As world hepititis days is on 28th July
Hepatitis – Causes, Treatment & Prevention
The liver is the largest and vital organ that functions to perform 500 essential tasks, including detoxifying the blood and storing vitamins as well as producing hormones. The main job of the liver is to filter the harmful toxins and chemicals from the blood. Converting protein and sugar into useful substance, storing them and releasing them when required by the body is managed by the liver. The liver will be unable to perform these works if it gets affected. The functions of the liver get disrupted when it gets affected by Hepatitis.
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver that causes infection and may cause serious damage to the organ and rarely can develop to fatality. Hepatitis can be the symptom of several diseases, including autoimmune. Viral infection causes Hepatitis, and at least five viruses can develop the condition. Hepatitis gets classified into five types- A (HAV), B (HBV), C (HCV), D (HDV), and E (HEV). HAV, HBV and HCV are the common types of the disease, while HDV and HEV are less common forms.
Viral Hepatitis gets cured without any treatment, but in some cases, the virus remains in the body and causes chronic infection. The causes of the different Hepatitis types vary. However, the symptoms of the types could be similar.
by Mr Satkam Divya, CEO, klinicApp
Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, fatigue, joint pain, jaundice, dark-colored urine, and pale stools are few of the symptoms
As said, the causes of Hepatitis vary, but the prime causes include infection with viruses, bacteria, or parasites. The infection also is caused when the body mistakenly attacks the liver, which gets referred to as autoimmune diseases. Consuming alcohol, drugs, and other toxins also are the common causes of the illness.
Learning the types of Hepatitis is essential.
Hepatitis A and E are short-term viral infections which transmit to the body through water or food infected by fecal matter. Undercooked or raw food or food prepared or handled by persons with dirty hands are the primary reasons for spreading the infection. When the virus enters the body, it spreads through the bloodstream and enters the liver, which causes swelling and inflammation. Hepatitis A is contagious and easily transmits to others.
Hepatitis B is caused due to exposure to infected blood or through sexual contact with an infected person. The reasons also include coming in contact with vaginal fluid and semen. A newborn child may also inherit the disease from an infected mother.
Hepatitis C transmits to others when a normal person comes in contact with the blood of an infected person. The infection spreads when people share the same needles; especially while injecting drugs. The virus may also transmit to others if an infected person shares personal hygiene products like shaving razors or similar products. Hepatitis C rarely spreads during sex or childbirth.
Hepatitis D also spreads through blood contact, but the infection spreads when the person also is infected with Hepatitis B.
Hepatitis E is similar to Hepatitis A and is rare.
Diagnosing the condition and detecting the infection is the first step of treatment and prevention.
The chronic infection and inflammation result in extensive scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), which will impair the functions of the organ. Diagnosing and detecting the infection at the right time is essential. Spotting the symptoms, you need to diagnose the condition to learn the type and severity of the condition. Conducting laboratory tests, the doctor or certified medical practitioner will find the type and severity. The normal ways of diagnosing the condition include blood tests, liver biopsy, nucleic acid tests, paracentesis, surrogate markers, and Elastography. The type of treatment largely depends on the diagnosis report.
Acute Hepatitis infection will resolve on their own, which might take several weeks or months. However, the chronic condition will require treatment of antiviral medication. Though there is no particular treatment for the disease, supportive therapy and medication will improve the comfort levels and prevent the complication associated with the disease. The condition gets diagnosed based on the patient’s medical history and blood test.
Self-care is essential for treatment as well as prevention of Hepatitis.
- A patient must take plenty of rest.
- Staying hydrated is the key to minimize the symptoms and effects.
- The person infected with the virus must also eat a balanced and nutritious diet.
- Including high-calorie food in the diet chart is essential for persons having a poor appetite.
- Avoiding alcohol is essential to protect the liver.
The common steps one should follow for prevention of Hepatitis are-:
- Get vaccinated against HAV and HBV if you had missed the vaccination as a child.
- Make sure to follow the proper rules of maintaining hygiene, like washing hands with anti-bacterial soap or fluid and clean water after using the bathroom or changing diapers of a child. Make sure to wash your hands clean before handling water or food.
- Make it a habit to drink bottled or boiled or chemically water. Traveling to a new location, remain cautious about your food habit and consumption style.
- Practicing safe sex is another way of preventing transmission of the virus from one person to another. Using condoms or other barriers will greatly reduce the risks of transmission.
- Never use a syringe, needles, razors, or toothbrushes of another person.
- Make sure to use gloves while performing first aid. Pregnant and nursing mothers must remain extra cautious as the infants get easily affected by the virus for low immunity power.
- Seeking doctor advice and following the treatment measures can prevent transmission of the virus to the infant.
- Consulting a certified doctor and seeking advice can help you to prevent the condition and control the effects.
- Make sure to visit the doctor if you detect any associated symptom so that you can follow the measures before the virus leads to a chronic condition.