All you need to know about Hepatitis
Hepatitis is a viral infection that causes inflammation to the liver cells and eventually damages the liver. The liver is a vital organ in the human body whose primary task is to filter the blood, process nutrients and fight infections.
Hepatitis can be caused by several reasons – such as over-consumption of alcohol, certain drugs or auto-immune disease, In most cases, it is caused by a virus. The three most common viruses in this regard are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C, which can be fatal. The Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are the most common cause of liver cancer and other chronic condition.
- Hepatitis A (HAV)
Hepatitis A has become relatively uncommon since Hepatitis A vaccine became available. It is common in countries with poor sanitation and hygiene conditions. Patients with Hepatitis A recover easily without any complications. Hepatitis A spreads through contact with the infected person’s stool.
- Hepatitis B (HBV)
Hepatitis B virus can be chronic and can lead to complications including scarring of the liver, hepatocellular carcinoma etc. HBV poses risk to healthcare workers who sustain injuries while caring for infected patients. It can be transmitted through infected blood, semen and body fluids.
The risk of developing Hepatitis B depends on when it was first diagnosed. Children diagnosed with Hepatitis B are at high risk of condition becoming chronic.
- Hepatitis C (HCV)
Hepatitis C is another chronic virus that may be transmitted through exposure to infective blood. It causes serious complications including liver failure. Piercing body with an infected needle is one of the means of exposure. In some cases, the virus may be transmitted from the mother to child.
Symptoms of Hepatitis
Although these viruses have different characteristics, the symptoms tend to remain the same. Each type has different characteristics and can be transmitted to a person in different ways. Some people with Hepatitis have no symptoms while others may have the below signs –
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Dark-colored urine
- Feeling tired
- Gray colored stools
- Jaundice, a condition of yellowing of eyes and skin
- Stomach pain
How is Hepatitis diagnosed?
Hepatitis is diagnosed based on the symptoms and a blood test that will detect the antibodies to the Hepatitis virus. Chronic hepatitis can attack the liver for years without any symptoms.
Many people will have serious liver damage if the infection is not diagnosed, monitored and treated in a timely manner. It is important to have regular tests to diagnose or manage chronic hepatitis.
- Diagnosis by a certified doctor
Your doctor will look for the symptoms of Hepatitis and prescribe some tests, The test includes – a Blood test, liver ultrasound or liver biopsy depending on the severity.
- Home test kits
There are a number of Hepatitis home test kits that are licensed by the European government.
The Hepatitis quick test kit comes with a few safety lancets, a small piece of filter paper and detailed instructions. You have to prick your finger with the lancet to get a drop of blood and put it on the filter paper. Keep it in the special container provided and send it to a laboratory for testing. You will get the results of test over email or phone.
There are many websites that offer Hepatitis C Rapid Test and Hepatitis b rapid Test kits. You will receive the test results within a couple of hours.
If you had an infection in the past or concerned you might have contracted Hepatitis – you can use the hepatitis home test kit to know the status.
Who should be tested for Hepatitis?
Millions of people across the globe are living with chronic Hepatitis. But, most of them don’t know they are infected with the Hepatitis virus. It is important for anyone to get tested. Those who should get tested include –
- People who have had multiple sex partners
- Individuals traveling to or living in a country with a high infection rate
- Children who attend daycare centers
- Healthcare workers exposed to blood
- People who Injected illegal drugs
How Hepatitis is treated?
There are several treatments that help patients manage symptoms and reduce the risk of chronic conditions.
- Hepatitis A goes on its own without any medication or treatment, Patients diagnosed with Hepatitis are advised to drink plenty of water, eat healthy food and rest to help relieve the symptoms of Hepatitis.
- Hepatitis B is treated by monitoring the signs of liver disease from time to time. People with acute Hepatitis B make a full recovery after a few months. Those with chronic Hepatitis B may need to take anti-viral medications to manage the condition.
- The length of treatment for Hepatitis C is longer than other types. Glecaprevir and Pibrentasvir are the two drugs approved by FDA for treating patients with Hepatitis C. There are several other combination drugs available depending on the condition of the patient.
Hepatitis is the leading cause of death worldwide. It is definitely an inflammatory condition that can damage the liver – if left untreated. People at high risk of the disease should monitor their condition on a regular basis to prevent the life-threatening condition. The Hepatitis Rapid Test kit may be the best way to take full control of your health.
Enhanced understanding of the virus, drug resistance and the progression of disease may help patients manage their condition effectively. Support and good relationship with your doctor will ensure the best possible medical care.
We hope this information helped you understand the complications of Hepatitis virus. If you have any suggestions to improve our services, please contact us!