Medically reviewed by Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Shera.
Hepatitis is a viral infection which involves the inflammation of your Liver and comes in a variety of different types namely Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and the relentless Hepatitis C. They may have similar symptoms but differ in their forms of treatment so let us take you through an overview of the vulnerability of that hard working Liver of yours.
What are the warning signs?
This disease comes with a set of alarming symptoms such as dark urine, stomach pain, Jaundice, Clay-colored stool, low grade fever, loss of appetite, fatigue and aching joints. But its conformity is acquired through a range of blood tests.
The major types of Hepatitis include:
While most of the other types of Hepatitis are transmissible through blood/bodily fluids, Hepatitis A is transmitted through the oral-fecal route, so you can get it by eating food or drinking water that contains the virus. Preventable by vaccine, this type doesn’t cause any complications and the Liver heals in about 2 months.
Notorious for being common in Pakistan, this type is usually recoverable in 6 months, and it may cause a long-term infection that could lead to liver damage. Once you’ve got the disease, you can spread the virus even if you don’t feel sick. You won’t catch it though, if you get a vaccine. It may be transmitted through any of the following, namely:
- Having sex with an infected person.
- Sharing dirty needles.
- Being in direct contact with infected blood.
- Getting needle stick injuries.
- Being transferred from mother to unborn child.
- Being in contact with an infected person’s body fluids.
Being the most severe form of Hepatitis and the most common cause of liver disease, this silent killer can be quite dangerous for people who have this type as they are unaware of its symptoms. It’s mode of transmission is similar to those of Hepatitis B. About 80% of those with the disease get a long-term infection. It can sometimes lead to cirrhosis which makes liver cancer more likely and can even cause scarring of the liver. To make matters worse, there is no vaccine to prevent it.
Can Hepatitis be treated?
Even though hepatitis is a dreadful disease, it can be successfully treated if diagnosed at the right time.
For hepatitis A, other than carefully monitoring the liver function, there are no specific treatments. However, for hepatitis B and C, there are a number of well tolerated drugs which have shown results in a cure rate exceeding 90%.
Hepatitis is becoming more prevalent by the day and it’s important to know that it shows up in different forms. If you are aware of what happens in each type, you’ll be able to tackle it better.
Therefore, make sure that you are not eating any street food and are not sharing razors and toothbrushes with anyone, especially the loved ones with chronic hepatitis.
Guest Credits: Dr Shayan Imran