Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Our liver, located in the abdomen's right upper area, performs many critical functions that affect our metabolism.
You should consult an expert like Dr. Gaurav Gupta for issues related to the liver. Dr. Gupta is among the top-rated Liver Specialist in Mumbai. He is renowned for his expertise in Liver Transplant in Mumbai. He has more than 15 years of surgical experience, out of which 10+ years in the field of Liver Transplantation.
Moreover, Dr. Gaurav Gupta is among the best liver transplant surgeons in Mumbai and has conducted more than 500 liver transplants. Presently, he is associated with Fortis Hospitals as a Consultant and HOD of the Liver Transplant & HPB Surgery.
Overview of Hepatitis, its types, symptoms, diagnosis, and hepatitis treatment.
What is Hepatitis?
It is an inflammatory disease of the liver usually caused by a viral infection. However, other possible causative factors of hepatitis include autoimmune hepatitis. Hepatitis also occurs as a secondary result of drugs, toxins, and alcohol which are also major causes of other diseases like Liver Cirrhosis.
Symptoms of Hepatitis
You may not have signs at first if you have chronic infectious forms of hepatitis, such as hepatitis B and C. Symptoms may not occur until the damage has a detrimental effect on liver function.
Acute hepatitis symptoms and signs appear rapidly. They are as follows:
- abdominal pain
- flu-like symptoms
- loss of appetite
- dark urine
- pale stool
- yellow skin and eyes
- unexplained weight loss
Types of Hepatitis
Hepatitis is of different types, viz. infectious and non-infectious. However, the most common type is viral hepatitis.
Viral hepatitis can be broadly divided into two types:
1. Acute Viral Hepatitis
a. Hepatitis A
An infection causes it with the hepatitis A virus. It usually transmits by consuming food or water contaminated by faeces from a patient infected with hepatitis A.
b. Hepatitis E
It is a waterborne disease caused by the hepatitis E virus. It is mainly found in areas with poor sanitation. It typically results from ingesting fecal matter that contaminates the water supply.
2. Chronic Viral Hepatitis:
a. Hepatitis B
It spreads through contact with infectious body fluids, such as blood, genital secretions, containing the hepatitis B virus. Using shared injections or razors of an infected person or having sex with an infected partner increases the risk of acquiring hepatitis B.
b. Hepatitis C
It results from the hepatitis C virus. It is one of the bloodborne viral infections. It circulates through direct contact with infected body fluids, usually through injections and sexual contact.
c. Hepatitis D
It is a severe liver disease caused by the hepatitis D virus. It is also known as delta hepatitis and its spreads through close contact with infected blood. It is a rare form of hepatitis and only occurs in conjunction with hepatitis B.
How Is Hepatitis Diagnosed?
a. History and Physical exam
At first, your doctor will record your medical history to determine any risk factors you may have for infectious or non-infectious hepatitis. Your doctor may gently press your abdomen to see if there’s pain or tenderness and check whether your skin or eyes are yellow.
b. Liver Function Tests
It involves taking blood samples to check the efficacy of your liver. High levels of liver enzymes could mean that your liver is inflamed, or not working correctly.
c. Other Blood Tests
If your liver function tests come back abnormal, your doctor can order additional blood tests to determine what's wrong. These tests will detect the hepatitis-causing viruses. It also detects the presence of antibodies that are common in conditions such as autoimmune hepatitis.
It involves using ultrasound waves to create an image of the abdominal organs. It assists your doctor in checking any abnormalities in your liver and nearby organs.
e. Liver biopsy
It is an invasive process that involves taking a tissue sample from your liver. It can be done with a needle through the skin and does not require surgery. These days role of Liver biopsy is very limited in diagnosing liver ailments. Typically, an ultrasound guides your doctor when taking the biopsy sample.
How Is Hepatitis Treated?
Mainly acute viral hepatitis needs symptomatic treatments and good nutrition to support the liver. Almost 90-95% of patients get cured without hospitalization. However, rarely, 1-2% of cases result in acute liver failure. It is a critical condition in which the bilirubin level increases, the liver stops making protein, and the liver starts to fail. Patients can develop Encephalopathy. It is a severe condition that needs to be treated only at a dedicated liver care unit.
1. Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A often doesn’t need treatment as it’s a short-term illness. Follow your doctor's hydration and diet guidelines if you have vomiting or diarrhea. Hepatitis A vaccine is available for both children and adults to prevent the infection.
2. Hepatitis B
Acute hepatitis B doesn’t require specific treatment. Antiviral medications are beneficial in treating chronic hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can be prevented with vaccination.
3. Hepatitis C
Very good antiviral treatment is available these days to cure Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C patients who develop cirrhosis or liver disease may need a liver transplant. Hepatitis C vaccine is currently unavailable.
4. Hepatitis D
To date, no antiviral medications exist for the treatment of hepatitis D. According to research, a drug called alpha interferon can be used to treat hepatitis D. Still, it only shows improvement in about 25 to 30 % of patients. Hepatitis B vaccination can help prevent it, as infection with hepatitis B is needed to develop hepatitis D.
5. Hepatitis E
Hepatitis E is currently treated with no particular medical therapies. Since the infection is often acute, it usually resolves on its own. The doctor frequently advises people with this condition to get adequate rest, drink plenty of fluids, get enough nutrients, and avoid alcohol.
6. Autoimmune hepatitis
Corticosteroids, like prednisone or budesonide, are beneficial in the early treatment of autoimmune hepatitis. They’re effective in about 80% of patients with this condition.
Prevention of Hepatitis
- Practicing good hygiene and avoiding outside food is one fundamental way to avoid contracting hepatitis A and E.
- Hepatitis B, C, and D are transmitted through contaminated blood. It can be prevented by not using shared drug needles, razors, toothbrushes, etc.
- Sexual contact and intercourse can also lead to the transmission of hepatitis B and C. Practicing safe sex by using condoms can help decrease infection risk.
Vaccination is a vital factor in avoiding the spread of hepatitis. So, you should discuss with your doctor about hepatitis vaccination and get it done.
The complete diagnosis and Hepatitis treatment in Mumbai are available at Fortis Hospital, Mulund with the best infrastructure and state-of-art technology. Patients all over India are recommended Mumbai for their Hepatitis Treatment.
Make an appointment with Dr. Gaurav Gupta to avail the best Liver treatment in Mumbai.