Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver. This could result in acute liver infection with limited symptoms or no signs at all.
Jaundice – yellow discoloration of the skin, dark yellow urine, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain are some of the signs that can give an idea about the onset of hepatitis.
What causes Hepatitis?
As per Dr. Kunal Das, a famous gastroenterologist at Max hospital, the liver viruses are responsible for causing hepatitis. There are five main types of hepatitis viruses and they are named alphabetically – hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.
Though the liver viruses cause hepatitis, other factors such as infectious, toxic substances – alcohol, smoking, drugs, over-the-counter medicines can be equally blamed.
Type B and C typically are responsible for chronic liver diseases and if a person has both of them, then there are higher chances that he could be a victim of liver cirrhosis and cancer.
When a person intakes contaminated food or water, then the occurrence of hepatitis A and E are high which is very common.
Hepatitis B, C, and D develop when a person comes in parenteral contact with infected body fluids.
Different Types of Hepatitis Virus:
Although all kinds of viruses cause liver disease, they vary accordingly.
Hepatitis A Virus (HAV): It is spread through the consumption of contaminated food, water or sometimes, in contact with an infected person. Sexual intercourse often leads to HAV. However, infections caused by HAV are mild and people make full recovery with no signs for further HAV in future. Somehow, it becomes life-threatening. People living in the area with poor sanitation system are commonly infected by this virus. Vaccines are available to prevent getting infected by HAV.
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV): It is a severe liver disease caused by hepatitis B virus. It is usually transmitted when exposed to infected blood, semen, and other body fluids. It can happen from infected mothers to infants during birth or from an infected family member to children in their early childhood. When a person comes in contact with HBV-contaminated blood, infected injections during medical treatment or drug-induced injection. It can also attack medical staff who accidentally comes in contact with HBV-contaminated syringes or injections while looking after infected patients. It is easily preventable by vaccines.
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV): It is spread by contaminated blood – using same needles, drug-induced needles or unsterilized tattoo equipment and usually shows no signs or symptoms. Sexual transmission may also be the reason. It is treated with antiviral medications as no such vaccine is available.
Hepatitis D Virus (HDV): People already infected with hepatitis B virus are prone to the development of the hepatitis D virus. If an individual is infected with both viruses, then it could be life-threatening as well. Patients infected with HDV can be treated from HBV vaccines.
Hepatitis E Virus (HEV): Like HAV, it is also spread through contaminated food and water. Jaundice, loss of appetite and nausea are its main symptoms. A person infected with HEV usually gets better on its own after four to six weeks. It can be treated through medical support, rehydration and proper rest.
Get proper medical help from the healthcare professional and follow the treatment as directed.
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