Hepatitis is a term used to refer to a number of conditions that has got to do with the inflammation of the liver. A person acquires hepatitis when inflammatory cells attack the liver after an infection, an injury, or other toxin and medication-related incidents.

There are two primary categories of hepatitis: acute and chronic. Acute hepatitis usually lasts between a couple months and six months, while chronic hepatitis can last six months or longer.

What are the causes of hepatitis?

There are various ways to contract hepatitis. Some of the most common causes are the following: virus, algae, parasites, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. In addition to that, people who take drugs abusively and drink alcohol excessively are more prone to having the disease. Patients who suffer from metabolic diseases or autoimmune disorders also have higher chances of contracting hepatitis.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis?

The symptoms of acute hepatitis include diarrhea, loss of appetite (which may lead to anorexia), malaise, headache, fever, abdominal pain, and joint and muscle pains. A patient will also experience vomiting and feel nauseous all the time. His or her urine will be of darker color, and his or her stool will look like clay. The skin and mucous membranes will take a yellowish or jaundice color.

In chronic hepatitis, the symptoms include weight loss, fatigue, edema, weakness, bleeding, and bruising. The patient’s liver will begin to be swollen, resulting in the enlargement of the abdomen. Fluid accumulation in the abdominal area is also possible.

It is important to test hepatitis once you notice the symptoms because the disease can progress to other diseases such as permanent liver damage and cirrhosis. The process of diagnosing hepatitis includes the detection of anti-HAV/anti-HCV/other hepatitis-related antibodies in the body’s bloodstream, an increase in the amount of alkaline phosphatase and time for prothrombin, and more globulins in the patient’s blood.

Treatment for hepatitis varies. There are five categories of the disease, namely hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E. Each one of them is caused by a different virus or element, so the methods for diagnosing, testing, and treating also differ.

Some of the types will require the intake of prescription medicines such as antiviral drugs. Some have intramuscular injections and vaccines for the patients.

Medical professionals want people to take hepatitis tests so that they can provide treatment for the disease while it still has not progressed to something more serious. Refrain from getting intimate with infected people, especially those that belong to the following groups: homosexuals, health care workers, and street drug addicts. They are at very high risk of contaminating others with the disease. Hepatitis is deadly, so we better educate ourselves on how to prevent it while we still can.