The Early Signs of Hepatitis
Hepatitis has five basic forms: hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Types A, B and C are the most common in the US. This disease causes over 1.3 million global deaths per year, and as many as 1.75 million people are reported to have been diagnosed with hepatitis C every year.
You’re likely to be infected from hepatitis A if you live with or have sex with a person who has hepatitis A virus. This virus is transmitted through a person’s blood or other fluids of the body. Also, the disease can spread through contaminated water or food.
The hepatitis C virus, or its alternative name HCV, can be spread through contaminated blood. Blood transfusions and the repeated use of the same needles are among the leading causes of HCV.
According to a CDC report, seniors born between 1945 and 1965 are five times more likely to have hepatitis as younger adults. This is largely due to the fact that there was minimal testing performed in previous decades. Similarly, donated blood and organs were not screened as thoroughly in the past as they are today.
According to an estimate, 75 percent of those affected with hepatitis are older people. Young and middle aged people will be at greater risk of contracting the virus if they have close personal contact with a senior citizen who is infected.
Identifying the Early Signs of Hepatitis
Once you discover that you have hepatitis, you must take immediate steps to stop the disease from spreading. If you have recently developed hepatitis, there are treatment options available. However, time is the single most important aspect of this disease because if you wait too long you might develop liver complications. If you find out that you have a type of hepatitis that has progressed to the chronic stage, you must learn how to manage your condition.
You might inadvertently be doing activities that worsen the effects of hepatitis. For instance, people with this ailment should avoid alcohol as it can damage the liver and make it harder for his body to resist infection.
A poor diet can also exacerbate hepatitis.
When you discover that you have hepatitis, you need to adopt a lifestyle that increases the odds of successful treatment. You can do this by improving your diet.
Early Symptoms of Hepatitis
Most people with hepatitis C usually don’t realize that they’ve acquired it. Around 80 percent of people with hepatitis C don’t express symptoms. When symptoms show, they tend to appear within a few months instead of right away. There are various signs and symptoms associated with Hepatitis. The following are some of them:
- Feeling nausea
- Reduced appetite
- Feelings of exhaustion and tiredness
- Sore and weak muscles
- Belly pain
- Joint pain
- Dark urine
- Jaundice (yellow skin)
A lot of people with acute hepatitis C express no symptoms and will go on to develop chronic hepatitis C. In a few cases, an infection can last 15 years or even more without being diagnosed.
There are three broad categories of hepatitis treatments:
Antiviral medications can be useful in treating hepatitis. The pills are usually taken once a day and work effectively to combat the virus, preventing it from spreading.
The objective of these pills is to eliminate the virus from the infected parts of the body and to stop or slow down damage to his liver. Hopefully this neutralizes the chance of developing cirrhosis and scarring of the liver.
In addition, these medications help to reduce the chance of developing liver cancer and the need for a transplant caused by liver failure. New direct-acting antiviral drugs have generated better results, shorter treatment times and fewer adverse effects. However, the patient’s current medical condition and the presence of any pre-existing liver conditions which medications are the right treatment option.
When hepatitis progresses to the point of damaging the liver, the next step could be a liver transplant. During this procedure, the doctor will remove your liver and replace it with the one donated by someone else. However, the liver replacement is not the final step in treating hepatitis because the virus could return if drastic measures are not taken, like going on a regimen of post-surgery antiviral medications designed to stop damage to the transplanted liver.
Every new day is bringing innovation in the treatment options of hepatitis as new medications are being developed. Some have even demonstrated to be useful with a fast response to the disease.
Although you can be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C. Both hepatitis A and B viruses can cause damage to your liver and make you more likely to develop a chronic case of hepatitis C.
Hepatitis A Vaccine
Two doses make up the hepatitis A vaccine and can be given six months apart. It can protect a person for over 40 years. Children can be vaccinated as soon as they are one-year-old. The CDC recommends everyone receive this vaccination.
Hepatitis B Vaccine
The hepatitis B vaccine can be administered as a stand-alone vaccine or in combination with a hepatitis A vaccine. The stand-alone is meant for the protection of adults, children and infants from hepatitis B. However, the combination is aimed at protecting adults from both hepatitis A and B viruses. Hepatitis B vaccines have proven to be more than 90 percent effective.
Do Your Research
If you have been diagnosed with any form of hepatitis you should explore all treatment options. Or if you have experienced any of the warning signs above you should get a medical examination. If tests show that you do not have hepatitis, it is still advised you get a vaccination to guard against both hepatitis A and B viruses.