Monday, June 27, 2022

How Do You Know When You Have Hepatitis

What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis C

What you need to know about Hepatitis B

You may have hepatitis C and not have any signs or symptoms.

For those who do have symptoms, you may experience:

  • fever
  • nausea and vomiting
  • jaundice

Hepatitis C can lead to liver damage, as it causes swelling . This swelling causes scarring of the liver, which affects how the organ functions.

Liver scarring can worsen . This increases your chances of getting liver cancer.

How quickly your liver undergoes damage will depend on if you:

About 60% to 70% of people with hepatitis C do not develop symptoms until their liver has already been damaged.

When To Get Medical Advice

Hepatitis B can be serious, so you should get medical advice if:

  • you think you may have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus emergency treatment can help prevent infection if given within a few days of exposure
  • you have symptoms associated with hepatitis B
  • you’re at a high risk of hepatitis B high-risk groups include people born in a country where the infection is common, babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B, and people who have ever injected drugs

You can go to your local GP surgery, drug service, genitourinary medicine clinic or sexual health clinic for help and advice.

A blood test can be carried out to check if you have hepatitis B or have had it in the past.

The hepatitis B vaccine may also be recommended to reduce your risk of infection.

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.

Hepatitis E mainly infects people who eat or drink food or water contaminated with the virus. Under-cooked foods can also spread hepatitis E. It is more dangerous in pregnant women.

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Looking After Yourself When You Have Hepatitis A

AlcoholSome people with acute hepatitis develop an aversion to alcohol in the acute phase. Previously people with this condition were told to avoid alcohol for six months following the illness. This advice is no longer thought necessary.

SmokingSmoking is dangerous to everyones health. Smoking can increase the severity of liver damage. People with liver disease are more vulnerable to infection and to poor health overall, so smoking or exposure to passive smoking is not advisable.

DietIf you have a short-term hepatitis infection, for example hepatitis A, you should try to eat a normal diet. However, some people may need extra nutrition to prevent unplanned weight loss, and may benefit from a high-energy and high-protein diet. A dietitian can advise on this.

If you develop nausea and vomiting, our coping with eating difficulties may help. Read more here.

Cirrhosis Of The Liver

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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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Getting Tested For Hepatitis C

Seek medical advice if you have persistent symptoms of hepatitis C or there’s a risk you’re infected, even if you do not have any symptoms.

A blood test can be carried out to see if you have the infection.

GPs, sexual health clinics, genitourinary medicine clinics or drug treatment services all offer testing for hepatitis C.

Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent or limit any damage to your liver, as well as help ensure the infection is not passed on to other people.

Hepatitis A: Who Is At Risk

A prime risk factor for hepatitis A is traveling to or living in a country with high infection rates. You can check the CDC’s travel advisories to learn about recent outbreaks. Eating raw foods or drinking tap water can raise your risk while traveling. Children who attend daycare centers also have a higher risk of getting hepatitis A.

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Hepatitis B: How Does It Spread

You can get it through contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. In the U.S., it’s most often spread through unprotected sex. It’s also possible to get hepatitis B by sharing an infected person’s needles, razors, or toothbrush. And an infected mother can pass the virus to their baby during childbirth. Hepatitis B is not spread by hugging, sharing food, or coughing.

What Are The Risk Factors For Getting Hepatitis B

Free screening can help you know whether you have Hep C

Due to the way that hepatitis B spreads, people most at risk for getting infected include:

  • Children whose mothers have been infected with hepatitis B.
  • Children who have been adopted from countries with high rates of hepatitis B infection.
  • People who have unprotected sex and/or have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.
  • People who live with or work in an institutional setting, such as prisons or group homes.
  • Healthcare providers and first responders.
  • People who share needles or syringes.
  • People who live in close quarters with a person with chronic hepatitis B infection.
  • People who are on dialysis.

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What Are The Seven Signs Of Hepatitis

The different forms of hepatitis have different signs and symptoms, making regular screenings important for health. While hepatitis B and C dont always cause symptoms, hepatitis A can trigger symptoms similar to the flu as well as these seven common signs:

  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Dark urine
  • Loss of appetite and/or unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Clay- or light-colored stools
  • While these symptoms can resolve in a few weeks, hepatitis A can lead to serious illness that lasts for months. If you suspect you may have hepatitis, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rivas right away to get a diagnosis and start treatment if applicable.

    Should I Be Screened For Hepatitis B

    Screening is testing for a disease in people who have no symptoms. Doctors use blood tests to screen for hepatitis B. Many people who have hepatitis B dont have symptoms and dont know they are infected with hepatitis B. Screening tests can help doctors diagnose and treat hepatitis B, which can lower your chances of developing serious health problems.

    Your doctor may recommend screening for hepatitis B if you9,14

    • are pregnant
    • were born in an area of the world where 2 percent or more of the population has hepatitis B infection, which includes Africa, Asia, and parts of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and South America
    • didnt receive the hepatitis B vaccine as an infant and have parents who were born in an area where 8 percent or more of the population had hepatitis B infection, which includes sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia
    • are HIV-positive
    • are a man who has sex with men
    • have lived with or had sex with a person who has hepatitis B
    • have an increased chance of infection due to other factors

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    What Do You Do If You Become Ill

    Talk to your health care provider about getting tested if you think you:

    If you have hepatitis C, tell those who may have been exposed to your blood or bodily fluids. They should get tested and be treated if necessary. Bodily fluids, like semen and vaginal fluid, are a concern because they could be carrying small amounts of infected blood.

    Some adults with hepatitis C will recover from the disease on their own within 6 months. Until your health care provider confirms your recovery status, you are still contagious and can spread the disease.

    After recovery, you are no longer contagious because you will not have the disease anymore. But you can get hepatitis C again.

    Unfortunately, most adults with hepatitis C:

    • cannot recover on their own
    • develop a more serious form of the disease if they are sick for longer than 6 months

    How Do Doctors Diagnose Hepatitis A

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    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.

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    What Can You Do To Prevent It

    Experts say the public health protocols in place from coronavirus are the best measures for preventing adenovirus as well.

    That includes washing hands properly, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home when you are sick, covering your cough or sneeze, disinfecting surfaces and keeping hands away from faces and eyes.

    “Those are just the basic public health precautions,” Alonso said. “If a child or a friend, a sibling member has a viral gastroenteritis with vomiting or diarrhea, that child should be kept to themselves not attending playdates not attending school, so that the virus doesn’t spread. Because our thinking is that this adenovirus may actually spread in several children where they don’t have hepatitis, but then in certain individuals, it causes an infection that does become the hepatitis. So in general, it’d be good to practice public health measures that reduce the spread of adenovirus in general in our community.”

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    What Is Involved In A Liver Transplant

    A liver transplant is considered necessary when the liver is damaged and cannot function or in some cases of liver cancer. Your liver is very important. It is responsible for many functions related to making sure that your body stays healthy and is able to digest foods.

    You may be eligible for a transplant if you have chronic hepatitis B infection or some of the diseases that may result from it, including liver cancer and cirrhosis. You will have to complete testing and be evaluated before being approved for a transplant. It is likely that you will be placed on a waiting list while an appropriate organ is found.

    Donated livers come from two types of donors: living and deceased. Because the liver can regenerate, it is possible to use part of a liver for transplant. The remaining sections in both the donor and the receiver will grow into livers of adequate size.

    People who get liver transplants must take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. These drugs make you more susceptible to infection. However, liver transplants have become more successful over time and continue to improve.

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    What Causes Hepatitis B

    The hepatitis B virus causes hepatitis B. The hepatitis B virus spreads through contact with an infected persons blood, semen, or other body fluids. Contact can occur by

    • being born to a mother with hepatitis B
    • having unprotected sex with an infected person
    • sharing drug needles or other drug materials with an infected person
    • getting an accidental stick with a needle that was used on an infected person
    • being tattooed or pierced with tools that were used on an infected person and werent properly sterilized, or cleaned in a way that destroys all viruses and other microbes
    • having contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
    • using an infected persons razor, toothbrush, or nail clippers

    You cant get hepatitis B from

    • being coughed on or sneezed on by an infected person
    • drinking unclean water or untreated water that has not been boiled
    • eating food that is unclean or has not been properly cooked
    • hugging an infected person
    • shaking hands or holding hands with an infected person
    • sharing spoons, forks, and other eating utensils
    • sitting next to an infected person

    Mothers who have hepatitis B can safely breastfeed their babies. If a baby receives hepatitis B immune globulin and starts receiving the hepatitis B vaccine to prevent hepatitis B infection shortly after birth, hepatitis B is unlikely to spread from mother to child through breastfeeding.15

    Where Have Cases Been Detected

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    As of April 21, 114 cases had been reported in the United Kingdom, 13 in Spain, 12 in Israel, nine in the United States, six in Denmark, fewer than five in Ireland, 4 each in the Netherlands and Italy, 2 in Norway and France and 1 each in Romania and Belgium, the WHO said.

    The WHO did not reveal where or when the death had taken place.

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    What Are Clinical Trials For Hepatitis B

    Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.

    Researchers are studying many aspects of hepatitis B, such as

    • progression of hepatitis B and long-term outcomes
    • new treatments for hepatitis B
    • prevention of reactivated or worsening hepatitis B in people receiving cancer treatment

    Diagnosing Hepatitis A B & C

    At NYU Langone, hepatologists, or liver specialists, and infectious disease specialists use blood tests to diagnose hepatitis A, B, and C. These viral infections cause inflammation of the liver.

    If the results of a blood test confirm a diagnosis of viral hepatitis, your doctor may recommend imaging tests or a liver biopsy to determine the extent of liver disease.

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    How Is Autoimmune Hepatitis Treated

    Treatment works best when autoimmune hepatitis is found early. The goal of treatment is to control the disease and to reduce or get rid of any symptoms .

    To do this, medicines are used to help slow down or suppress your overactive immune system. They also stop your body from attacking your liver.

    Once you have started treatment, it can take 6 months to a few years for the disease to go into remission. Some people can stop taking medicine, but often the disease comes back. You may need treatment now and then for the rest of your life. Some people need to remain on treatment if they have relapsed many times or if their disease is severe.

    In some cases autoimmune hepatitis may go away without taking any medicines. But for most people, autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic disease.

    It can lead to scarring of the liver . The liver can become so badly damaged that it no longer works. This is called liver failure.

    If you have liver failure, a liver transplant may be needed.

    Be sure to ask your healthcare provider about recommended vaccines. These include vaccines for viruses that can cause liver disease.

    How Is Autoimmune Hepatitis Diagnosed

    Symptoms and warning signs of Hepatitis C

    Your healthcare provider will look at your health history and give you a physical exam.

    Some lab blood tests used to diagnose autoimmune hepatitis include:

    • Liver function tests. These check for inflammation or damage to your liver.
    • Complete blood count or CBC. Looks at the number and types of cells in your blood.
    • Coagulation panel. This test looks at how well the clotting proteins are working.
    • Electrolyte panel. Checks to see if you have an electrolyte imbalance.
    • Autoimmune antibodies. These are used to see if you have autoimmune hepatitis or another liver disease with similar symptoms.
    • Other liver tests. These are done to check for other possible types of liver disease.

    You may also have imaging tests such as:

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    What Is Hepatitis A

    Hepatitis A is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and damage. Inflammation is swelling that occurs when tissues of the body become injured or infected. Inflammation can damage organs.

    Viruses invade normal cells in your body. Many viruses cause infections that can be spread from person to person. The hepatitis A virus typically spreads through contact with food or water that has been contaminated by an infected persons stool.

    Hepatitis A is an acute or short-term infection, which means people usually get better without treatment after a few weeks. In rare cases, hepatitis A can be severe and lead to liver failure and the need for an emergency liver transplant to survive. Hepatitis A does not lead to long-term complications, such as cirrhosis, because the infection only lasts a short time.

    You can take steps to protect yourself from hepatitis A, including getting the hepatitis A vaccine. If you have hepatitis A, you can take steps to prevent spreading hepatitis A to others.

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