Hepatitis

Find out more about hepatitis

Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease that primarily affects the liver. It can be acute or chronic, depending on the sufferer. The most important thing to know about hepatitis is that it isn't just one condition; there are many strains and variations of the disease, each of which will have different symptoms and treatment.

There are many causes of hepatitis, depending on the particular strain. Secondary causes include toxins and other infections or diseases, but most people are more familiar with hepatitis as a disease that develops via contraction of an alphabetically named virus: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C or hepatitis D.

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Hepatitis Symptoms

Most strains of the hepatitis virus don't exhibit any symptoms at all when the virus is initially contracted, but once symptoms are present, some can be quite similar to each other. Common symptoms include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or oddly colored stool, and fatigue.

Each type of hepatitis may also have its own unique symptoms. For example, additional symptoms of hepatitis C include hallucinations, confusion and chronic pain in the liver that can lead to cirrhosis.

It's important that you talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Hepatitis A treatment will differ from hepatitis C treatment, and so on, so it's important that you get an accurate diagnosis.

Hepatitis Treatment

Prevention is the best strategy—there are vaccines available to guard against many strains of hepatitis, and also vaccines that can help lower your risk of becoming infected if you believe you were exposed to hepatitis.

Treatment of most instances of hepatitis involves treating the symptoms: fluids to prevent dehydration and various medications to help control other symptoms. In cases of liver damage, the infected person will undergo rigorous medical treatment, and depending on the severity of the condition, a liver transplant may become necessary.

If you're living with a form of hepatitis, there are many resources that can help you understand the condition. Hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C information is widely available online, and though a bit rarer, hepatitis D information can also be accessed on the Internet or provided by your doctor.

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