Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver , which is usually caused by viruses or the use of medications. The symptoms of hepatitis can appear a few days after contact with the virus and manifest themselves through the yellowish color on the skin and the white part of the eyes and its treatment depends on what caused the disease.
There are several types of hepatitis, but the most common in Brazil are hepatitis A, B and C that can usually be cured with the appropriate medication.
The symptoms of hepatitis may vary slightly depending on the type of virus involved, but they usually manifest in the acute stage of hepatitis, through:
- Headache and general malaise;
- Abdominal pain and swelling;
- Yellowish color on the skin and in the white part of the eyes;
- Dark urine, color of Coca-Cola;
- Light stools, like putty;
- Nausea, vomiting and weight loss without apparent cause.
Hepatitis B usually has no symptoms and progresses slowly . In the few cases that show symptoms, these can be fever, yellowish color in the skin and eyes and malaise, and 95% of the time the cure for hepatitis B can be achieved, although there are cases of chronic hepatitis B.
The diagnosis of hepatitis can be made by observing the patient and confirming the diagnosis through a blood test that assesses the presence of the hepatitis virus in the body (anti-HAV, HBV and HCV). Eventually hepatitis can also be discovered through abdominal ultrasound.
Causes of hepatitis
The causes of hepatitis can involve contamination with viruses, bacteria or parasites, and in Brazil, hepatitis A, B and C viruses are the main responsible for hepatitis cases in the country. Thus, the causes of inflammation in the liver can be:
- Infection with hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, G virus; bacteria or parasites that cause hepatitis;
- Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages and
- Ingestion of poisonous mushroom.
Hepatitis can also occur due to some diseases such as Lupus, Sjogren’s Syndrome, cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease, hemolytic anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma or glomerulonephritis.
Hepatitis transmission can occur through oral-fecal contact or through contact with contaminated blood. Some forms of contamination with hepatitis are:
- Sharing syringes;
- Relationship without a condom;
- Consume contaminated food or water;
- Contact with urine or feces of the infected individual.
Other less common forms of contamination are blood transfusion before 1990, and from mother to child through normal delivery, when prenatal care has not been performed properly.
Regarding the prevention of hepatitis, it is recommended to take vaccines against hepatitis A and hepatitis B, use condoms in all sexual relations, do not share syringes and adopt hygiene measures as always washing your hands after going to the bathroom and before eating. In addition, it is important to be cautious when performing piercings or tattoos requiring new or properly sterilized materials.
Treatment for hepatitis can be done only with rest, good nutrition and hydration. However, in some cases the doctor may prescribe the use of medications such as Interferon, lamivudine, adefovir, dipivoxil and entecavir.
Hepatitis medications can cause side effects such as irritability, headache, insomnia and fever , which is why many patients abandon treatment, without the doctor’s knowledge, compromising the cure of hepatitis. Although these are unpleasant symptoms, they are more frequent at the beginning of treatment and tend to decrease with the use of analgesics, antidepressants or anti-inflammatory drugs.
Treatment time can vary between 6 to 11 months, depending on the type of hepatitis and the patient’s immune response. Throughout the treatment, care should be taken to prefer easily digestible foods, and it is recommended to follow a diet to treat hepatitis.
Hepatitis has a cure
Hepatitis can be cured most of the time , but in some cases, when the individual is not properly treated or does not respect the doctor’s instructions, the disease can generate complications and be more difficult to cure, leading to death.
More severe cases may require hospitalization to control the disease because chronic hepatitis increases the risk of developing cirrhosis and cirrhosis increases the risk of liver cancer. Other complications of hepatitis include hepatitis B virus glomerulus-nephritis and hepatitis C virus cryoglobulinemia.