Hepatitis is a condition of inflammation of the liver, which is mainly caused by excessive use of illegal drugs, alcohol and certain medical conditions. Another most common cause of this disease is virus, known as Viral Hepatitis, which can spread through unhygienic conditions and being in physical contact with a carrier. There are three common variables of the disease i.e. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.

Symptoms of Hepatitis:

In the early weeks after infection, there are no visible symptoms and this phase is known as acute phase. As the disease worsens the patient starts experiencing symptoms such as jaundice, fatigue, nausea, mild fever, belly pain and poor appetite. The advancement of this disease is so slow that even Hep B and C patients don’t show any symptoms for many years until they become chronic.

Basics of Hepatitis A:

Hepatitis A is highly contagious and can spread from one person to another in different situations. It normally spreads through contaminated food and water. Food can be stained with the virus when the infected person touches it without washing hands after using washroom. Fruits, vegetables, raw shellfish and under cooked food are also some common culprits for spreading the virus. It usually cause very mild illness due to which many people don’t even know that they are infected with the virus.

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One of the primary risk factor for being infected with this disease is traveling to or living in a country having a high rate of infection. Drinking tap water and eating raw or exotic foods during your travels can also increase the risk of infection. Children attending day-care centers have high risk of developing the condition transmitted through infected employees as the immune system of children is very vulnerable at an early age and they are in direct contact with day-care providers.

In most cases, this type of virus goes away on its own and no medication is needed. Some lifestyle changes can be adopted to control the symptoms by eating well-cooked meals, drinking plenty of water, juices, or sports drinks for hydration and avoiding hard or strenuous exercises.

Basics of Hepatitis B:

Majority of patients affected with this type of viral Hepatitis may get mild symptoms that go away in a short time period. Some patients may not clear the virus from their body permanently, causing long-term damage to liver. Hep B virus can lead to some serious problems such as liver damage, liver failure and liver cancer.

Hepatitis B can spread through contact with blood and body fluids of the infected person. In USA, the virus often spreads through unprotected sex, using an infected person’s syringe, razors or toothbrush. It is also known that infected mothers can pass the virus to unborn children during childbirth. On the plus side, Hepatitis B is not contagious and doesn’t spread through hugging, coughing or sharing food and drinks.

People who have drug abuse issues, have multiple partners or are living with a patient having chronic stage and healthcare workers who can get exposed to blood in their line of work have a high risk of developing Hepatitis B.

The main goal of treating this virus is to control it from damaging the liver. Antiviral medications therapy may be recommended by the doctor and controlled according to each patient’s condition.

Basics of Hepatitis C:

This type is caused by a virus called as HCV and the nature of this virus is very different from other two variants. Only about 25% of patients suffering from Hep type C have recovered within a short period of time whereas most will carry the virus for a long-term elevating the disease to a chronic stage. This chronic stage cause serious complications such as liver cancer and if left untreated, liver failure is most likely to occur.

This type of virus spreads through infected blood transfusion, using pre-infected needles and other items that can reach the blood stream. An infected mother can also pass the virus to the baby while it’s in the womb.

People injecting illegal drugs even for one time are at high risk of developing the disease. Also, anyone who has received a blood transfusion before 1992 is also high risked because blood screening practices were not in place before this year and Hepatitis C infected blood could have been used for transfusion.

Various drugs and medications approved by FDA are used for the treatment of HCV as per doctor’s recommendations. Liver transplantation is also a viable option for patients with complete liver failure. These days Hepatitis C is not untreatable but prevention is still the best option and as mentioned above a little change in lifestyle can ensure you are safe from this very elusive yet chronically endangering threat.

Author's Bio: 

Paul Richard, having keen interest to learn and write about Diseases and Treatments.

Medical Center: GI Endoscopy Practice
Website: Giendoscopypractice.com
Category: Gastroenterology
Phone Number: 973.248.1550
Address: 44 Route 23 North, Suite 7 Riverdale
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