Inflammation of the liver can affect its functions, potentially leading to a range of health problems.
Accordingly, the liver is an important organ that performs vital functions such as filtering toxins from the blood, metabolizing fats, proteins and carbohydrates, protein synthesis, bile production, digestion, and storage of vitamins & minerals.
Hepatitis is a medical condition that refers to inflammation of the liver. There are several causes of this including heavy alcohol use, toxins, viruses, medications, and certainmedical conditions.
There are 5 viral classifications of Viral hepatitis, namely A, B, C, D and E. A different virus is responsible for each.
Different routes/modes can spread the infection:
- Hepatitis A – an infected person or contaminated food can transmit it through close, personal contact.
- Hepatitis B & D – infected blood, semen, or other body fluids can transmit it through sexual contact, sharing needles, syringes or other drug paraphernalia, and pregnancy or delivery.
- Hepatitis C – contaminated blood from an infected person can spread it through sharing needles and other equipment used to inject drugs.
- Hepatitis E – contaminated drinking water and uncooked or undercooked meat or organs from infected animals can spread it.
Symptoms of hepatitis can vary depending on the type and cause of the condition. Besides that, some people may not experience any symptoms at all, while others may experience a range of symptoms. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- Dark urine
- Pale stool
- Joint pain
- Itchy skin
The severity of symptoms can vary depending on the type and cause of hepatitis.
To prevent the spread, it’s critical to practice safe sex, refrain from sharing needles or other drug paraphernalia, and maintain good hygiene habits like frequently washing your hands.
Depending on the underlying cause, treatment for hepatitis may include antiviral drugs, dietary changes, or, in extreme cases, liver transplantation.
If you think you might have hepatitis or are exhibiting symptoms, it’s crucial to speak with a healthcare professional.
It pays to be informed
Consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial for individuals with hepatitis, as it provides access to specialized knowledge, personalized treatment plans, and emotional support.
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