Alcohol And Other Toxins
Excessive alcohol consumption can cause liver damage and inflammation. This is sometimes referred to as alcoholic hepatitis. The alcohol directly injures the cells of your liver. Over time, it can cause permanent damage and lead to liver failure and cirrhosis, a thickening and scarring of the liver.
Other toxic causes of hepatitis include overuse or overdose of medications and exposure to poisons.
Are There Any Possible Complications
Serious illness is rare with hepatitis A infection. The illness can be unpleasant and make you feel quite ill however, most people make a full recovery. In a small number of cases, the infection can cause severe liver inflammation leading to liver failure. This is more common in older people who develop this infection. An extremely small number of people die from severe hepatitis A infection. A liver transplant can be life-saving if liver failure develops.
Somewhere between 1 to 2 in 10 people who get hepatitis A infection will seem to recover but will then have a return of their symptoms between about one and three months after their original illness. This is because the infection hadn’t cleared completely. This relapse will have similar symptoms to the initial illness. Some people can have a relapse of their symptoms more than once.
Are There Complications From Hepatitis A
In extremely rare cases, hepatitis A can lead to acute liver failure. This complication is most common in older adults and people who already have chronic liver disease. If this occurs, you will be hospitalized. Even in cases of liver failure, a full recovery is likely. Very rarely is a liver transplant required.
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The 5 Types Of Viral Hepatitis
Viral infections of the liver that are classified as hepatitis include hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. A different virus is responsible for each type of virally transmitted hepatitis.
Hepatitis A is always an acute, short-term disease, while hepatitis B, C, and D are most likely to become ongoing and chronic. Hepatitis E is usually acute but can be particularly dangerous in pregnant women.
Managing Injection Site Discomfort
Many vaccine injections may result in soreness, redness, itching, swelling or burning at the injection site for one to 2 days. Paracetamol might be required to ease the discomfort. Sometimes a small, hard lump at the injection site may persist for some weeks or months. This should not be of concern and requires no treatment.
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Can Bleach Or Cleaner Kill Hepatitis A
Disinfectant that contains bleach can kill the hepatitis A virus on hard non-porous surfaces like toilet seats. However, freezing does not kill HAV.
If you cook food that is contaminated for one minute at cooking temperatures higher than 185ºF , it will kill HAV. However, food can be contaminated after cooking, so it is very important to wash your hands well with soap and water.
How Long Does The Hepatitis A Vaccine Last
We dont know exactly how long the protection of the vaccine lasts, but studies have indicated that it lasts at least 20 years in some people and it could last as long as 40 years or more. Having only one dose of the recommended two-dose vaccine has shown to provide protection for at least 10 years.
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What Are The Treatments For Hepatitis A
If you have not had the vaccine, and your infection has been confirmed by a blood sample, your healthcare provider might give you the hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin . This only works if the medicine is given within two weeks of you being exposed to HAV.
If you were exposed and are unable to get the vaccine or the immune globulin, you are likely to recover without treatment. However, your healthcare provider will probably recommend that you follow the following self-care recommendations:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Review any type of medicineprescription and over-the-counterthat you take with your healthcare provider. Even things like supplements or vitamins could cause damage to your liver.
Hepatitis A B C D & E: Prevention And Treatments
According to WHO 325 million people worldwide are suffering from Hepatitis. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It mainly occurs due to viruses but also acquired by different modes of transmission. It leads to a variety of symptoms as well as serious health complications.
There are five main types of hepatitis, named from the virus strain due to which they occur Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D & Hepatitis E. All of them leads to liver disease despite the difference in mode of transmission, severity of illness, regional spread, and ways to prevent it. Hepatitis B and C cause serious infection and can be fatal. It leads to liver cirrhosis, liver cancers and hepatitis related deaths. Consult the best paediatrician in Noida.
Symptoms of hepatitis: Symptoms may start appearing depending upon incubation period. Incubation is the time window from exposure to onset of symptoms. The incubation period is different for different strains.
- Abdominal pain
- Generalised weakness
- Sometimes patient may develop dark urine, light coloured stools, jaundice
Most of the patients suffering from HIV, HBV and HCV do not show any symptoms.
For prevention of hepatitis, it is important to understand the mode of spread of Hepatitis infection through different strains. Consult the best paediatrician in Noida.
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How Do You Prevent Hepatitis A
If a person has hepatitis A, strict personal hygiene and hand washing help prevent transmission of HAV to others. There are ways to help reduce or prevent HAV infection.
- Wash hands thoroughly every time after use of the bathroom, before touching or preparing food, and before touching others. Wash hands with soap and warm water, and then dry the hands thoroughly .
- Contaminated surfaces should be cleaned with household bleach to kill the virus.
- Heat food or water to 185 F or 85 C to kill the hepatitis A virus.
If people are not infected with HAV, they can reduce the chance of becoming infected by the following methods:
- Wash hands carefully with soap and warm water several times a day, including every time the bathroom is used, every time a diaper is changed, and before preparing food.
- Do not eat raw or undercooked seafood or shellfish such as oysters from areas of questionable sanitation .
- Individuals traveling to developing countries should not drink untreated water or beverages with ice in them. Fruits and vegetables should not be eaten unless cooked or peeled.
Hepatitis A Vaccine
In addition to the above methods, there are vaccines that work to prevent infection with HAV, but are not substitutes for good hygiene and careful food and drink consumption.
Not everyone needs to have the hepatitis A vaccines. However, the CDC recommends the HAV vaccine for the following groups:
How Do You Get Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A can be spread by sexual contact with an infected person or close personal contact . However, it is most often spread by what scientists call the fecal-oral route. This happens when one person eats or drinks something that has small amounts of fecal matter from another person who has hepatitis A. This can happen by touching something that has the virus on it and then putting your hands in your mouth. It can happen when food is grown, picked, processed or served. Water can also be contaminated.
Mothers do not pass on hepatitis A in breast milk. You cannot be infected with HAV by sitting near to or hugging someone with hepatitis A. It does not spread through coughs or sneezes.
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How Is Hepatitis A Transmitted
The hepatitis A virus is found in the feces of infected persons. The virus is usually spread from person to person by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the feces of a person with hepatitis A. The virus is more easily spread under poor sanitary conditions and when good personal hygiene is not practiced. The virus can be transmitted through close personal contact when there is poor personal hygiene such as in day cares, households and schools. The virus can also sometimes be transmitted through oral and anal sexual activity.
People can get hepatitis A by drinking contaminated water or eating raw and undercooked shellfish harvested from contaminated water. Fruits and vegetables or other foods can become contaminated during handling.
Reducing The Risk Of Hepatitis A
Protecting yourself from hepatitis A
The most important action you can take to protect yourself against hepatitis A is to get vaccinated.
Practising strict personal hygiene is also essential to reducing the risk of hepatitis A. Steps you can take include:
- Wash your hands with soap and hot running water before handling food, after going to the toilet and after handling used condoms or having contact with nappies or the anal area of another person. Use a clean towel to dry your hands.
- Use barrier protection when engaging in oral-anal sex and avoid sex with someone who is infected with the hepatitis A virus.
- Vaccination may prevent illness if given within 2 weeks of contact with an infectious person.
- Clean bathrooms and toilets often, paying attention to toilet seats, handles, taps and nappy change tables.
- Boil your drinking water if it comes from an untreated source, such as a river.
- If you are travelling overseas, particularly to countries where hepatitis A is widespread, take special care to avoid hepatitis A. Before travelling, talk to your doctor about immunisation for protection.
Protecting others from hepatitis A
If you have hepatitis:
- Wash eating utensils in soapy water, and machine wash linen and towels.
Household contacts and sexual partners of an infectious person may need to be immunised.
All people who have hepatitis A should check with their doctor before returning to work or school.
Protecting yourself from hepatitis A when overseas
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Prevention Of Hepatitis A
Using good hygiene when handling food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. People should wash their hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, after changing a diaper, and before handling food.
Avoiding contaminated water supplies is also important. People need to be particularly careful when they travel to areas where sanitation may be inadequate.
Travelers to parts of the world where hepatitis A is widespread
People who work in diagnostic or research laboratories that handle hepatitis A virus
People with chronic liver disorders or bleeding disorders
Men who have sex with men
People who use illicit drugs
People who do not have stable housing or who are homeless
People who anticipate close contact with an adopted child during the first 60 days after the child arrives in the United States from an area where hepatitis A is common
Pregnant women who are at risk of getting hepatitis A infection during pregnancy
People with chronic liver disorders should be vaccinated against hepatitis A because they may have an increased risk of developing fulminant hepatitis and liver failure due to the hepatitis A virus.
Hepatitis A Vaccine And International Travel
Who should get the hepatitis A vaccine before traveling internationally?
All unvaccinated people, along with those who have never had hepatitis A, should be vaccinated before traveling to countries where hepatitis A is common. Travelers to urban areas, resorts, and luxury hotels in countries where hepatitis A is common are still at risk. International travelers have been infected, even though they regularly washed their hands and were careful about what they drank and ate. Those who are too young or cant get vaccinated because of a previous, life-threatening reaction to the hepatitis A vaccine or vaccine component should receive immune globulin. Travelers to other countries where hepatitis A does not commonly occur are not recommended to receive hepatitis A vaccine before travel.
How soon before travel should I get the hepatitis A vaccine?
You should get the first dose of hepatitis A vaccine as soon as you plan international travel to a country where hepatitis A is common. The vaccine will provide some protection even if you get vaccinated closer to departure. For older adults , people who are immunocompromised, and people with chronic liver disease or other chronic medical conditions the health-care provider may consider, based on several factors, giving an injection of immune globulin at the same time in different limbs.
What should I do if I am traveling internationally but cannot receive hepatitis A vaccine?
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Complementary And Alternative Medicines And Therapies
Many complementary and alternative medicines available suggest they can ease the symptoms of liver disease. As with any other medicine, you should use them with care before taking any medicine you should check with your doctor that it is safe to do so.
Most medicines are processed by the liver so they can be toxic to people with liver problems. Some can damage the liver and make you more severely ill. At present, healthcare professionals are not clear on the role and place of some complementary medicines in managing liver disease more research is needed on their use.
Licensing has been introduced for some traditional herbal medicines. However, many herbal products are not classified as a medicine and so can be legally sold as food or cosmetic this means there is no regulation of the product and so you cannot be sure how much of the active ingredient you are getting, or how pure it is. Unregulated products are not monitored or assessed for how effective or safe they are. Some remedies can damage the liver and make you more severely ill. It is wise to be cautious about the claims made about herbal remedies, particularly those advertised on the internet.
It is very important to discuss the use of these remedies with your doctor before considering taking them.
What Is Hepatitis E
Hepatitis E, also called enteric hepatitis , is similar to hepatitis A, and more prevalent in Asia and Africa. It is also transmitted through the fecal-oral route. It is generally not fatal, though it is more serious in women during pregnancy and can cause fetal complications. Most patients with hepatitis E recover completely.
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What Is Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is a viral disease that affects the liver. The hepatitis A virus is highly infectious and is spread when traces of faeces containing the virus contaminate hands, objects, water or food.
Anyone can be infected with hepatitis A if they ingest food, drinks or traces of the virus on objects contaminated by the faeces of an infected person.
How Can I Avoid Getting Hepatitis A
There is a safe and effective vaccine that can protect you from getting hepatitis A. The vaccine is usually given in two doses six months apart. The vaccine will give you protection for up to 20 years. A combined vaccine for hepatitis A and hepatitis B is also available. Since up to 40% of the reported cases of hepatitis A occur in travellers, it is advisable to protect yourself with a hepatitis A vaccination six weeks before you leave.
Consider these additional safety precautions:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly especially after using the washroom, before preparing food and before eating.
- Avoid raw or undercooked food.
- If you are travelling to countries with high rates of hepatitis A:
- Drink bottled or boiled water and use it for brushing your teeth.
- Drink bottled beverages without ice.
- Avoid uncooked food including salads.
- Avoid food from street vendors.
- Peel and wash fresh fruits and vegetables yourself.
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What Causes Hepatitis A And How Is It Contracted
People develop hepatitis A infection after contracting HAV. This virus is typically transmitted by ingesting food or liquid contaminated with fecal matter that contains the virus. Once transmitted, the virus spreads through the bloodstream to the liver, where it causes inflammation and swelling.
In addition to transmission from eating food or drinking water containing HAV, the virus can also be spread by close personal contact with an infected person. HAV is contagious, and a person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to others living in the same household.
You can contract hepatitis A by:
- eating food prepared by someone with the hepatitis A virus
- eating food handled by preparers who dont follow strict hand-washing routines before touching food that you eat
- eating sewage-contaminated raw shellfish
- not using condoms when having sex with someone who has the hepatitis A virus
- drinking polluted water
- coming in contact with hepatitis A-infected fecal matter
If you contract the virus, you will be contagious two weeks before symptoms even appear. The contagious period will end about one week after symptoms appear.
Incomplete Or Failed Response To Treatment
Some people with autoimmune hepatitis have an incomplete response to treatment, meaning that treatment helps but does not lead to remission. If you have an incomplete response to treatment, you may need to take different medicines to help prevent liver damage.
Some people may fail to respond to treatment, meaning that the inflammation and liver damage of autoimmune hepatitis keep getting worse. Your doctor may recommend additional blood tests and higher doses of medicines. If liver damage leads to complications, you may need treatment for complications.
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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.