Hepatitis – Causes, symptoms and treatment

Hepatitis

What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a term used to state the inflammation of the liver. The inflammation of the liver happens when the tissues around or lining the lives get infected or injured. Hepatitis is commonly caused by a viral infection. The viral infection is not the only cause for Hepatitis; other involved factors can also trigger Hepatitis.  

In simple words, Hepatitis is an inflammatory liver disease. Hepatitis is a serious threat as it can damage the liver at any point.

What is Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH)?

Autoimmune Hepatitis is caused by a disorder of the body’s immune system. AIH occurs when the body’s immune system fights or attacks the liver cells. As a result of this attack, inflammation in the liver is caused. Medical research is still in the process of bringing out the clear cause of Autoimmune Hepatitis. It is believed that genetic and environmental factors (that cause gene mutation) can trigger inflammatory diseases.

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There is no cure for this disease. Autoimmune Hepatitis is considered to be a deadly disease. If untreated, AIH may lead to serious liver problems, eventually leading to liver failure. However, if treated in the early stages, the symptoms can be put under control through medications and treatments. Liver transplantation surgery will be an option when AIH is not working for medications and treatments.

What are the types of Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is caused by a viral infection. There are five main hepatitis virus infections, they are

Hepatitis A (HAV): Hepatitis A is the cause of viral infection by Hepatitis A virus. The transmission happens through consuming contaminated food or water.

The prevention method includes vaccines and practicing proper food hygiene. No such treatment exists for Hepatitis A infection, the body heals on its own with a period of 6 months with no everlasting damage.  

Hepatitis B (HBV): Hepatitis B is the cause of viral infection by the Hepatitis B virus. The virus is transmitted from human to human through close contact with an infected person, such as contact with the blood or body fluids of the infected person. Hepatitis B is a chronic condition.

The prevention method includes practicing good and proper health hygiene. Vaccination can prevent diseases, but it doesn’t provide a cure.

Hepatitis C (HCV): Hepatitis C is the cause of viral infection by the Hepatitis C virus. The disease is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact or by consumption of toxic alcohol and drugs. HCV is a common blood-borne viral infection.

The prevention method includes practicing good hygiene, avoiding sharing personal things like shaving razors, toothbrushes, etc. This viral disease leaves no symptoms. No vaccine is available for Hepatitis C; however, chronic conditions are treated by antiviral medications.

Hepatitis D (HDV): Hepatitis D is the cause of viral infection by the Hepatitis D virus. This rare infection occurs only in people already affected with Hepatitis B infection. The disease is transmitted through blood-to-blood or sexual contact.

There is no specific vaccine for Hepatitis D, but the Hepatitis B vaccine will prevent the disease. The prevention method includes proper health hygiene, avoiding contact with infected persons, and sharing personal products like toothbrushes, shaving razors, etc.

Hepatitis E (HEV): Hepatitis E is the cause of viral infection by the Hepatitis E virus. This disease is transmitted through consuming contaminated food or water. Hepatitis E is a food and water-borne disease.

Hepatitis E is a mild infection. It does not leave any long-term damage. It can also turn chronic when the immune system becomes weak. There is no specific vaccine and treatment for Hepatitis E. The prevention method includes proper health hygiene and food safety measures.

What causes Hepatitis?

The inflammation of the liver is caused by various types of Hepatitis viruses, as mentioned above. The inflammation is also caused by other triggering factors that include:

  • Alcohol
  • Toxin drugs

A disorder also causes inflammation in the body’s immune system; this condition is Autoimmune Hepatitis.

Symptoms of Hepatitis?

The symptoms vary from individual to individual, and some may not suffer from any symptoms. The common symptoms of Hepatitis include:

Is Hepatitis curable?

All types of Hepatitis, including Autoimmune Hepatitis, can be treated by not all the types are curable. The viral infections caused by Hepatitis A, C and E are curable. The curing treatment does not exist for Autoimmune Hepatitis. Hepatitis A, C and E will cure on their own without any long-term damage or health compilations. But the untreated or chronic condition of these (Hepatitis A, C and E) virus can cause damage to the body.  

Hepatitis B and D are left with no treatment. Both the viral infections lead to chronic liver problems and may also end with liver damage. Hepatitis is a highly contagious disease.

Prevention measures

Hepatitis vaccines can be a great prevention method. Vaccination can prevent the risk of getting Hepatitis. Hepatitis vaccines exist for Hepatitis A, B and D. Now, there is no vaccination for Hepatitis C and E.

Avoid close contact with the infected person. While the risk of contagious disease is high in rank, it is good to practice personal and proper hygiene. Avoid sharing personal products or things like shaving razors, toothbrushes, face towels, etc.

Conclusion

Remember Hepatitis vaccine can only prevent the risk of Hepatitis. By any means, it will not provide a cure for Hepatitis. As some Hepatitis does not leave any symptoms, it is good to have health check-ups twice a year.

Regular health check-ups and consultation can rule out such harmful contagious diseases. There is no cure for Hepatitis, so it becomes an individual’s responsibility to practice healthy hygiene as an important step for Hepatitis prevention.


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The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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