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Hepatitis - Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

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Summary about Hepatitis

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 3.5 million people have hepatitis C, but most may not know they have it. This is partly due to the fact that most recently infected people do not develop symptoms. CDC indicates that only between 20 and 30% of them show signs of fatigue, stomach pain or heart attack. appetite, many of which are benign and are unlikely to send people to the doctor's office. And while 25% of people infected with the virus get rid of the infection naturally, the vast majority will develop chronic hepatitis C, a long-term disease that, without treatment, can last a lifetime. Let's discuss what is hepatitis, symptoms, types causes and preventive measures.

Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease of the liver. There are many reasons for hepatitis but most of the time it occurs due to the viral infection. Autoimmune hepatitis can be due to the effect of drugs, medications, toxins, and alcohol on the immune system. Autoimmune hepatitis is a condition that occurs when your body produces antibodies against liver tissue. 

The liver performs many critical functions that affect metabolism throughout the body, including:

  • Production of the essential bile for digestion.

  • Filter toxins from your body

  • Excretion of bilirubin (a product of fragmented red blood cells), cholesterol, hormones, and drugs.

  • Degradation of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

  • Activation of enzymes, specialized proteins essential for the functioning of the organism.

  • Synthesis of blood proteins like albumin.

  • Synthesis of coagulation factors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.4 million Americans currently have hepatitis B and C. More and more people are unaware that they have hepatitis. The treatment options vary depending on the type of hepatitis. You can prevent some forms of hepatitis through vaccinations and lifestyle precautions.

Symptoms of Hepatitis

If you have contagious forms of hepatitis, such as hepatitis B and C, you may not have any symptoms at first. Symptoms cannot occur until the damage affects liver function.

Signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis occur rapidly. They understand:

  • Tired

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Dark urine

  • Pale Stools

  • Stomach ache

  • Loss of appetite

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Skin and yellow eyes may be signs of jaundice.

Causes of Hepatitis

Causes of noninfectious hepatitis are:

Alcohol and other toxins:

Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause liver damage and inflammation. Alcohol directly damages the cells of your liver. Over time, it can cause permanent damage and cause liver failure and cirrhosis, thickening and scarring of the liver. Drug abuse or overdose and exposure to poisons are other causes of hepatitis.

Automatic Immune Response:

In some cases, the immune system confuses the liver as a deleterious object and begins to attack it. It causes persistent inflammation that can range from mild to severe and often affects liver function. It is more common in females than in males.

Risk Factors of Hepatitis

The risk for hepatitis B elevates if a person:

  • Is involved in unprotected sex with multiple sex partners
  • Has multiple sex partners
  • Sharing needles and razors
  • Is exposed to human blood
  • Travels to areas with a high incidence of this infection
  • Is a homosexual male

In addition to these babies born to mothers with this infection are also at an increased risk of developing hepatitis.

Preventive Measures of Hepatitis

Take the following precautions to prevent hepatitis:


Good hygiene is essential to avoid hepatitis A and E. When traveling to a developing country, avoid the following:

  • Local water

  • Ice cream

  • Crustaceans and raw or undercooked oysters

  • Raw fruits and vegetables

    Hepatitis B, C, and D contracted by contaminated blood can be prevented by following:

  • Do not share the needles of the drug.

  • Don't share razors

  • Do not use another person's toothbrush

  • Do not touch the spilled blood


The use of vaccines is an important key in the prevention of hepatitis. Vaccines are available to prevent the development of hepatitis A and B. Experts are currently developing vaccines for hepatitis C. In China, there is a vaccine for hepatitis E, but not in other countries yet.

Types of Hepatitis

Viral liver infections classified as hepatitis include hepatitis A, B, C, D and E.  Hepatitis E is chronic and is very dangerous in females. Hepatitis A is always an acute disease for the short term, while hepatitis B, C, and D are more likely to persist and become chronic. Different viruses are responsible for different types of hepatitis.  

Hepatitis A:

Hepatitis A occurs due to the HAV virus. This type of hepatitis is most commonly transmitted when a person interacts with infected stool or feces.

Hepatitis B:

Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with infectious bodily fluids such as blood, vaginal secretions or semen containing the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The use of drugs, sex with an infected partner or a razor with an infected person increases the risk of hepatitis B. The CDC estimates that 1.2 million people in the United States and 350 million people worldwide are living with this chronic disease.

Hepatitis C:

It occurs due to the HCV virus. Hepatitis C is transmitted through direct contact with infected body fluids, usually through the use of drugs and sexual contact. HCV is one of the most common blood-borne viral infections in the United States. Currently, between 2.7 and 3.9 million Americans are living with a chronic form of this infection.

Hepatitis D:

Hepatitis D, also known as delta hepatitis, is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV).  It occurs due to the contact with infected blood. Hepatitis D is a rare form of hepatitis that only occurs in association with hepatitis B infection. The hepatitis D virus cannot multiply without hepatitis B. It's very unusual.

Hepatitis E:

It is occurred due to the HEV virus. Hepatitis E mainly occurs in areas of poor hygiene and sanitation. It is usually due to the absorption of feces that contaminate the water supply. This disease is unusual in developed countries. However, according to the CDC in the Middle East, Asia, Central America, and Africa, the cases of hepatitis E have been reported.