Chronic Conditions 4 MIN READ 1138 VIEWS July 27, 2023

World Hepatitis Day: Understanding The 5 Types Of Hepatitis

World Hepatitis Day

The simplest of Hepatitis definition is that it is a liver infection that causes inflammation. Hepatitis is caused by several reasons, including drug usage, toxic exposure, drinking alcohol, and several autoimmune illnesses. However, a viral infection is the most common cause of Hepatitis. Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, and G are among the numerous types of hepatitis viruses, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The most prevalent ones are types A, B, and C. 

According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, 354 million individuals worldwide today have chronic hepatitis B and C. A recently identified type of liver inflammation is hepatitis G. On World Hepatitis Day, we would like to introduce these types of Hepatitis and bring your attention to their causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Viral Hepatitis Symptoms

If you have a chronic hepatitis infection, such as hepatitis B or C, you might not exhibit symptoms until the damage to your liver impacts how well it functions. Contrarily, those who have acute hepatitis disease may exhibit symptoms soon after being exposed to the virus.

Here is a list of some viral hepatitis symptoms:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Flu-like symptoms
  3. Dark urine
  4. Pale stool
  5. Abdominal pain
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. Unexplained weight loss
  8. Yellow skin & eyes (common symptoms of jaundice)

Types of Hepatitis & Treatment

The main types of Hepatitis & the viral hepatitis treatments are mentioned below:

1. Hepatitis A

The hepatitis A virus infection (HAV) causes this particular type of Hepatitis which is acute and transient. Therefore, therapy may not be necessary. However, bed rest could be required if symptoms are extremely uncomfortable. Additionally, if you experience vomiting or diarrhoea, your doctor can suggest a dietary plan to help you stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet.

2. Hepatitis B

The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the main cause of this type. This is frequently a chronic, recurring issue. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 257 million people living with chronic hepatitis B worldwide and around 826,000 of them in the United States.

Acute hepatitis B has no specific treatment plan. However, you will need antiviral drugs if you have chronic hepatitis B. Given that you could need to use this sort of treatment for several months or even years, it can be expensive. Regular medical assessments and monitoring are necessary as part of the treatment for chronic hepatitis B to see how the virus is reacting to the medication.

3. Hepatitis C

This is one of the most prevalent blood-borne viral diseases in the US and often manifests as a chronic illness. Hepatitis C can be treated with antiviral drugs in both acute and chronic forms.

People with chronic hepatitis C frequently combine antiviral medication regimens. To establish the optimal course of treatment, they could also require additional testing.

4. Hepatitis D

This is an uncommon type of Hepatitis that only develops when hepatitis B infection is present. Inflammation of the liver is caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV), which is contagious only in the presence of hepatitis B infection. Nearly 5% of persons with chronic hepatitis B experience HDV.

The WHO lists pegylated interferon alpha as a therapy for hepatitis D. The adverse effects of this medicine, however, can be very bad. As a result, it is not advised for those who have autoimmune disorders, mental conditions, or liver damage from cirrhosis.

5. Hepatitis E

Waterborne hepatitis E is caused by exposure to the hepatitis E virus (HEV). It is often brought on by swallowing faecal matter that contaminates the water supply and is most prevalent in places with poor sanitation. Although hepatitis E is typically acute, pregnant women are especially vulnerable.

There are no specific medicinal treatments for hepatitis E at the moment. The infection frequently disappears on its own since it is so acute.

People with this infection are often advised by doctors to get enough rest, drink enough fluids, eat enough nutrition, and abstain from alcohol. However, thorough observation and care are necessary for pregnant women who contract this infection.

6. Hepatitis G  

Hepatitis G, also known as GB virus C (GBV-C), belongs to the Flaviviridae family and is transmitted primarily through blood-to-blood contact, such as via contaminated needles used during drug use or medical procedures. While many individuals infected with hepatitis G are asymptomatic, exhibiting no noticeable symptoms, some may experience fatigue, mild jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), and joint pain. Notably, hepatitis G often coexists with other hepatitis viruses, particularly hepatitis C, and can impact the progression and treatment of concurrent infections. Although hepatitis G infection generally does not lead to severe liver disease, the long-term implications are still under investigation. 

Presently, there are no approved antiviral therapies specifically targeting hepatitis G. Given the typically asymptomatic nature of the infection and its limited tendency to cause severe liver disease, medical intervention is generally unnecessary.  Ongoing research on hepatitis G may yield advancements in treatment options. Therefore, individuals diagnosed with hepatitis G should maintain close consultation with their healthcare provider for the most recent updates and tailored recommendations. 

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Conclusion

An infection of the liver is known as hepatitis disease.The disorder may be acute or chronic. Hepatitis comes in a variety of forms, including viral and non-infectious varieties.

 Correct Identification is very important as it significantly impacts the treatment of Hepatitis, meaning that misdiagnosing the type of Hepatitis can have severe consequences with fatal results.

Viral hepatitis symptoms may be absent or moderate in certain hepatitis patients. However, if a person does not get therapy, the condition’s side effects could be quite serious. This World Hepatitis Day, create awareness and ensure everyone around you is aware about the types and consequences of this liver condition.

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