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HEPATITIS

The word hepatitis comes from the Ancient Greek word hepar (root word hepat) meaning 'liver', and the Latin itis meaning inflammation. Hepatitis means injury to the liver with inflammation of the liver cells. ...Read More

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The word hepatitis comes from the Ancient Greek word hepar (root word hepat) meaning 'liver', and the Latin itis meaning inflammation. Hepatitis means injury to the liver with inflammation of the liver cells.

Types:

There are five main types of hepatitis that are caused due to virus i.e. A, B, C, D, and E - plus types X and G.

Hepatitis C:

Hepatitis C is usually spread through direct contact with the blood of a person who has the disease. It is caused by the virus HCV (Hepatitis C Virus). The liver can swell and become damaged. In hepatitis C liver cancer risk is only increased in people with cirrhosis and only 20% of hepatitis C patients get cirrhosis. Feces is never a route of transmission in hepatitis C. Donated blood is also tested for hepatitis C.

Misuse of anesthesia can result in the transmission of hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses, researchers reported in the journal Gastroenterology. The cause of infection tends to be from anesthesia contamination, and not endoscopy contamination. Experts say that more effort is needed to better educate the health care community about the importance of strict sterile techniques when using any type of anesthesia.

Medication:

A patient with hepatitis C will be prescribed pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Patients with chronic hepatitis C who are receiving standard HCV treatment may benefit significantly by taking vitamin B12 supplements, researchers reported in the journal Gut. The authors explained that by adding vitamin B12 to standard treatment, the body's ability to fight the virus is greatly improved.Interferon-free therapy for hepatitis C 'cured' 90% of patients, A study found that an interferon-free combination of drugs was safe, well tolerated and cured over 90% of 380 trial patients with liver cirrhosis in 12 weeks. The New England Journal of Medicine published this research in April 2014.

How to prevent hepatitis C:

  • If you are infected do not let others share your razor, manicure equipment, toothbrush.
  • If you are infected cover open wounds
  • Do not share needles, toothbrushes, or manicure equipment
  • Go easy on the alcohol
  • If your skin is to be pierced, make sure equipment is well sterilized (tattoo, etc.)
  • Do not share drug equipment.

Symptoms:

The symptoms are like mild flu and the initial phase of hepatitis is called the acute phase. It may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild fever
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Nausea
  • Slight abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss.

The acute phase is not usually dangerous unless it develops into the fulminant or rapidly progressing form, which can lead to death. As the patients’ health gets worse, these symptoms may follow:

  • Dark urine
  • A headache (only toxic/drug-induced hepatitis)
  • Circulation problems (only toxic/drug-induced hepatitis)
  • Dizziness (only toxic/drug-induced hepatitis)
  • Drowsiness (only toxic/drug-induced hepatitis)
  • Enlarged spleen (only alcoholic hepatitis)
  • Hives
  • Itchy skin
  • Light colored feces, the feces may contain pus
  • Yellow skin, whites of eyes, tongue (jaundice).
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