Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by a virus infection, and more rarely by intoxication. The main symptom is jaundice (yellowing of the skin). When a person suffers from hepatitis, his liver in inflated and it stops working properly. There are three types of Hepatitis, namely Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
Anyone can catch it, but there are certain groups of people who are more likely:
- People who have received blood transfusions.
- People who have sexual contact with a infected person, and
- Men who have sex with men.
Symptoms of Hepatitis
Symptoms of the disease are common for all forms of hepatitis, whether it’s A, B or C.
The common symptoms are:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach ache
- Symptoms present only some people
- Darkening of urine
- Colored droppings
- Yellowing of skin or eyes (jaundice)
Treatments of Hepatitis
Most people, who have hepatitis A or hepatitis B, recover on their own after a few weeks. However, it is very important to follow some guidelines:
- Bed rest for several days or weeks depending on the overall condition of the person;
- Follow a diet rich in protein and low in fat (to lower the blood level of transaminases);
- Drink plenty of fluids (water or juice);
- Do not drink alcohol until you are completely cured;
- Take the medicines your doctor prescribes
- Prevent consuming certain types of drugs such as painkillers and tranquilizers.
Those who do not recover on their own, like in acute cases of Hepatitis B, have to take different anti-viral drugs (mainly lamivudine), which are prescribed by their physician.
Hepatitis C has to be treated with drugs, if patients don’t recover on their own within a couple of months. Most commonly used drugs are ribavivirin (anti-viral) and peginterferon.