History And Physical Exam
To diagnose all forms of hepatitis, your doctor will first take your history to determine any risk factors you may have.
During a physical examination, your doctor may press down gently on your abdomen to see if thereâs pain or tenderness. Your doctor may also check for any swelling of the liver and any yellow discoloration in your eyes or skin.
Can Hepatitis Be Prevented
There are different ways to prevent or lower your risk for hepatitis, depending on the type of hepatitis. For example, not drinking too much alcohol can prevent alcoholic hepatitis. There are vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and B. Autoimmune hepatitis cannot be prevented.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
How Can I Protect Myself Against Viral Hepatitis
There are many ways you can reduce your chances of getting hepatitis:
- Get the vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
- Use a condom during sex.
- Don’t share needles to take drugs.
- Practice good personal hygiene such as thorough hand-washing with soap and water.
- Don’t use an infected person’s personal items.
- Take precautions when getting any tattoos or body piercings.
- Take precaution when traveling to areas of the world with poor sanitation.
- Drink bottled water when traveling.
It is very important that you take these preventive measures if you participate in risky behaviors. Take preventive steps, too, if you work in places like a nursing homes, dormitories, daycare centers, or restaurants where there you have extended contact with other people and a risk of coming into contact with the disease.
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How Do Doctors Diagnose Hepatitis A
Doctors diagnose hepatitis A based on symptoms and a blood test. A health care professional will take a blood sample from you and send the sample to a lab. A blood test will detect antibodies to the hepatitis A virus called immunoglobulin M antibodies and show whether you have acute hepatitis A. If the blood test finds antibodies to the hepatitis A virus that are not IgM antibodies, then you are immune to hepatitis A, due to either past hepatitis A infection or hepatitis A vaccination.
Hepatitis C Antibody Test
Certain foreign substances that enter your body trigger your immune system to make antibodies. Antibodies are specifically programmed to only target the foreign substance they were made to fight.
If youve ever had a hepatitis C infection, your body will make hepatitis C antibodies as part of its immune response.
Your body only makes these antibodies if you have hepatitis C or had it in the past. So the hepatitis C antibody test can confirm whether you have the virus by testing for these specific antibodies.
If the antibody test is positive, an HCV RNA test can show whether the infection is current.
While people of any gender experience the same hepatitis C symptoms, 2014 research suggested some effects of the virus may differ, depending on the sex you were assigned at birth.
Researchers noted that:
- women have a higher chance of clearing the virus without treatment
- liver disease may progress more rapidly in men
- men have a higher chance of developing cirrhosis
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Key Points About Hepatitis In Children
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It can damage and destroy liver cells.
Hepatitis in children can be caused by many things. Your child can get hepatitis by being exposed to a virus that causes it.
There are 5 main types of the hepatitis virus: A, B, C, D, and E.
The most common symptoms of hepatitis include a yellowish color to the skin and whites of the eyes and flu-like symptoms.
Some children don’t have any symptoms.
Getting vaccinated and having good hygiene can prevent hepatitis.
Role In Aquatic Ecosystems
Viruses are the most abundant biological entity in aquatic environments. There are about ten million of them in a teaspoon of seawater. Most of these viruses are infecting heterotrophic bacteria and infecting cyanobacteria and they are essential to the regulation of saltwater and freshwater ecosystems.Bacteriophages are harmless to plants and animals, and are essential to the regulation of marine and freshwater ecosystems are important mortality agents of , the base of the in aquatic environments. They infect and destroy bacteria in aquatic microbial communities, and are one of the most important mechanisms of and nutrient cycling in marine environments. The organic molecules released from the dead bacterial cells stimulate fresh bacterial and algal growth, in a process known as the . In particular, lysis of bacteria by viruses has been shown to enhance nitrogen cycling and stimulate phytoplankton growth. Viral activity may also affect the , the process whereby is in the deep ocean.
Microorganisms constitute more than 90% of the biomass in the sea. It is estimated that viruses kill approximately 20% of this biomass each day and that there are 10 to 15 times as many viruses in the oceans as there are bacteria and archaea. Viruses are also major agents responsible for the destruction of including ,The number of viruses in the oceans decreases further offshore and deeper into the water, where there are fewer host organisms.
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What Causes Hepatitis A
The hepatitis A virus causes this type of hepatitis and spreads through contact with an infected persons stool. Contact can occur by
- eating food made by an infected person who did not wash his or her hands after using the bathroom
- drinking untreated water or eating food washed in untreated water
- placing a finger or an object in your mouth that came into contact with an infected persons stool
- having close personal contact with an infected person, such as through sex or caring for someone who is ill
You cannot get hepatitis A from
- being coughed on or sneezed on by an infected person
- sitting next to an infected person
- hugging an infected person
A baby cannot get hepatitis A from breast milk.4
How Do Doctors Treat Hepatitis A
Treatment includes resting, drinking plenty of liquids, and eating healthy foods to help relieve symptoms. Your doctor may also suggest medicines to help relieve symptoms.
Talk with your doctor before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins or other dietary supplements, or complementary or alternative medicinesany of these could damage your liver. You should avoid alcohol until your doctor tells you that you have completely recovered from hepatitis A.
See your doctor regularly to make sure your body has fully recovered. If you have symptoms for longer than 6 months, see your doctor again.
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Treatment Of Acute Viral Hepatitis
For most people with acute viral hepatitis, special treatment is not necessary. However, people with severe acute hepatitis may require hospitalization so that symptoms can be treated. If doctors suspect that fulminant hepatitis is developing, the person is hospitalized so that mental status can be monitored, liver tests can be done, and doctors can determine whether liver transplantation is needed.
After the first several days, appetite usually returns and people do not need to stay in bed. Severe restrictions of diet or activity are unnecessary, and vitamin supplements are not required. Most people can safely return to work after the jaundice clears, even if their liver test results are not quite normal.
People with hepatitis should not drink alcohol until they have fully recovered.
The infected liver may not process drugs normally. So a doctor may need to stop a drug or reduce the dosage of a drug that could accumulate to harmful levels in the body . Thus, people with hepatitis should tell their doctor all the drugs they are taking , so that the dosage of the drug can be adjusted if necessary.
If itching occurs, cholestyramine, taken by mouth, is often effective.
Causes Of Acute Viral Hepatitis
Other viruses can also cause acute viral hepatitis. These viruses include the Epstein-Barr virus , which is the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis Infectious Mononucleosis Epstein-Barr virus causes a number of diseases, including infectious mononucleosis. The virus is spread through kissing. Symptoms vary, but the most common are extreme fatigue, fever, sore throat… read more .
Engaging in certain activities, such as getting a tattoo or body piercing, sharing needles to inject drugs, or having several sex partners, increases the risk of developing hepatitis.
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Whats The Best Way To Stop The Spread Of Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A. The hepatitis A vaccine is given in 2 doses, usually about 6 months apart.
Other ways to stop the spread of HAV are:
- Always washing your hands with soap and warm water immediately after using the bathroom or changing a diaper
- Always washing your hands with soap and warm water before preparing or eating food
Can Hepatitis A Be Treated
There is no drug treatment for hepatitis A. The disease will eventually run its course and an infected person will recover completely although recovery time varies for each person. Recovery from this virus infection means that you are protected for life from getting it again.
The following are some ways of dealing with the symptoms:
- You will feel tired and may have very little energy. You may need to take time off from daily activities, work or school to recover.
- Nausea and vomiting may cause you to lose your appetite. Try to eat small snacks and soft foods such as soup or toast.
- You may look yellow. Once you become yellow, you are no longer infectious. There is no need to isolate yourself. Let people around you know it is OK to be near you.
- Try not to drink alcohol. Your liver may not be able to process alcohol and alcohol may make your symptoms worse.
- Talk to your doctor before taking over-the-counter medications or complementary medicine. None of the alternative therapies have proved helpful in treating hepatitis A.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis
Some people with hepatitis do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. If you do have symptoms, they may include:
- Joint pain
- Jaundice, yellowing of your skin and eyes
If you have an acute infection, your symptoms can start anywhere between 2 weeks to 6 months after you got infected. If you have a chronic infection, you may not have symptoms until many years later.
Cytopathic Effects On The Host Cell
The range of structural and biochemical effects that viruses have on the host cell is extensive. These are called ”. Most virus infections eventually result in the death of the host cell. The causes of death include cell lysis, alterations to the cell’s surface membrane and . Often cell death is caused by cessation of its normal activities because of suppression by virus-specific proteins, not all of which are components of the virus particle. The distinction between cytopathic and harmless is gradual. Some viruses, such as , can cause cells to proliferate without causing malignancy, while others, such as , are established causes of cancer.
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Diagnosis Of Acute Viral Hepatitis
Doctors suspect acute viral hepatitis based on symptoms. During the physical examination, a doctor presses on the abdomen above the liver, which is tender and somewhat enlarged in about half of the people with acute viral hepatitis.
Doctors suspect fulminant hepatitis if
People are very ill and develop jaundice very quickly.
Mental function quickly deteriorates.
Blood tests to determine how quickly blood clotsâprothrombin time or international normalized ratio âare abnormal.
People who have liver disease start worsening rapidly.
These blood tests can detect parts of specific viruses or specific antibodies produced by the body to fight the viruses. involves white blood cells that travel through the bloodstream and into tissues, searching for and attacking microorganisms and… read more â are proteins produced by the immune system to help defend the body against attack by viruses and other foreign invaders.)
To determine whether the cause may be something other than a virus, the doctor may ask whether people take any drugs that can cause hepatitis and how much alcohol they drink.
Occasionally, if the diagnosis is unclear, a liver biopsy is done: A sample of liver tissue is removed with a needle and examined.
Can Hepatitis B Be Treated
If you know you have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus in the previous seven days or less, you can receive an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin that may prevent you from developing the disease. Besides this, there is no treatment for acute hepatitis B.
If you have chronic hepatitis B, two types of treatment exist interferon which is a medication administered by a needle, and antiviral medicines that are taken by mouth. Current approved hepatitis B oral medications include lamivudine, adefovir, telbivudine, tenofovir, and entecavir. These treatments do not provide a cure, but they offer control of the virus so that further damage to your liver can be prevented. When and how to treat your hepatitis B is a decision between you and your doctor. Availability of the medications listed above may vary from province to province based on provincial government drug plans and individual insurance plans.
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Molecular Sieves And Desiccants
Apart from distillation, ethanol may be dried by addition of a , such as , , or . The desiccants can be dried and reused. can be used to selectively absorb the water from the 95.6% ethanol solution. Molecular sieves of pore-size 3 , a type of , effectively sequester water molecules while excluding ethanol molecules. Heating the wet sieves drives out the water, allowing regeneration of their dessicant capability.
How Does A Person Get Hepatitis
A person can get hepatitis A through the following sources:
- Food or water contaminated with the fecal matter of an infected person
- Sexual contact
A person can get hepatitis B in many ways, which include:
- Having sexual contact with an infected person
- Sharing needles
- Being in direct contact with an infected persons blood
- Transferred from mother to the fetus
- Getting an infected needle prick
- Being in contact with an infected persons body fluid
A person can get hepatitis C through:
- Sharing infected needles
- Being in direct contact with an infected persons blood
- Getting an infected needle prick
- Having sexual contact with an infected person
Hepatitis D can be spread through:
- Transferred from mother to the fetus
- Being in contact with the infected fluid or blood
- A person can get hepatitis D only if they are infected previously with hepatitis B.
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How Hepatitis C Damages The Liver
Hepatitis C causes damage to the liver mainly in the form of inflammation, which then leads to scarring or fibrosis.
Hepatitis C results in the death of liver cells. It is uncertain whether the virus kills the cells or if it is the immune systems response to invasion by the virus. At present it is thought that it is probably a combination of the two, but that the immune systems response is what causes the most damage. The death of liver cells triggers the dispatching of inflammatory cells to the affected area. Inflammation leads to the enlargement of the liver in over 60% of people infected with hepatitis C and can cause the fibroelastic sheath surrounding the liver to stretch, which may be the cause of pain in the liver area.
Inflammation begins the processes that lead to fibrosis. Fibrosis is not a disease but is a condition caused by the bodys response to liver damage. Inflammation triggers a reaction by a group of cells in the liver called stellate or fat cells. When the liver is functioning normally stellate cells store fat and vitamin A in the liver. They also help regulate the flow of blood through the liver. But when the liver is inflamed by the presence of hepatitis C, a reaction occurs amongst different liver cells. This leads stellate cells to dispense with vitamin A, altering their function.
Free Radicals and Fibrosis
Free radicals are of concern for people with hepatitis C for a number of reasons:
Types Of Autoimmune Hepatitis
There are two types of AIH based on serum tests:
- Type I is more common, tends to affect young women, and is associated with other autoimmune diseases. This is the most common form of AIH in the United States.
- Type II primarily affects girls between the ages of 2 and 14.
While AIH generally occurs in adolescence or early adulthood, it can develop at any age.
Symptoms of AIH range from mild to severe. In the early stages, you may have no symptoms, but in later stages, symptoms can appear suddenly. They may also slowly develop over time.
AIH symptoms include:
Blood tests can also measure the amount of immunoglobulin G antibodies in your blood. IgG antibodies help the body fight infection and inflammation.
A liver biopsy may sometimes be necessary to diagnose AIH. It can reveal the type and severity of your liver damage and inflammation. The procedure involves removing a small piece of your liver tissue with a long needle and sending it to a laboratory for testing.
Treatment can slow down, stop, and sometimes reverse liver damage. Approximately 65 to 80 percent of people with AIH will go into remission. However, remission can take up to three years.
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