OverviewHepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, which in some cases is caused by a virus. This disease usually shows symptoms characteristic of influenza: fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, fever up to 38.8 C. With deteriorating condition may appear jaundice (skin and whites of the eyes become yellow hue), brown urine, feces colorless, pain and tightness under the ribs on the right. But there are cases when the disease is asymptomatic.
There are 3 main viral hepatitis:Hepatitis A - a virus spread through unwashed hands (food, water, utensils, toys, and other items contaminated feces). Prevention of hepatitis A is the main reason why the employees of restaurants and a children's teachers need to always wash your hands after working in the kitchen and changing children's diapers, respectively. After infection with symptoms usually appear only after 2-6 weeks. During this period, a person can infect others. Most of the symptoms usually disappear after a few days or weeks, but fatigue can take months to the extent that the liver returns to normal. A full recovery takes several months. Hepatitis A is not usually affects the human liver forever. However, there can be serious and even fatal complications.
Hepatitis B is a more serious form of viral hepatitis. In 10% of cases of hepatitis B develop chronic disease, long-inflammation of the liver, which in some cases is the cause extensive liver damage and even cirrhosis. Hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccination. Mainly hepatitis B is spread through blood and body fluids (sexual contact, contaminated needles with / in the introduction of drugs, as well as needles used for tattooing, acupuncture, piercing). In the past, there have been frequent blood transfusions contaminated with hepatitis B. But since 1972, the laboratory testing of donated blood is practically ruled out that possibility. Symptoms of hepatitis B is mainly identical to other forms of hepatitis, but they appear later, last longer and can carry heavy, can occur up to 2-3 months, at which time the hepatitis B most dangerous to others. Vaccination against hepatitis B before the infection can prevent disease and vaccination is taken soon after infection, can stop the progression of the disease.
Hepatitis C is a third type of viral hepatitis, spreads mainly as through blood (transfusions, needles, sexual contact, etc.). Symptoms typically occur between 1 and 10 weeks after the infection, but they can hardly be expressed (jaundice may be absent). Risk of hepatitis C due to the fact that it can lead to severe chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver. It is now possible to carry out tests to identify latent form of the disease in donated blood, which drastically reduces the possibility of infection with hepatitis C through blood transfusions.
Symptoms of hepatitisIt is recommended to see a doctor if there is any suspicion of being infected with hepatitis B, the appearance of jaundice, dark urine, light-colored stool, severe general condition, the dramatic loss of appetite, pain in the right upper quadrant. As a rule, in viral hepatitis requires immediate hospitalization.
What you can do?There is no specific treatment for hepatitis programs beyond what is necessary to rest well and eat right and wait until the symptoms go away. Nevertheless, it is possible to improve their condition and prevent the spread of the disease not others. Consult your doctor if you suspect infection. By a blood test can determine if you are sick and if so, what form of hepatitis.
If the infection is not ruled out hepatitis, you should assume that your bowel movements are contagious. The habit of alcohol abuse may trigger or worsen any form of hepatitis. It can also interfere with the healing process.
Need a lot of rest, eat well. Hepatitis impairs the ability of the liver to participate in the process of digestion. Therefore, it is important to eat easy to digest and absorb food to get enough calories. Fatty foods are usually poorly absorbed. It should consume more carbohydrates (such as grains and fruits).
Even after discharge from the hospital should be monitored regularly by a doctor. A blood test for several months will follow the course of the healing process of your liver, as well as the possible presence of inflammation.
During illness and recovery process, avoid using alcohol and any drugs, other than prescription your doctor (some drugs can have a damaging effect on the liver (birth control pills, tranquilizers, some antibiotics, antidepressants).
Wash your hands after using the toilet and before eating.
What can a doctor?The physician should refer the patient to a hospital, where accurate diagnosis. If necessary, the physician should advise the patient's family members. To avoid possible complications must start treatment at the early stage.
Prevention of hepatitis
Hepatitis AWash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water after using the toilet, changing baby diapers, and before cooking and eating food. This is the most important measure in the prevention of hepatitis A. If you are traveling to areas where hepatitis A is common, and there is no sanitation, boil water, clean fruits and vegetables before eating inside. Teach your children to wash their hands. Change children's diapers on surfaces that can be easily washed and disinfected (for example, 1 tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of water). Never change diapers on the table where you eat or prepare food. You have to be careful in preparing shellfish, especially if you already have a chronic form of liver disease. Drink water from approved sources.
Tell your doctor if anyone in your family is sick with hepatitis A. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe an injection of immunoglobulin family members sick. Get vaccinated if you are at high risk of infection, or are planning a trip to a country with high incidence of hepatitis A.