Types of Hepatitis Viruses | Dr HL Nawlakha Blog Paras Bliss
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What is Hepatitis and what does it do?

What is Hepatitis and what does it do?

by: Dr. H.L. Nawlakha
Sr. Consultant – Internal Medicine

Hepatitis can be explained as inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by the Hepatitis viruses and other infections and toxic substances such as alcohol and certain drugs.

There are majorly 5 kinds of hepatitis viruses, referred as types A, B, C, D and E.

  • Hepatitis A is caused by consuming contaminated food or water. It doesn’t lead to long-terminflammation of your liver.
  • Hepatitis B spreads in several ways. One can get infected through sexual transmission by an infected person or by sharing a needle or from a mother to hernewborn child during pregnancy.
  • Hepatitis C is commonly spread via direct contact with contaminated bloodor needles used to inject illegal drugs or draw tattoos. It can also lead to cirrhosis, a risky scarring of your liver, in some severe cases.
  • Hepatitis Dhappens only if one is already infected with hepatitis B. It tends to make that disease more severe and is transmitted either from mother to child or through sexual contact.
  • Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is transmitted by drinking contaminated water.

Symptoms of Hepatitis & Tests for Diagnosis:

Some common symptoms of Hepatitis are:

  • Fatigue
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Dark urine
  • Pale stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pale and yellow skin and eyes – which may be signs of jaundice

What is Hepatitis

Hepatitis can be diagnosed through physical exam, and laboratory findings such as Liver Function Tests, Ultrasound, Blood Tests and Viral Antibody Testing and sometimes a liver biopsy can be recommended in extreme cases.

Prevention of Hepatitis:

Hepatitis can heal with no significant consequence sometimes, or it can progress to cirrhosis i.e., scarring of the liver. Acute hepatitis can prolong up to six months, while chronic hepatitis lasts longer.

One can prevent hepatitis by practicing good hygiene and avoiding:

  • Drinking local water
  • Eating raw fruit and vegetables without washing properly
  • Unprotected sexual contact
  • Sharing needles and razors
  • Using someone else’s toothbrush
  • Touching spilled blood
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