Did you know that the ABCs of hepatitis can range from A to E? Although A, B, and C are the most common types you may hear, hepatitis D and E may occur if the early forms do not get treated. So, if you notice symptoms of hepatitis, better to book an appointment at OmnicareMedical.com.au. Getting a health checkup can help treat your issues early, preventing further complications from happening. Read on to learn more about the different types of hepatitis, along with the treatment and prevention.
Definition of Hepatitis
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. This can occur from alcohol use, medications, toxins, bacteria, and viruses. Once the hepatitis virus attacks your liver, it creates an inflammatory reaction that makes it difficult for your liver to work. Your liver has various roles in your health, such as eliminating harmful toxins. Hence, if hepatitis goes untreated, it can lead to some chronic issues such as liver cancer.
Furthermore, several people are unaware that they have hepatitis. Acute symptoms can show up somewhere in the range of two weeks to six months after exposure. If you do have symptoms, they differ from fatigue and fever to abdominal pain and jaundice.
Different Types of Hepatitis
Hepatitis A, B, and C are the most common types, while hepatitis D and hepatitis E are rare. In fact, having hepatitis can affect your dental health because you might want to postpone your dental visit to prevent the spreading of the disease. In any case, here are the following types of hepatitis:
People can have Hepatitis A through consuming contaminated food or drink or through contact with an infectious individual. Signs and symptoms of hepatitis A can include loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, dark urine, diarrhea, jaundice, or clay-colored stools. Furthermore, hepatitis A can continue from two to six months and sometimes can be severe.
Unlike hepatitis A, hepatitis B is a chronic infection for some people that can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Most cases of hepatitis B start with unprotected sex with an infected person. Other people who are at risk include those:
- Use IV drugs
- Have HIV
- Work with human blood or needles
- Have a blood-clotting disorder
- Spend time in long-term care facilities or prisons
- Spread from mother to baby at childbirth
In fact, most health care professionals, like the dental team of Southport Park Dental, are at high risk for this type of hepatitis. That is why proper sanitation of tools and facilities are essential to keep the area safe and healthy.
Hepatitis C virus is usually a chronic type that can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. In fact, contact with an infected individual’s blood is the most common way to get chronic viral hepatitis C, especially in the USA. Others who are at risk for chronic hepatitis C include those people:
- Have used IV drugs
- Have kidney failure and get dialysis treatment
- Work with human blood or needles
- Have a blood-clotting disorder and received clotting factors before 1987
- Have unprotected intercourse
Hepatitis D is an uncommon type but the most extreme form since it can result in liver failure or liver cancer. This condition is somehow connected to hepatitis B because you can only have this condition if you have hepatitis B. In addition, Hepatitis D is most common in parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and South America.
Like Hepatitis D, Hepatitis E is a rare type. Usually, you can get this disease by living in or visiting countries with poor sanitation. In fact, it is spread when somebody accidentally ingests the virus, even in microscopic amounts. Some areas of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Central America are in danger of the disease.
Your doctor generally takes your complete medical history and performs a medical exam to avoid getting unnecessary treatment. They will likely order diagnostic tests to know the condition of your liver. Depending on the clinical findings, these tests could include ultrasound, liver enzyme and function tests, blood and genetic testing, and a liver biopsy.
Treatment will differ depending on the form of hepatitis you have, your overall health, age, and treatment preferences.
Taking a rest, eating healthy foods, and avoiding alcohol are common ways to treat acute hepatitis. Also, sometimes, antiviral drugs can help. While for chronic hepatitis, treatment might incorporate antiviral medications, corticosteroids, and abstinence from alcohol.
How to Prevent the Spread of Hepatitis
Like with several diseases, preventing the spread of hepatitis starts with good hygiene practices. Other preventive measures include:
- Vaccination. Doctors can give hepatitis A vaccines to those at risk, like when traveling to a developing country. They often provide a vaccine for hepatitis B to newborns and small children as part of their standard health care. On the other hand, no vaccines are available for hepatitis C, D, or E. However, the vaccine for hepatitis B can protect against hepatitis D.
- Antibodies. This can help protect you from the virus, especially if you have been exposed to the disease.
- Avoid sharing personal things like toothbrushes and razors.
- Avoid sharing or reusing syringes or needles.
- Practice safe sex, such as using a condom
If you are concerned about contracting hepatitis, you can talk with your health care provider for more information.
What is Viral Hepatitis?