Hepatitis in Pakistan is currently among the leading causes of death in the country. Globally, four thousand patients lose their lives daily, primarily because of the lack of awareness and preventive methods. It is leading to other diseases as well because this disease is related to the liver. The liver is vital for regulating many chemical processes in the body. Any defect in its functioning leads to the unbalance behavior of many organs of our body. We know that the liver has an essential duty in our body. The liver plays two critical roles:
- Regulation of many chemical levels in our body
- Excreting bile in the body
It is essential to know that the blood that passes through the stomach and intestine also passes through the liver to filter and regulate the composition of some elements in the blood. So, any defect in the liver causes the disorder of the blood and ultimately results in other health issues. It is highly recommended that you see a doctor after noticing any of the symptoms given below. You can now consult with the Best General Physicians online.
The main focus of today’s discussion is hepatitis, and we are going to discuss in detail the types, symptoms, causes, and effects of this disease.
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis involves the inflammation of the liver, which is either limited to the organ itself or leads to scarring (fibrosis), cirrhosis, or cancer. The rash may also be due to the damage of some cells of the liver or other such reasons that hinder the normal functioning of the liver, and consequently, the liver is unable to perform its duties.
In some cases, hepatitis may also be caused due to the medication for the other diseases. There are many different causes of this disease that we will discuss, but before that, let us know some essential things about types of Hepatitis in Pakistan.
Types of Hepatitis Viruses
1. Hepatitis Virus A (HAV):
Hepatitis Virus A (HAV) is present in the feces of infected people and is transmitted through contaminated food or water to new hosts. The infections caused by HAV are mild, with the infected people making a full recovery and acquiring immunity from all further infections, or they could become life-threatening. Areas prone to low quality of sanitation are breeding grounds for the virus. However, vaccines are available for the prevention of HAV.
2. Hepatitis Virus B – Serum Hepatitis (HBV):
Hepatitis Virus B is often transmitted through infected blood or blood products, semen, or other body fluids. Infected mothers can transmit the virus to their infants at the time of birth, or any infected family members can infect the infant.
Many medical practitioners are prone to developing the infection due to accidental needle stick injuries while caring for their patients. The use of contaminated needles or medical equipment in hospitals can also infect people. However, vaccines are available for the prevention of HBV.
3. Hepatitis Virus C – Non-A or Non-B (HCV):
Much like HBV, Hepatitis Virus C (HCV) is transmitted through contaminated blood and products, non-sterile needles, or sharing needles during drug use. Sexual transmission is much less common, and there are no vaccines available for HCV.
4. Hepatitis Virus D (HDV):
Patients infected with HBV can only develop an infection with HDV in conjunction, and the vaccines granting immunity against HBV can also protect against this virus.
It usually occurs due to parenteral contact with infected body fluids. It leads to the development of chronic diseases and is the common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.
5. Hepatitis Virus E (HEV):
Hepatitis Virus E (HEV) can be transmitted through consuming contaminated food or water and is a critical disease found in developing countries of the world. The vaccine has been designed to protect against the virus. However, it is not widely available.
Symptoms of Hepatitis
It may cause an acute infection with little or no symptoms, including the following:
The early symptoms of Hepatitis A, B, and C are jaundice. This is a condition in which the skin color is changed to orange-yellow due to the disorder in the blood. In addition, the white area of the eye is changed to yellow. This is due to the presence of bilirubin in the blood more than the average level.
The starting symbol of hepatitis is the change in the color of urine. The patients notice the brown urine. It happens when the liver can clean the blood properly due to some problem such as Hepatitis A, B, or C.
Fatigue is a symptom of Hepatitis C. It is due to the lack of enough energy so that the body feels uncomfortable and feels tiredness.
Nausea is the symptom of Hepatitis A. Its caused by a virus and leads to vomiting and other symptoms. In some cases, the abdominal pain in the upper right side of the abdomen just under the rib is also caused if the measures are not taken to treat.
Nausea also leads to vomiting. This vomiting symbolizes that the virus affects your liver and other organs, and the disease is now spreading badly.
One of the common symptoms of this disease is appetite loss. The liver is not able to do its duties well, and appetite is lost.
Headache is a symptom of Hepatitis that many of us ignore. It is caused due to the blood supply to the head with the inappropriate collection of some chemicals.
Causes of Hepatitis in Pakistan
Most of the time, the inflammation of the liver, or in other words, hepatitis, is caused due to the viruses that affect the liver badly and result in this disease. The types of hepatitis are associated with the virus that causes it. These are the leading causes of hepatitis. Therefore, doctors find the specific type of hepatitis and treat it accordingly. The hepatitis virus is caused by:
Toxic Substances, including Alcohol
Excessive alcohol directly affects the liver and causes inflammation. Therefore, hepatitis is also called alcohol hepatitis. At the start, alcohol damages the cells of the liver and causes rash. If the condition remains the same, it can cause permanent damage to the liver, and thus the situation goes to hepatitis. Consequently, liver failure has occurred.
Our immune system works to fight the harmful agents that enter the body. Sometimes, due to some defect, the immune system considers the liver a contaminated object and tries to fight it and starts to work against it.
Spread or Modes of Transmission:
The hepatitis viruses pose the threat of developing into outbreaks and epidemics because of the illnesses they cause. Standard modes of transmission for the hepatitis viruses include:
- Contact with contaminated blood
The standard way hepatitis in Pakistan is spread is due to the contact of contaminated blood or blood product. This can happen when the same syringe of the affected person is used on the healthy person. Or this blood comes in contact due to usage of contaminated products.
- Invasive medical procedures using contaminated equipment
This happens when the medical staff is not qualified enough or is careless—the tiny drops of contaminated blood that are impossible to see with naked eyes cause hepatitis.
- From mother to the fetus (only for hepatitis B)
Only hepatitis B is the type that can be genetic or spread from mother to child. Therefore, preventive measures are taken during pregnancy to stop such conditions.
- Sexual contact
The exchange of body fluid during sexual activity can also be a cause of hepatitis.
- Cutting down on consuming food from the streets.
- Wash your hands before eating food or after using the washroom.
- Avoid drinking tap water.
- Sterilizing medical equipment before any surgical operation.
- Disposing of syringes after one-time use.
- Avoid sharing needles and personal items, including toothbrushes, razors, and nail clippers, with an infected person.
- Immunization of children between the ages of 1-8 years.
Hepatitis in Pakistan is an infectious disease and has some common and specific symptoms that help recognize hepatitis and its type. Hygiene is the best way to deal with the situation. Seeing a doctor at a time and looking for the prevention of the disease is essential to deal with it. Many vaccinations are available to prevent this disease. While going for the treatment, you must look for the best doctor with experience.
1. Can I prevent myself from Viral Hepatitis?
Maintaining good hygiene and getting vaccinated are the best options to protect yourself from Viral Hepatitis.
2. Who is at a high risk of disease of hepatitis A?
Those who are homeless or do harmful activities such as drugs or tobacco are at a high risk of Hepatitis A.
3. Can I cure Hepatitis A?
Currently, there are not many treatment options for hepatitis A. But body works to fight this disease, and within two months, the patient feels the betterment in his health.
4. Does bacteria cause Hepatitis?
In rare cases, hepatitis is caused by some bacteria, but most of the cases of this disease are caused by the hepatitis virus.
Book an appointment now to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with the top Gastroenterologists in Pakistan through Marham by calling Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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