Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hepatitis 101 what you need to know about

Not many of us know about something that is common between Evil Kenivel and Naomi judd along with thousands of other lesser, known mortals. Well the answer is Hepatitis. Both stars have or had the virus, in particular the hepatitis c. there are basically three types that infect people every year. However in order to reduce the risk, it's important to understand the causes and effects of this virus n body.

It's a very easily spread virus which causes inflammation of the liver. The infection might be acute, with the body recovering in less then six months. Or it might be chronic, which means the virus lasts in the body for about six months or even more.

Different types of Hepatitis are caused by different types of viruses. All of these respond to medication and treatment differently. Although the infection is usually preventable and most who acquire usually recover, yet it is a major health concern. Mostly it's considered dangerous because of the damage it may cause to a persons liver tissue and the ease with which it spreads from one to another.

It may seriously affect the immunity of the body and damage the liver even causing liver failure, cancer and even death.

Most important is to realize that one form of hepatitis is different from another. While hepatitis A spreads by contaminated food or water, but on the other hand C is spread only through body fluids or during birth.

Just like the causes, their treatment is equally different. Although, all the forms of Hepatitis have different symptoms, differentiating one from the other, yet for the most part they have similar symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention. To begin with get it tested, so that treatment may begin if required.

Although not all types have the same symptoms yet they do share some common symptoms like dark urine, yellow skin or eye whites, also referred to as jaundice, low grade fever, loss of appetite and feeling sick. Loss of nutrition might also be caused by the virus.

Other more unique symptoms are stomachaches for those with B and C only. Yellow or pale colored stool affects those with hepatitis a and c, aching joints is more common for the patients with hepatitis B.

Because of the similarity in symptoms, self-diagnosis of the type is not easy and hence medical tests are required. However knowing the symptoms helps, as Hepatitis a has no real treatment and has to be waited out and thus one must know the usual symptoms, deviation from which is a sign of a different infection.

Prognosis in case of Hepatitis is vitally important. Most people with infection do recover in six months or so, yet in some cases it may take a longer time.

Amongst the various things that a person with infection and wishing speedy recovery should do, is to avoid alcohol. Alcohol and drugs add excessive burden to the already weak liver, trying to heal itself from the virus.

Regular visits to the doctor, monitoring the functioning of liver are equally important. Patients have a vital role in recovery and hence an open relationship with the doctor is extremely important and any new symptoms should be immediately expressed.

About the author:

Mansi gupta writes about hepatitis.. Learn more at .

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