Hepatitis is an inflammation of the cells in the liver, which can lead to liver damage. Hepatitis can occur as a result of viral infections, however, there are other causes of the condition.
Viral Classifications of Hepatitis
There are 5 viral classifications of hepatitis, which present different symptoms and have different treatments. These are:
Hepatitis A: Also known as HAV, hepatitis A is caused by hepatitis A virus, and is a contagious infection of the liver, which leads to inflammation, hence affecting the ability of the liver to function. The main cause of hepatitis A is coming in close contact with an object or someone who has the virus already or drinking contaminated fluids or food.
Hepatitis B: Also known as HBV, hepatitis B is an infection of the liver that leads to inflammation. If left untreated, it can be life-threatening. It can occur as a result of coming in close contact with body fluids of an individual who is already infected.
Hepatitis C: Also known as HCV, hepatitis C is also a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus, and one that can lead to liver damage.
Hepatitis D: Known also as HDV, this is a rare form of hepatitis that leads to liver infection. However, one cannot contract Hepatitis D, unless they already have an existing hepatitis B infection.
Hepatitis E: This is an acute waterborne disease that is caused by the hepatitis E virus, which occurs as a result of consuming infected water. However, it is considered deadly in pregnant women.
Common Symptoms of Hepatitis
- Loss of appetite
- Dark urine and bowels
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
Diagnosis and Treatment of Hepatitis
Diagnosis of hepatitis is done by checking the patient’s medical history, symptoms, physical examination blood tests and imaging tests. However, a biopsy may also be required. Treatment of hepatitis is dependent on the type of hepatitis, and if it’s chronic or acute.
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