How Do You Get It
HAV can be present in the stool and blood of someone with the virus. Its mainly transmitted through the fecal-oral route, which involves ingesting virus thats present in the stool of someone with hepatitis A.
There are several ways you can get hepatitis A:
- having close person-to-person contact with someone who has hepatitis A, such as:
- taking care of someone whos currently sick
- having sex with someone who has the virus
What Is The Difference Between Hepatitis A And Hepatitis B
You’ve undoubtedly heard hepatitis A and B mentioned many times before. Whether it was by watching the news, reading a headline, or overhearing a coworker say they had it in the past, it’s an unavoidable topic. But you may not really know what hepatitis A and B are, how dangerous they can be, who’s most at risk, or how you can protect yourself. Let’s look at the specifics so you have the facts to help keep yourself healthy year-round.
The Best Foods And Drinks For Hepatitis C
Nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables promote liver health when you have hepatitis C. Others, such as alcohol and salt, can make the condition worse.
Although there’s no specific diet that will benefit every one of the nearly 4 million people in the United States currently living with hepatitis C, certain foods and drinks may boost liver function. Others, however, may be harmful to the liver.
What’s more: People with hepatitis C have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease, so making smart choices and maintaining a normal weight can help keep these threats at bay. A healthy diet should be considered an important part of your overall treatment plan.
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If I Have Hepatitis How Can I Avoid Giving It To Someone Else
For hepatitis A, one of the best things you can do is wash your hands a lot. That will keep the virus out of food and drinks.
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.
- Don’t share your razor, nail clippers, or toothbrush.
- If your blood gets on objects, clean them with household bleach and water.
- Don’t breastfeed if your nipples are cracked or bleeding.
- Don’t donate blood, organs, or sperm.
- If you inject drugs, don’t share needles or other equipment.
Hepatitis B In The United States
In the United States, about 862,000 people have chronic hepatitis B.6 Asian Americans and African Americans have higher rates of chronic hepatitis B than other U.S. racial and ethnic groups.10 Researchers estimate that about half of the people living with chronic hepatitis B in the United States are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.11 Chronic hepatitis B is also more common among people born in other countries than among those born in the United States.7
The hepatitis B vaccine has been available since the 1980s and, in 1991, doctors began recommending that children in the United States receive the hepatitis B vaccine. The annual rate of acute hepatitis B infections went down 88.5 percent between 1982 and 2015.12 In 2017, the annual number of hepatitis B infections rose in some states.13 Experts think the rise was related to increases in injection drug use. Injection drug use increases the risk of hepatitis B infection.
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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.
Let’s 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.
What Is Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is the most common blood borne virus in the USA. It is considered to be the most serious of the hepatitis viruses. Once exposed, the majority of people go on to develop chronic hepatitis C. Many people do not develop symptoms until serious liver damage occurs, which may take several decades to occur. Those who do experience early onset symptoms usually complain of fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and digestive upsets. Jaundice is not a common finding in hepatitis C. Over time, as the liver develops more and more fibrosis, symptoms may include easy bruising, ascites , hemorrhaging, and encephalopathy .
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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.
Hepatitis A And E Symptoms
Hepatitis A and hepatitis E present with similar symptoms. The diseases may develop without any signs or symptoms, or symptoms may be nonspecific. If you experience any of the symptoms below for more than two weeks, make an appointment with a gastroenterologist.
There are three phases of hepatitis A and E, and symptoms may differ depending on the stage. Early in the disease, called the prodromal phase, symptoms may include:
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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
What Is Acute Fulminant Hepatitis
Rarely, individuals with acute infections with HAV and HBV develop severe inflammation, and the liver fails . These patients are extremely ill with the symptoms of acute hepatitis already described and the additional problems of confusion or coma , as well as bruising or bleeding . In fact, up to 80% of people with acute fulminant hepatitis can die within days to weeks therefore, it is fortunate that acute fulminant hepatitis is rare. For example, less than 0.5% of adults with acute infection with HBV will develop acute fulminant hepatitis. This is even less common with HCV alone, although it becomes more frequent when both HBV and HCV are present together.
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Stay Away From Fatty Foods
French fries and burgers are a poor choice to keep your liver healthy. Eat too many foods that are high in saturated fat and it can make it harder for your liver to do its job. Over time it may lead to inflammation, which in turn could cause scarring of the liver that’s known as cirrhosis. So next time you’re in the drive-thru line, think about ordering a healthier option.
How Do You Get Hepatitis C
Just like hepatitis B, you can get this type by sharing needles or having contact with infected blood. You can also catch it by having sex with somebody who’s infected, but that’s less common.
If you had a blood transfusion before new screening rules were put in place in 1992, you are at risk for hepatitis C. If not, the blood used in transfusions today is safe. It gets checked beforehand to make sure it’s free of the virus that causes hepatitis B and C.
It’s rare, but if you’re pregnant and have the disease, it’s possible to pass it to your newborn.
There are some myths out there about how you get hepatitis C, so let’s set the record straight. It’s not spread by food and water . And you canât spread it by doing any of these things:
- Joint pain
See your doctor as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms.
Sometimes, people have no symptoms. To be sure you have hepatitis, youâll need to get tested.
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What Is The Outlook
Most people with hepatitis A recover without any complications. Once youve had hepatitis A, you cant get it again. Antibodies to the virus will protect you for life.
Some people may be at an increased risk for serious illness from hepatitis A. These include:
- older adults
acute hepatitis B infections in the United States in 2018.
How Does It Affect The Body
The incubation period for hepatitis B can range from . However, not everyone who has acute hepatitis B will experience symptoms.
About 95 percent of adults completely recover from hepatitis B. However, hepatitis B can also become chronic.
The risk of chronic hepatitis B is greatest in those who were exposed to HBV as young children. Many people with chronic hepatitis B dont have symptoms until significant liver damage has occurred.
In some people whove had hepatitis B, the virus can reactivate later on. When this happens, symptoms and liver damage may occur. People with a weakened immune system and those being treated for hepatitis C are at a higher risk for HBV reactivation.
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Reduce Your Chance Of Infection
You can reduce your chance of hepatitis B 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
- not sharing personal items, such as toothbrushes, razors, or nail clippers
- using a latex or polyurethane condom during sex
Hepatitis C Enemy: Salt
Salt can promote fluid retention, which is a symptom of progressive hepatitis C, Graham says. It’s not just salt from the shaker that you want to avoid processed foods like frozen meals and baked goods are also loaded with sodium. If you have early-stage hepatitis C, a little sodium is okay, but when the disease is advanced, it’s a good idea to stay away from any added salt, she says. Talk with your doctor to find out how much salt you can safely consume.
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What Is Causing The Mysterious New Strain Of Pediatric Hepatitis
A mysterious wave of acute hepatitis in young children is taking on global dimensions, with approximately 200 cases in 14 counties with no clear epidemiological link.
What Happened: Hepatitis results in liver inflammation and can lead to organ failure and death. None of the confirmed pediatric cases have been linked to five typical strains of hepatitis A, B, C, D and E.
The World Health Organization has confirmed cases impacting children between the ages of one month and 16 years, with at least 17 children requiring liver transplants and one child dying. The impacted children were all in good health with no history of compromised immune systems, and none showed any signs of COVID-19.
As of today, cases have been confirmed in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Romania, Israel and Japan. The U.K. has recorded the largest outbreak, with nearly 120 cases, In the U.S., at least 18 cases in four states have been confirmed, including nine children in Alabama the first U.S. case was identified last October, but it is not certain in which country this illness wave first occurred.
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Adenoviruses are spread by close personal contact, respiratory droplets, and fomites. Yet the common viruses associated with viral hepatitis have not been detected in any of the reported cases, and there is no evidence of international travel as a cause of spreading the disease.
Symptoms Of Hepatitis B
Symptoms of hepatitis B are the same as those of hepatitis A: Jaundice, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, joint pain, nausea and vomiting, and weakness and fatigue are common. Some of the more common ways to acquire hepatitis B are through sex with an infected person where sexual body fluids can enter your body, use of IV drugs and/or sharing needles, being born to a hepatitis B positive mother, being a man who has sex with men, traveling to an area such as Africa, Asia or Eastern Europe, and being stuck with a needle in a healthcare setting. Hepatitis B is considered a sexually transmitted infection.
Chronic hepatitis B may lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and/or liver failure. Hepatitis B may also lead to kidney disease, and anemia. There are treatments for hepatitis B, but there is no cure, and a liver transplant may be required for the patient to live. There is a preventative vaccine for hepatitis B.
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Hepatitis Infections In The Us And Worldwide
If you’ve been diagnosed with one of the forms of hepatitis, you aren’t alone. It’s 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 million deaths 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.
Hepatitis C Enemy: Raw Fish
If you have hepatitis C, skip the sushi or oyster bar to avoid potential food-borne illnesses. In fact, you’ll want to be careful about all raw seafood, says Graham, since developing a bacterial infection from raw seafood can worsen hepatitis C. She says it’s also wise to avoid unpasteurized milk and cheese for the same reason.
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Hepatitis Caused By Toxins
- The most common cause is excessive alcohol over a prolonged time. Alcoholic hepatitis is reversible if alcohol is reduced, but can go on to cause longer-term liver damage .
- Medication – some medicines can cause liver inflammation as a side-effect.
- Haemochromatosis – an unusual condition where the body stores too much iron, can cause hepatitis.
- Wilson’s disease – an unusual condition where liver damage is caused by copper excess in the body.
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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Is There A Possibility Of Coinfection
Both hepatitis B and C can be present at the same time. Hepatitis C may become more dominant, reducing hepatitis B levels in the bloodstream to low or undetectable levels.
Prior to starting hepatitis C treatment, people should have their blood tested for hepatitis B using the three-part blood test . According to the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases treatment guidelines, people who are currently infected with hepatitis B or who have recovered from a previous infection should be managed carefully to avoid dangerous elevations in liver enzymes that can lead to liver failure.