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World hepatitis day ?

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver tissue. Hepatitis may be temporary acute or long term chronic depending on whether it lasts for less than or more than six months. Acute hepatitis can sometimes resolve on its own, progress to chronic hepatitis, and some times rarely result in acute liver failure. Over time the chronic form may progress to scarring of the liver, liver failure, or liver cancer.

It’s commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis like

  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Certain medication
  • Toxins
  • Some types of infections
  • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis

Autoimmune hepatitis : Autoimmune hepatitis is a disease that occurs when your body makes antibodies against your liver tissue, which occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol.

The liver is a vital organ only found in vertebrates. Liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly upper right quadrant of the abdomen, below the diaphragm. The liver is a gland. It is an accessory digestive gland and produces bile, an alkaline compound which aids in digestion via the emulsification of lipids. Usually it is reddish-brown in color and feels rubbery to the touch and weighs about 3 pounds

The liver has a wide range of functions, including detoxification of various metabolites, protein synthesis, and the production of biochemicals necessary for digestion.  It also plays a role in metabolism, regulation of glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells and hormone production.

There are five main types of viral hepatitis

  • Hepatitis A ;- Hepatitis A is caused by an infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is mainly spread by contaminated food and water
  • Hepatitis B :- Hepatitis B is caused by an infection virus hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is mainly sexually transmitted, but may also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy or childbirth. It also spread through infected blood. using needle sharing by intravenous drug users
  • Hepatitis C :- Hepatitis C comes from the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is mainly sexually transmitted, but may also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy or childbirth. It also spread through infected blood. using needle sharing by intravenous drug users
  • Hepatitis D :- Hepatitis D is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). Hepatitis D can only infect people already infected with hepatitis B.
  • Hepatitis E ;- Hepatitis E is a waterborne disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV).  It is mainly spread by contaminated food and water

Common symptoms of hepatitis

  • Yellow discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes, Which may be signs of Jaundice
  • fatigue,
  • flu-like symptoms,
  • dark urine,
  • pale stool,
  • abdominal pain,
  • poor appetite,
  • unexplained weight loss,
  • vomiting,
  • tiredness,
  • abdominal pain,
  • diarrhea

Diagnosis

  • Diagnosis of hepatitis is based on following sings
    • patients signs and symptoms
    • medical history
    • sexual medical history
    • blood tests (Blood testing includes liver enzymes, serology, nucleic acid testing, blood chemistry, blood count
    • imaging
    • liver biospy
    • Ultrasound, CT, and MRI specially MRI are able to provide a higher level of detail

Prevention and treatment

Hepatitis A : As it is a short term illness, Bed rest and follow doctor’s orders for hydration and nutrition.

  • Hepatitis A can be prevented with vaccination. series of two vaccines given in childhood. Vaccine for Hepatitis A  is also available for adults and can be combined with the hepatitis B vaccine.

Hepatitis B : Chronic hepatitis B is treated with antiviral medications and it should be used for several months.

  • Hepatitis B can be prevented with vaccination, CDC recommends hepatitis B vaccinations for all newborns totally three  vaccines over the first six months of childhood

Hepatitis C : Antiviral medications are used to treat both acute and chronic forms of hepatitis C. Liver disease or cirrhosis as a result of chronic hepatitis C may be candidates for a liver transplant.

  • Currently, there is no vaccination for hepatitis C.

Hepatitis D : alpha interferon can be used to treat hepatitis D, but the improvement is less.

  • Hepatitis D can be prevented by getting the vaccination for hepatitis B,

Hepatitis E : No specific medicine for Hepatitis E as it resolves on its own. But patient should take adequate rest and drink plenty of fluids, get enough nutrients and avoid alcohol.

Auto immune hepatitis : Corticosteroids, like prednisone or budesonide, are extremely important treatment of autoimmune hepatitis which should be used early.

 

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