviral treatments, acute Hepatitis can be cured at an early stage. The antiviral medications sometimes in combinations help us to get rid of HCV and eliminate the virus in at least 12 weeks after completion of treatment. The medication may vary as per the severity of HCV infection.
In Chronic Hepatitis cases, where there is severe damage to the liver; Liver Transplant seems to be a good choice to check the spreading of the infection and leading a healthy life. However, the transplant doesn’t eliminate the chances of re-occurrence and hence the antiviral medication needs to be consumed regularly.
There is no vaccination for Hepatitis C, hence, prevention is the best cure.
Try opting for safer options while piercing or getting a tattoo. Avoid taking drugs. Avoid situations where there is a probable exposure of blood. Opt for safe sex options. Avoid options which causes liver damage, eg. Alcohol, etc.

HEPATITIS D

Also known as ‘Delta Hepatitis’, Hepatitis D is caused by Hepatitis D virus HDV. It only occurs to people suffering from Hepatitis B.

HDV is an incomplete virus and flourishes only in presence of helper virus HBV. It can be acute Hepatitis or chronic Hepatitis.
Hepatitis D is transmitted through percutaneous or mucosal contact with infectious blood and occurs as a coinfection or superinfection with HBV.
Hepatitis D does not have any vaccination but can be avoided by taking Hepatitis B vaccination.

Diagnosis

As this is an incomplete virus since it requires HBV for growing, the symptoms faced are similar to that of Hepatitis B.

Transmission

The Hepatitis D virus is also spread through blood and so the person coming in contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person is at high risk of having HDV.
Presence of HBV accelerates the effect of HDV in body thus making it a chronic hepatitis.
HDV only affects those already suffering from Hepatitis B.
HDV along with HBV in a body accelerates the process of lever damage and can cause acute emergency.

Treatment

There is no effective treatment for Hepatitis D.
There is no vaccination to Hepatitis D, but prevention from Hepatitis B can lower the risk of HDV infection.
There is no vaccination for Hepatitis C, hence, prevention is the best cure.
Try opting for safer options while piercing or getting a tattoo. Avoid taking drugs. Avoid situations where there is a probable exposure of blood. Opt for safe sex options. Avoid options which causes liver damage, eg. Alcohol, etc.
Hepatitis B vaccination can act as a savior.

HEPATITIS E

Hepatitis E is caused by Hepatitis E virus HEV. It is an acute Hepatitis disease in which HEV limits itself without causing any chronic conditions.
It is spread through ingestion of fecal matter and is usually associated with contaminated water.
It is seen more in developing countries facing poor sanitation.

Diagnosis

Hepatitis E symptoms are similar to those of acute hepatitis such as:
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Stomach ache
  • Joint pain
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Clay colored stool
The symptoms fade away in a few weeks and most of the times the virus cures itself in a few weeks.

Transmission

Hepatitis E is majorly self-cured and there aren’t any particular antiviral medications for HEV.
HEV may prove fatal for pregnant ladies apart from which it is not, much harmful to others.
HEV can be completely eliminated over time. Currently there is no FDA approved vaccination for Hepatitis E.
Autoimmune Hepatitis, (AIH) is different than other viral Hepatitis as in this type, your immune system attacks your liver cells by creating antibodies mistaking it as foreign entity in your body.
AIH or Autoimmune Hepatitis is a chronic condition and may lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Treatment

Hepatitis E is majorly self-cured and there aren’t any particular antiviral medications for HEV.
HEV may prove fatal for pregnant ladies apart from which it is not, much harmful to others.
HEV can be completely eliminated over time. Currently there is no FDA approved vaccination for Hepatitis E.

Autoimmune Hepatitis

Autoimmune Hepatitis, (AIH) is different than other viral Hepatitis as in this type, your immune system attacks your liver cells by creating antibodies mistaking it as foreign entity in your body.
AIH or Autoimmune Hepatitis is a chronic condition and may lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Diagnosis

There are two types of autoimmune Hepatitis:
There are two types of autoimmune Hepatitis:
Type 1: Type 1 is the most common form of AIH and is mostly seen to affect young women and is also affected by other autoimmune diseases.
Type 2: Primarily affects girls of age group below 14 years.
Autoimmune disease occurs more at young age but can happen to any age group.
The symptoms are similar to other Hepatitis and hence should not be confused with it. Certain blood tests and liver biopsy should be conducted to be sure of the type of Hepatitis.

Transmission

This type of Hepatitis mostly occurs in people who have a history for AIH or any other autoimmune diseases.

Treatment

Certain treatment options involve
  • Immunosuppressant Drugs which can stop the immune systems attack
  • Corticosteroids
  • Liver Transplant

These treatments give you chances of curing the Hepatitis but need to give Hepatitis immunity.

There are certain perception of people regarding Hepatitis. Some of the most common questions faced are:

Myths

There are many types of hepatitis, acute hepatitis at early stages cure themselves within few weeks. There are vaccinations and antiviral medications also available for preventing Hepatitis. Chronic Hepatitis however cannot be cured and needs to take necessary measures to prevent liver damage.

If suffering from Hepatitis, one must follow all the precautions needed to be taken as suggested by the doctor, if perusing any drugs or alcohol, he or she must stop it immediately.

Lower consumption of alcohol does not guarantee immunity to liver enlargement or infection. Hence one must be careful and not neglect possibilities.

Support:

Hepatitis, is a generic disease and is very common among individuals of younger age groups. Hepatitis virus directly affects the liver and may even cause permanent damage to it.
Hepatitis Vaccinations and anti-viral medications have proved to be very effective in preventing Hepatitis and letting people lead a healthy life.
We here are extending our support by providing affordable medications and bringing them to your doorstep.

Stay Healthy.

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