Hepatitis Awareness and Information

Hepatitis is very commonly heard term. But what actually is it and what are its causes remains unclear to general population. On World Hepatitis Day, I will like to take this opportunity to explain in detail.

Gaurav Gupta Created on 26th Jul, 21

 

Firstly hepatitis doesn’t mean only viral or infective hepatitis. Hepatitis is inflammation or swelling of liver cells (Hepatocytes). They can be viral or non viral. Some of the non-viral causes of Hepatitis are Alcohol, Fatty Liver, Certain drugs, Auto Immune and many others. Common Viral Hepatitis are Hepatitis A,B,C,D and E. Mostly signs of symptoms of any hepatitis can very and non specific. But patients can complain of tiredness, fever, and pain in right upper abdomen, jaundice and so on.

 

Viral Hepatitis A and E are generally transmitted through infective food and water. Avoiding such food and water can help in preventing against these type of hepatitis. Hepatitis B and C spread through contaminated blood or through mother to child. So avoiding single syringe for multiple people, blood transfusion from designated blood banks can help in preventing spread of these types of hepatitis. Very effective vaccination is available against hepatitis A and B, which can protect us against these types of disease.

 

Non-viral hepatitis is actually getting more and more common. We are seeing pandemic of NASH, which is Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis. This disease starts from fatty liver and progress to liver inflammation and may lead to cirrhosis and end stage liver disease. Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity, Hypercholesterolemia, Hypothyroidism are some of the risk factor associated with NASH. Sedentary lifestyle with increased consumption of processed food has increased the incidence of all these lifestyle disorder. Fortunately or unfortunately control of NASH is in our hands only. Healthy lifestyle, which includes our diet and good exercise, helps in control of fatty liver. Tight control of diabetes, Blood pressure and cholesterol helps in slowing down the progression of NASH.  

 

Other common non-viral causes of hepatitis like alcoholic hepatitis is also preventable. Avoid drinking excess alcohol protects our liver. Some of the drugs prescribed by quacks in name of alternate style of medicine contain heavy metal like lead and mercury, these can damage the liver causing hepatitis and in some rare cases even Acute Liver failure. So it is essential to see only qualified doctors (Allopathy, Ayurveda or Homeopathy). 

 

But sometimes despite all precautions we may still get hepatitis. If you see yellowish eye and skin with or without fever, tiredness and pain in stomach, it is best to see Liver specialist. Lot of these hepatitis if correctly and timely diagnosed can be cured. On World Hepatitis Day, we all should pledge to take care of our liver. 

Relevant Questions

Q. What can potentially cause damage liver?

The 3 main causes of liver damage are: Obesity, undiagnosed hepatitis infection and alcohol misuse. There are some other factors that lead to liver damage. That is,

  • Too Much Vitamin A From Supplements
  • Excess intake of Soft Drinks
  • Too much sugar
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Q. My wife has issue with abdomen pain & according to Dr the lever is fatty We have done USG of upper & lower abdomen & it shows bit enlargement of lever What shall we do next

If on USG liver is fatty, the Patient should undergo some more blood tests to find the cause and degree of fatty liver. We should also check whether this fatty liver is causing hepatitis or not. Treatment will depend upon finding of these tests. I will suggest you to consult a liver specialist and then further treatment can be started.

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Q. Hello, I'm a 49-year-old male whose platelet count has dropped to 27000 in the last several months. Gastroenterologists use sonography and endoscopy to detect compensated liver cirrhosis. I'm curious about the long-term effects and what kind of diet I should follow. Thanks

If your doctor has told you that you have compensated cirrhosis, this means you are in the early stages of the disease. The cause of cirrhosis in such patients must be thoroughly investigated. These individuals must also be monitored by liver experts on a frequent basis in order to diagnose and treat issues when they emerge. These individuals must also adhere to a rigorous liver-related diet. Diets are usually changed and tailored to the specific needs of each patient. I hope this answers your question, and please contact me if you have any other questions!

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Q. My brother is hospitalized in Nair hospital since last 15days because of alcoholic liver infection, not getting improvement .. So i want to consult with you.

If a patient has alcohol-related liver injury generally treatment depends upon the degree of liver injury. some of the patients will recover after alcohol-related liver injury but in case of severe alcoholic hepatitis, liver transplant may be needed. 

If you want to know more, you can refer the article on Alcohol Liver Disease.

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