Viral Hepatitis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Viral hepatitis is a chronic condition that can cause severe complications. Read this article to know all about viral hepatitis.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Aug 07, 2022Updated at: Aug 07, 2022
Viral Hepatitis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Viral hepatitis is a liver infection that can cause chronic inflammation and liver damage over time. Inflammation in the liver means swelling in the tissues due to infection or injury. Imagine your damaged liver and how fatal can this be to you! A damaged liver can damage other vital organs too which can pose a risk to your life. Therefore, viral hepatitis needs to be prevented, timely diagnosed, and treated. In this article, Dr. Mrudul Dharod, Gastroenterologist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road explains all about viral hepatitis.

What causes viral hepatitis?

Viral hepatitis is caused by different hepatitis-causing viruses including Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. All these types of hepatitis are caused through different mediums. Hepatitis A is caused due to drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated food.

  • Hepatitis E is caused due to consuming undercooked meat of pork, shellfish, and deer.
  • Hepatitis B, C  and D are caused due to coming in contact with blood of an infected person.
  • Hepatitis B and D can be caused due to unprotected sex(or sexual contact with an infected person)
  • These can also be caused after getting injected with shared needles
  • Thus, hepatitis vaccine is given to children at an early age to prevent the risk of developing the infection later in life.
  • Having hepatitis makes you susceptible to chronic infections that can be life-threatening too.

Symptoms of Hepatitis

If you know the warning signs of hepatitis, you can initiate its timely treatment. Here are some initial signs and symptoms of hepatitis:

Viral Hepatitis Symptoms

  • Jaundice
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Acute stomach pain

Also, there are certain risk factors for viral hepatitis that can help in the prevention of the condition. Note these risk factors:

  • Unprotected sex
  • Multiple sex partners
  • Using shared needles during immunisation
  • Exposed to infection(working in a medical organisation)
  • Kidney dialysis patients are also at risk
  • Poor nutrition and excessive alcohol consumption

How to Treat Viral Hepatitis?

Before treatment, it is important to understand the channel of exposure of hepatitis. The doctor may ask the person some questions based on which he would find the primary cause of viral hepatitis. After that, they may prescribe medications to manage symptoms since there is no treatment for hepatitis as of now. Only medication can help alleviate symptoms and prevent worsening of the condition.

Tips to prevent viral hepatitis

Here are some ways in which you can lessen the risk of getting infected with viral hepatitis:

Viral Hepatitis treatment

  • Consult your doctor and get vaccinated for hepatitis.
  • Use protection while having sex
  • Ensure fresh needles are used during immunisations and getting tattoos
  • Avoid sharing personal belongings like towels, etc. with anyone outside the family
  • Maintain good personal hygiene
  • Practice hand hygiene and sanitation practices
  • When travelling to high-risk places, make sure to follow guidelines by health officials of that country or place
  • Have fresh food and drink clean water only

Getting regular health checkups is a must for holistic health. If you get screened for hepatitis yearly, you can prevent its onset and get treated timely.

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