WHAT IS VIRAL HEPATITIS?
The inflammation of the liver caused by certain viruses is known as Viral Hepatitis. The liver, one of the most important organs of the human body, performs the function of regulating metabolism and detoxification. When the liver is inflamed or damaged its efficiency decreases. Inflammation, acute pain, and swelling occur in the liver may be dangerous if not treated on time.
Viral Hepatitis can be both acute and chronic. If it lasts for less than 6 months it is acute and if it exceeds more than 6 months it is Chronic. It is also contagious as it may spread from one person to another. There are five basic types of known Hepatitis. Hepatitis A, B, C, D, AND E. The most common among them are Hepatitis A, B, AND C.
WHAT CAUSES HEPATITIS?
HEPATITIS A– Hepatitis A is caused by the Hepatitis A virus. It may spread from sexual contact or contaminated food or drinking water carrying the virus through bits of fecal matter from an infected person.
HEPATITIS B – The carrier agent of Hepatitis B is the Hepatitis B virus. It can spread from coming in close contact with the infected blood, or body fluid, or having sexual contact with an infected person. Fetus is more prone to hepatitis B if the mother is diagnosed with it.
HEPATITIS C – may spread from shared needle injection and through sexual contact with the diseased person.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF HEPATITIS
Some basic symptoms of Hepatitis are as follows:
- Pain in stomach
- change in color of urine or dark urine
- weakness or tiredness
- joint pain
- low fever
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If the patient has any of these symptoms, generally the health care provider prescribes certain blood tests. Based on these tests and your medical history the doctor can diagnose which hepatitis you have.
LINE OF TREATMENT
For Hepatitis A, there is no proper treatment other than managing and monitoring the symptoms seen. If detected early you may be vaccinated with Hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin.
Hepatitis B can be successfully treated with certain antiviral drugs and careful monitoring.
For the treatment of Hepatitis C, certain medications are prescribed with an oral pill therapy of 8 to 12 months. Regular checkups and follow-ups are imperative.
Patients on Blood-thinning medications such as WARFARIN are asked to regularly monitor their PT/INR level so that their dosages can be adjusted properly. With PATIENT SELF TESTING, it is convenient for people to test themselves at home with PT/INR METERS and get accurate results in no time.