How To Protect Yourself Against Hepatitis A
There is an effective vaccine against hepatitis A that is recommended for all children at age 1. However, most adults probably have not received it because the vaccine wasnt required when they were young. Dr. Fried says you can come in contact with the hepatitis A infection pretty much anywhere, so its a good idea for everyone older than 1 to get the vaccine, whether or not theyve had any known exposure or traveled to regions where hepatitis A is common.
In addition to getting vaccinated, you should wash your hands every time you go to the bathroom and before handling or serving food or drinks. Also be sure to wash and rinse raw produce before eating or serving it. Cooking raw produce further reduces the risk of infection.
Cirrhosis Of The Liver
When permanent scar tissue replaces healthy liver cells and your liver loses the ability to function, its called cirrhosis. In this condition, your liver can no longer heal itself. This can cause a variety of health concerns, including a buildup of fluid in your abdomen and bleeding from veins in the esophagus.
When the liver fails to filter toxins, they can build up in your bloodstream and impair brain function. Cirrhosis of the liver can sometimes develop into liver cancer. This risk is greater in people who drink excess alcohol. Treatment of cirrhosis depends on the progression of the condition.
Chronic hepatitis C can cause serious long-term health consequences. End-stage hepatitis C occurs when the liver is severely damaged and can no longer function properly.
Symptoms may include:
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How Long Before I Have Symptoms
Many people have mild symptoms or no symptoms, which is why hepatitis is sometimes called a âsilentâ disease.
Hepatitis A. The symptoms usually show up 2 to 6 weeks after the virus enters your body. They usually last for less than 2 months, though sometimes you can be sick for as long as 6 months.
Some warning signs that you may have hepatitis A are:
Hepatitis B. The symptoms are the same as hepatitis A, and you usually get them 3 months after you’re infected. They could show up, though, anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months later.
Sometimes the symptoms are mild and last just a few weeks. For some people, the hep B virus stays in the body and leads to long-term liver problems.
Hepatitis C. The early symptoms are the same as hepatitis A and B, and they usually happen 6 to 7 weeks after the virus gets in your body. But you could notice them anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months later.
For about 25% of people who get hep C, the virus goes away on its own without treatment. In other cases, it sticks around for years. When that happens, your liver might get damaged.
Remember, it’s possible to spread all the types of hepatitis even if you don’t show any signs of being sick.
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Summary And Future Directions
HCV and HBV co-infection is not uncommon in areas endemic for HBV infection and among subjects at risk of parenteral transmission. Thorough serological and virological examinations are required to determine the viral dominance as well as to determine the optimal antiviral regimen before the start of anti-viral therapy. For dually infected patients with active hepatitis C, genotype-dependent treatment recommendations for single chronic hepatitis C can be applied 13-15. However, for dually infected patients with active hepatitis B or with established cirrhosis, the optimal regimens await further studies. The clinical application of new DAA-based triple therapy in this population also remains to be clarified.
Can You Get Hep C From Giving Oral
Can you pass hepatitis C through other types of sexual contact, such as oral and anal sex? Hepatitis C for Patients. There is no proof that anyone has ever spread the virus through oral sex, although it may be possible. Anal sex may damage the lining of the rectum and make it easier to pass the virus through the blood.
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Acute Vs Chronic Infection
Doctors distinguish between chronic and acute infection with hepatitis viruses. Acute infection is a short-term condition, lasting under six months. Chronic infection is a long-term condition, lasting more than six months.
Hepatitis B infection can be either acute or chronic. Most people who get acute hepatitis B dont end up progressing to chronic hepatitis B. By contrast, acute hepatitis C tends to develop into chronic hepatitis C. Approximately 7585 percent of adults newly infected with hepatitis C develop a chronic infection, according to the CDC . Others clear the infection.
When you get acute hepatitis C you may or may not have symptoms. Most cases of acute hepatitis C are asymptomatic, meaning people dont notice the symptoms. Symptoms are only noticeable in 15 percent of cases of acute hepatitis C.
Clinical Outcomes Of Dual Chronic Hepatitis C And B Are Usually Worse
Several hospital or community-based studies demonstrated that in patients co-infected with chronic hepatitis C and B, the disease outcomes are usually worse than those with either chronic HCV or HBV infection 1-7. Patients with HCV/HBV co-infection may exhibit various fluctuating virological profiles basically HCV and HBV can alternate their dominance during long-term follow-up. In Italy, a longitudinal follow-up study revealed the patterns and dynamics of virological dominance in these cases 11. Of 103 untreated HBV/HCV coinfected patients, active infection with HBV and HCV was revealed in 24 cases, inactive infection of both viruses was seen in 15 cases, active HBV and inactive HCV infection was seen in 15 cases, and active HCV and inactive HBV infection was found in 49 cases. During one year follow-up, fluctuation of HBV and/or HCV viremia levels was documented in 32 subjects . Based on these findings, careful evaluation of serum HBV DNA and HCV RNA levels is essential before the diagnosis of the viral dominance which will influence the therapeutic strategies in the co-infected patients.
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Hepatitis And Cirrhosis Similarities And Differences
Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, is board-certified in gastroentrology. He is the vice chair for ambulatory services for the department of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where he is also a professor. He was the founding editor and co-editor in chief of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
Hepatitis and cirrhosis are both diseases that affect the liver. Since hepatitis and cirrhosis are in many ways on a continuum of disease, the symptoms may be very similar. However, there are a number of important differences between the two.
In general, hepatitis may or may not be reversible , whereas cirrhosis refers to permanent scarring of the liver, often as the result of chronic hepatitis. While some forms of hepatitis may come on very rapidly, cirrhosis also tends to develop more gradually.
Lets take a look at the symptoms that may occur with both diseases, review the basics of each disease, and then outline some of their main similarities and differences.
How Are Hepatitis B And C Diagnosed
Hepatitis B is diagnosed by a series of blood tests. The test may show an ongoing infection or antibodies that indicate that the patient is protected against hepatitis B. In patients who have a positive screening test that suggests the possibility of ongoing infection, further testing is done to determine the levels of the virus in the bloodstream.
Hepatitis C is diagnosed via a blood test called a Hepatitis C Antibody Test. A positive result means that hepatitis C antibodies are present in the blood. But a positive antibody test doesnt necessarily mean a person has hepatitis C. A further blood test is needed to confirm the diagnosis. This second blood test quantifies the amount of the virus or the viral load in the liver and the bloodstream.
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Awareness Prevention And Early Diagnosis Are Essential
Theres a good reason why hepatitis C is known as a silent killer.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 3.2 million Americans live with chronic hepatitis C infection, which is transmitted through infected bodily fluids like blood and semen, and causes inflammation of the liver. Yet up to 75% of people who have hepatitis C arent aware they have it.
Most of those living with the virus experience only mild symptoms or dont have any symptoms at all until they develop serious liver damage or another life-threatening liver disease. Unfortunately, that means they arent getting diagnosed and treatment is delayed until the later stages when irreversible liver damage has occurred.
Here, hepatologistNancy Reau, MD, associate director of the Solid Organ Transplant Program at Rush University Medical Center, explains who is at risk for hepatitis C and offers advice to help you protect yourself.
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How Do You Get Hepatitis B
In the U.S., people usually get hepatitis B infection through sexual transmission or intravenous drug use. In other parts of the world where hepatitis B is more common, such as Southeast Asia, mother-to-child transmission at birth is the most common way people get infected. Unlike hepatitis A infection, hepatitis B has the potential to become a chronic infection that requires lifelong management.
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Managing Symptoms When Hepatitis Gets Worse
Your doctor will help you manage specific symptoms like itchy skin or pain. You can also make lifestyle changes that can help you feel better and might stop further damage to your liver.
Eat a balanced diet. No matter how advanced your cirrhosis, a well-balanced, nutritious diet is one of the best ways to stay healthy. If you have fluid buildup, your doctor may tell you to cut back on salt.
Avoid alcohol and certain medications, supplements, and herbs. Ask your doctor whats safe for you.
How To Prevent Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by a virus . It can be serious and theres no cure, but the good news is its easy to prevent. You can protect yourself by getting the hepatitis B vaccine and having safer sex. If you have oral, anal, and vaginal sex, use condoms and dental dams to help stop the spread of hepatitis B and other STDs.
If I Have Hepatitis How Can I Avoid Giving It To Someone Else
If you have hepatitis B and C, you need to find ways to keep others from making contact with your blood. Follow these tips:
- Cover your cuts or blisters.
- Carefully throw away used bandages, tissues, tampons, and sanitary napkins.
- Dont share your razor, nail clippers, or toothbrush.
- If your blood gets on objects, clean them with household bleach and water.
- Dont breastfeed if your nipples are cracked or bleeding.
- Dont donate blood, organs, or sperm.
- If you inject drugs, dont share needles or other equipment.
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What To Expect If You Get Cirrhosis
In the early stages of hepatitis C, your liver still has enough cells to do its many jobs. But with time, more cells die, and pressure builds up in the vein leaving the liver.
When that happens, symptoms of cirrhosis like jaundice may show up.
These are some possible complications of cirrhosis:
- Swelling in your legs and abdomen, which can lead to a serious bacterial infection.
- Enlarged blood vessels in your esophagus or stomach, which can burst and cause serious internal bleeding. This requires immediate medical attention.
- Enlarged spleen , which may lead to a low white blood cell or platelet count.
- Gallstones , from bile not flowing freely to and from your gallbladder.
- Greater sensitivity to drugs because your liver canât filter them from your blood.
- Resistance to the hormone insulin , leading to type 2 diabetes.
- Kidney and lung failure.
- Problems fighting infection.
Two other serious complications of cirrhosis are liver cancer and a buildup of toxins in your brain. The latter can interfere with your thinking, and can lead to coma.
Youâll need to see your doctor more often to manage these complications. Youâll have tests to see how your body is reacting. Your doctor may try a new combination of medications.
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Are There Supplements That Are Good For My Liver
If a person eats a balanced diet, they will normally get enough vitamins and minerals. People with liver disease should avoid taking large amounts of supplements or mega-vitamins. This is because the liver has to do extra work to process them. Your provider may put you on a general multivitamin without iron.
The Impact Of Hiv On Hepatitis C
The interaction between HIV and hepatitis C affects the transmission and natural history of hepatitis C.13 People who do not receive HIV treatment are less likely to spontaneously clear their hepatitis infection, have higher hepatitis viral loads and experience more rapid hepatitis disease progression than HIV-negative people.
They may also belong to groups that are criminalised and stigmatised, meaning they are likely to experience barriers to accessing health services.14On the other hand, antiretroviral treatment taken to treat HIV helps keep hepatitis C under control. Hepatitis outcomes are better in people who receive HIV treatment. Whereas response to the older generation of hepatitis C treatments was poorer in people with HIV, this is not the case with modern therapies.
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Hepatitis C: The Silent Killer
The hepatitis C virus causes both acute and chronic liver disease. Prior to its identification in 1989, large numbers of hepatitis victims were found to be negative for both hepatitis A and B. The unknown disease was known as non-A, non-B hepatitis before being named hepatitis C.
Researchers quickly discovered that hepatitis C accounted for large numbers of hepatitis cases, and it has been identified as a modern pandemic. An estimated three percent of the worlds population is chronically infected with hepatitis C, including four million people in the United States, making it one of the greatest public health threats of this century. Unlike other types of hepatitis, more than 80 percent of hepatitis C infections become chronic and lead to liver disease. Hepatitis C, in combination with hepatitis B, now accounts for 75 percent of all cases of liver disease around the world. Liver failure due to hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States. Chronic hepatitis C is a major cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer, which most often lead to liver transplantation.
What Is A Biopsy
A biopsy is a medical procedure. A tiny piece of liver is removed and examined to find out the extent of damage. It involves a large needle and local anesthetic, as well as some risk of bleeding. A pathologist looks at the piece of liver under microscopes to determine how much damage has occurred in the liver. This is a very useful test and used to be done very commonly. However, the procedure is done much less frequently than in the past. For most patients with hepatitis B and C, liver biopsy is not required. Today, other tests can be used to try to estimate the fibrosis in the liver.
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Which Is Worse Hepatitis B Or C
The scary thing about liver conditions like hepatitis is that you may be living with it and not even be aware.
Less than half of the people living with hepatitis B or hepatitis C are diagnosed. If you are one of these people living with an undetected case of hepatitis, you may be at risk for developing liver failure or liver cancer and transmitting the illness to other people.
What are the most common hepatitis infections? Is hepatitis B worse than hepatitis C? How is hepatitis detected and treated? Michael D. Cook, certified physician assistant at Gastroenterology Associates of Southwest Florida answers these questions and can help you understand the risks of hepatitis.
Finding Help For Hepatitis
If youve been diagnosed with viral hepatitis, there are a variety of resources that are available to help you. Lets explore a few of them below:
- Your doctor. Your doctor is a great first point of contact for questions and concerns. They can help you to better understand the type of hepatitis you have, as well as how it will be treated.
- American Liver Foundation . ALF is dedicated to ending liver disease through education, research, and advocacy. Their site has educational material about viral hepatitis, as well as ways to find doctors, support groups, and clinical trials in your area.
- Patient assistance programs. If you have hepatitis C, the cost of antiviral drugs can be high. The good news is that many drug manufacturers have patient assistance programs that can help you pay for these medications.
The chart below is an at-a-glance summary of some of the key differences between hepatitis A, B, and C.
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Clinical Features Of Hcc By Viral Etiology
2.8.1. Hepatitis B
Patients with HBV tend to develop HCC at a younger age than HCV patients, sometimes up to a decade earlier . In the study by Rabe et al, the median age of HCC presentation in HBV infected patients was 55 vs. 66 in HCV patients. This is not surprising, given the high rates of vertical transmission among HBV patients. Also, Barazani et al noted that patients with HBV, compared to those with HCV, were significantly more likely to present with larger tumors , and 56% vs. 18% presented with tumors larger than 5 cm . HBV patients also had significantly higher incidence of bilobar liver involvement and were less likely to meet the Milan criteria for liver transplantation .