Hepatitis means the injury and inflammation of the liver. It is mostly caused by a virus, but there may be other causes such as autoimmune hepatitis, or that occur due to side effects of some medications.
- Most liver damage is caused by three types of hepatitis, hepatitis A, B and C.
- It can heal without any long term consequence, but in some cases it can cause scarring of the liver.
Symptoms of hepatitis:
Certain symptoms may include:
Diagnosis of hepatitis:
Types of hepatitis:
- Hepatitis A- It is caused by an infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is transmitted by consuming food or water contaminated by feces from a person infected with hepatitis A.
- Hepatitis B- It is not contaminated by food or water, rather it is contaminated bu body fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids etc.
- Hepatitis C- It is caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is transmitted through direct contact with the body fluids of the infected person.
- Hepatitis D- It is also called delta hepatitis, caused by hepatitis D virus (HDV). It occurs in conjunction with hepatitis B virus, it will not multiply without the presence of hepatitis B virus. It is also transmitted by contact with infected body fluids.
- Hepatitis E- It is a waterborne disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV). It is mainly found in areas with poor sanitation and typically results from ingesting fecal matter that contaminates the water supply.
Causes of infectious hepatitis:
- Alcohol and other toxins-Excessive alcohol consumption can cause liver damage and inflammation. It directly affects the cells of the liver. Over time, it can cause scarring and cirrhosis of the liver. It is called alcohol hepatitis. Other toxic causes of hepatitis include overuse or overdose of medications and exposure to poisons.
- Autoimmune system response- In some cases, immune system can infect the healthy cells of the liver, which can cause inflammation in the liver in longer process. In some cases the inflammation can be highly severe, and it is more common in women than men.
Treatments of Hepatitis:
- Hepatitis A- No treatment is required for hepatitis A, as it is a short time illness. Bed rest and taking some hydration and nutrition can help to recover. The hepatitis A vaccine is available to prevent this infection. Most children begin vaccination between ages 12 and 18 months. It’s a series of two vaccines.
- Hepatitis B- Acute hepatitis B doesn’t require any medications. Chronic hepatitis B is treated with antiviral medications. Hepatitis B can be prevented with vaccination. Hepatitis B vaccinations for all newborns. The series of three vaccines is typically completed over the first six months of childhood.
- Hepatitis C-Antiviral medications are used to treat both acute and chronic forms of hepatitis C. People who develop chronic hepatitis C are typically treated with a combination of antiviral drug therapies. People who develop cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver disease as a result of chronic hepatitis C may be ordered some advance treatment or liver transplant. There is no vaccination for hepatitis C.
- Hepatitis D-No antiviral medications exist for the treatment of hepatitis D. but a drug named as alpha interferon, can be used to treat hepatitis D, but the success rate is much low. Vaccination for hepatitis B work for hepatitis D, as hepatitis D need hepatitis B to develop
- Hepatitis E- There is no treatment of hepatitis E, but being a acute infection, it resolves on its own.
- Autoimmune hepatitis- Corticosteroids, are the most early treatment used in case of autoimmune hepatitis. Drug that suppresses immune system can also be used to treat autoimmune hepatitis.