Thursday, September 22, 2022

What Kinds Of Hepatitis Are There

Do I Need To Get Tested For Hepatitis B

Viral hepatitis (A, B, C, D, E) – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & pathology

Maybe. All pregnant women need to be tested for hepatitis B during their first trimester of pregnancy. Also, about half the people with hepatitis B have symptoms after infection.15 This means you might have the infection without knowing it.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends getting tested for hepatitis B if you are at high risk of infection:15,16

  • You were born in an area with medium or high rates of hepatitis B infection. Those areas are colored medium and dark blue on this map of hepatitis B around the world from the CDC.
  • Your parents were born in one of the high-risk areas, and you were not vaccinated against hepatitis B as a baby
  • You live with, have sex with, or share needles with someone who has hepatitis B
  • You have ever had sex with more than one partner and did not use a condom
  • You inject drugs
  • You have HIV

Is There A Vaccine For Hepatitis

There are vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B that are available in the U.S. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. Since you can only get hepatitis D if you have hepatitis B, getting the vaccine against B should protect you against hepatitis D. There is no FDA approved vaccine against hepatitis E, but vaccines against hepatitis E exist overseas .

What Can Happen If Viral Hepatitis Is Not Treated

Most people recover from hepatitis A with no treatment or long-lasting health problems.

Chronic hepatitis B and C can lead to serious health problems, such as:19

  • Cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver
  • Liver cancer
  • Liver failure

People with liver failure may need a liver transplant to survive. In the United States, cirrhosis caused by chronic hepatitis C is currently the most common reason for needing a liver transplant.20 Viral hepatitis is also the most common cause of liver cancer.21

Recommended Reading: How Do You Treat Hepatitis B

How Is Hepatitis Diagnosed

To diagnose hepatitis, your health care provider:

  • Will ask about your symptoms and medical history
  • Will do a physical exam
  • Will likely do blood tests, including tests for viral hepatitis
  • Might do imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI
  • May need to do a liver biopsy to get a clear diagnosis and check for liver damage

Do I Need To Get Tested For Hepatitis C

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Maybe. Most people with hepatitis C dont have any symptoms. This means you might have the infection without knowing it. The CDC recommends hepatitis C testing for some women without symptoms.

Ask your doctor about getting tested for hepatitis C if:

  • You were born between 1945 and 19659
  • You have ever injected drugs, even once17
  • You had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
  • You received clotting factors made before 1987
  • You have sex with or share needles with someone who has hepatitis C
  • You have been on dialysis
  • Your liver test results were not normal
  • You have HIV

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How Is Hepatitis A Diagnosed

Some people have only a few symptoms and no signs of jaundice. Without visible signs of jaundice, its hard to diagnose any form of hepatitis through a physical examination. When symptoms are minimal, hepatitis A can remain undiagnosed.

After you discuss your symptoms with your doctor, they may order a blood test to check for the presence of a viral or bacterial infection. A blood test will reveal the presence of the hepatitis A virus.

Complications due to a lack of diagnosis are rare.

What Causes Alcoholic Hepatitis

When alcohol gets processed in the liver, it produces highly toxic chemicals. These chemicals can injure the liver cells. This injury can lead to inflammation and, eventually, alcoholic hepatitis.

Although heavy alcohol use can lead to alcoholic hepatitis, experts arent entirely sure why the condition develops in some people but not in others.

Alcoholic hepatitis develops in a minority of people who heavily use alcohol no more than 35 percent, according to the American Liver Foundation. It can also develop in people who use alcohol only moderately.

Because alcoholic hepatitis doesnt occur in all people who heavily use alcohol, other factors may influence the development of this condition.

Risk factors include:

Your doctor may order a liver biopsy to confirm a diagnosis of alcoholic hepatitis. A liver biopsy requires your doctor to remove a tissue sample from the liver. Its an invasive procedure with certain inherent risks, but biopsy results can show the severity and type of liver condition.

Also Check: What Is Hepatitis C And How Do You Get It

How Is Chronic Viral Hepatitis Treated

If you have chronic viral hepatitis, your treatment depends on the type of hepatitis you have:

  • Hepatitis B. You will probably meet with your doctor regularly, every six to 12 months, to watch for signs of liver disease and liver cancer. If you plan to become pregnant in the future, talk to your doctor first. You may need antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis B, but many people do not need medicine. The Food and Drug Administration has a list of approved medicines to treat hepatitis B.
  • Hepatitis C. If you have hepatitis C, talk with your doctor about whether you need medicine. Recently approved antiviral medicines treat and may cure hepatitis C in adults. The FDA has a list of approved medicines to treat hepatitis C. If you have health insurance, ask about your copay or coinsurance and which medicines are covered under your plan.

Who Should Be Vaccinated

Hepatitis: the different types and how they are treated

Children

  • All children aged 1223 months
  • All children and adolescents 218 years of age who have not previously received hepatitis A vaccine

People at increased risk for hepatitis A

  • International travelers
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who use or inject drugs
  • People with occupational risk for exposure
  • People who anticipate close personal contact with an international adoptee
  • People experiencing homelessness

People at increased risk for severe disease from hepatitis A infection

  • People with chronic liver disease, including hepatitis B and hepatitis C
  • People with HIV

Other people recommended for vaccination

  • Pregnant women at risk for hepatitis A or risk for severe outcome from hepatitis A infection

Any person who requests vaccination

There is no vaccine available for hepatitis C.

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How Common Is Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is fairly common in Africa and the western Pacific region. Throughout the world, there are about 292 million people who are infected with chronic hepatitis B. In the U.S., the figure exceeds 2 million people.

The number of infections had been falling in the U.S., but fewer vaccinations among adults combined with the onset of the opioid crisis and injected drug usage has resulted in the numbers rising again. Infected women can pass the infection on to their babies. Children who are infected before age 5 are more likely to have chronic infection than those infected later in life.

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Treatment Options For Alcoholic Hepatitis

Alcohol use both causes and worsens alcoholic hepatitis, so a diagnosis of alcoholic hepatitis means you may want to consider stopping drinking gradually. Quitting drinking can help reduce symptoms and prevent further damage to your liver.

In the early stages of the condition, avoiding alcohol may even help reverse liver damage. Once more significant damage has occurred, the changes to your liver may become permanent.

Even if the damage is too severe to reverse, quitting drinking could prevent further harm to your liver.

  • According to

Alcoholic hepatitis can lead to severe and lasting liver damage, which can, in turn, cause serious health complications. In some cases, these complications can be life threatening.

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How Serious Is It

  • People can be sick for a few weeks to a few months
  • Most recover with no lasting liver damage
  • Although very rare, death can occur
  • 15%25% of chronically infected people develop chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer
  • More than 50% of people who get infected with the hepatitis C virus develop a chronic infection
  • 5%-25% of people with chronic hepatitis C develop cirrhosis over 1020 years

Are There Complications From Hepatitis A

HEPATITIS

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.

Read Also: What Does Hepatic Steatosis Mean

Why The Liver Matters

Your liver is an incredibly important organ that performs critical functions that affect your metabolism. It produces a substance known as bile, which aids in digestion.

Its also responsible for:

  • Filtering toxins from your body
  • Breaking down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
  • Activating enzymes essential to your bodys functions
  • Excreting bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs

When your liver is inflamed or starts to fail, it cant effectively do these or other essential jobs. As a result, you may experience fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and bloody vomit or stools. Liver failure is a medical emergency that requires immediate care.

What Causes Hepatitis A And How Is It Contracted

People develop a 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 someone who already has it. 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
  • 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, youll be contagious 2 weeks before symptoms even appear. The contagious period ends about 1 week after symptoms appear.

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Can Hepatitis C Be Prevented

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. But you can help protect yourself from hepatitis C infection by:

  • Not sharing drug needles or other drug materials
  • Wearing gloves if you have to touch another persons blood or open sores
  • Making sure your tattoo artist or body piercer uses sterile tools and unopened ink
  • Not sharing personal items such toothbrushes, razors, or nail clippers
  • Using a latex condom during sex. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Who Gets Viral Hepatitis

Types of Hepatitis

Viral hepatitis is common in the United States and affects women and men. Hepatitis B and C are more common than hepatitis A.

  • In 2015, hepatitis A affected an estimated 2,500 Americans.6 The percentage of people with hepatitis A has gone down by 95% since the hepatitis A vaccine became available in 1995.
  • Chronic hepatitis B may affect more than 1 million Americans.6 Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have the highest rates of hepatitis B infection. About 50% of the people living with Hepatitis B are Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.7

    Within this high-risk group, hepatitis B is usually passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy. Babies born with hepatitis B are likely to have it their entire lives and are at higher risk of liver damage and liver cancer.

  • Hepatitis C is the most common type of viral hepatitis infection in the United States. An estimated 3.5 million Americans have chronic hepatitis C.6 The CDC recommends that everyone born between 1945 and 1965 get tested at least once for hepatitis C because it is so common in this age group.8

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How Do You Get Hepatitis B

The virus that causes hepatitis B lives in blood, semen, and other fluids in your body. You usually get it by having sex with someone who’s infected.

You also can get it if you:

  • Have direct contact with infected blood or the body fluids of someone who’s got the disease, for instance by using the same razor or toothbrush as someone who has hepatitis B, or touching the open sores of somebody who’s infected.
  • If you’re pregnant and you’ve got hepatitis B, you could give the disease to your unborn child. If you deliver a baby who’s got it, they need to get treatment in the first 12 hours after birth.

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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Knowing Your Risk For Chronic Hepatitis C

Because chronic hepatitis may have no symptoms, it is important to know your risk for chronic hepatitis C virus . Risk factors include:

  • Those who had a transfusion of blood or blood products before 1992 .
  • Those born between the years of 1945-1965.
  • Those who have or are experimenting with intravenous drugs.
  • Those who have snorted or are snorting cocaine.
  • Those who have gotten tattoos with a non-sterile needle.
  • Those who have had unprotected multiple sexual partners.
  • Those with HIV.
  • Children born to mothers with HCV infection.

Although these are the most common ways to acquire Hepatitis C, there are other risk factors that can lead to infection. Thus, in 2020 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its screening guidelines to recommend all adults 18 years or older get screened at least once in their lifetime for HCV.

How Is Viral Hepatitis Prevented

types of hepatitis table

Prevention of hepatitis involves measures to avoid exposure to the viruses, using immunoglobulin in the event of exposure, and vaccines. Administration of immunoglobulin is called passive protection because antibodies from patients who have had viral hepatitis are given to the patient. Vaccination is called active protection because killed viruses or non-infectious components of viruses are given to stimulate the body to produce its own antibodies.

Avoidance of exposure to viruses

Prevention of viral hepatitis, like any other illness, is preferable to reliance upon treatment. Taking precautions to prevent exposure to another individuals blood , semen , and other bodily secretions and waste will help prevent the spread of all of these viruses.

Use of immunoglobulins

Immune serum globulin is human serum that contains antibodies to hepatitis A. ISG can be administered to prevent infection in individuals who have been exposed to hepatitis A. ISG works immediately upon administration, and the duration of protection is several months. ISG usually is given to travelers to regions of the world where there are high rates of hepatitis A infection and to close or household contacts of patients with hepatitis A infection. ISG is safe with few side effects.

Hepatitis A

Individuals at increased risk of acquiring hepatitis A are:

Some local health authorities or private companies may require hepatitis A vaccination for food handlers.

Hepatitis B

Read Also: How Is Hepatitis A Transmitted

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

Common Symptoms Of Hepatitis

If you are living with a chronic form of hepatitis, like hepatitis B and C, you may not show symptoms until the damage affects liver function. By contrast, people with acute hepatitis may present with symptoms shortly after contracting a hepatitis virus.

Common symptoms of infectious hepatitis include:

It is crucial to understand what is causing hepatitis in order to treat it correctly. Doctors will progress through a series of tests to accurately diagnose your condition.

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Important: Hepatitis Cases In Children

The number of cases of hepatitis in children has increased recently. Public health doctors and scientists are looking into what could be causing this.

See a GP if your child has symptoms of hepatitis, including yellowing of the eyes and skin .

Good hygiene, including supervising hand washing in young children, can help to prevent infections that can cause hepatitis.

Hepatitis Infections In The Us And Worldwide

Viral hepatitis: Pathology Review

If youve been diagnosed with one of the forms of hepatitis, you arent alone. Its thought that roughly two percent of people in the United States are living with a chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection, not to mention the other three forms. Hepatitis can cause illness or death due to both the symptoms of the infection and to complications that may develop.

Worldwide, hepatitis was responsible for 1.34 milliondeaths in 2015. The World Health Organization also reports that deaths from hepatitis have increased 22 percent since 2000.

Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are responsible for 96 percent of deaths from viral hepatitis of any kind worldwide and cause an estimated 78 percent of all liver cancer and 57 percent of all liver cirrhosis.

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