Do you have right abdominal pain, or jaundice?
What is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is the most common cause of liver disease, which causes inflammation of the liver due to the destruction of liver cells. Depending on the duration, they can be classified into acute hepatitis (mainly within 6 months) and chronic hepatitis (mainly over 6 months).
What are the causes?
The causes include hepatitis virus, alcohol, drugs, poison, autoimmune diseases, and bacteria.
The hepatitis virus cause is the most common, followed by alcohol.
There are six types of hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D, E, and G.
Symptoms and Signs?
Acute Hepatitis: Right abdominal pain or discomfort, mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, severe weakness, jaundice, and severe skin itching may occur. Acute liver failure is accompanied by ascites and hepatic encephalopathy.
Chronic Hepatitis: In most cases, there are no symptoms. And feelings of weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, and nausea can easily be accompanied.
- By blood test, hepatitis virus test and liver function test can be performed.
- By ultrasound of the abdomen, you can check the condition of the liver
- By liver biopsy, the degree of liver disease and its cause can be identified.
Acute Hepatitis: The most patients recover with adequate rest and nutrition without special treatment. However, patients with acute hepatitis caused by hepatitis B and C virus may need antiviral treatment. In the case of acute liver failure, treatment in an intensive care unit may be required, and a liver transplant may be considered.
Chronic Hepatitis: Depending on the cause, treatments are available, and you should consult with your doctor.
Acute Hepatitis: Most people with hepatitis A recover normally. However, the cases of Hepatitis B, C, and D are easily progressed to chronic hepatitis, so periodic tests are required.
Chronic Hepatitis: It can also lead to cirrhosis of the liver and even liver cancer.
- Various health/food supplements that have not been verified may cause hepatitis and may worsen other hepatitis.
- Excessive alcohol consumption can cause acute alcoholic hepatitis or worsen other hepatitis.
- Because food or water can be contaminated with the hepatitis virus, eat fresh food and boiled water whenever possible. Especially when traveling abroad, it is better to drink commercial bottled water, and it is recommended to travel after getting hepatitis A vaccines.
- In the case of hepatitis B and C virus, you must be careful because you can be infected by sex, needles (at the time of tattooing or injecting drugs), blood transfusion, etc. (There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C, but hepatitis B can be prevented with the hepatitis B vaccine.)
- If fatty liver is severe, fatty hepatitis may occur, so it is important to control your weight so that you do not become obese.
The ABCs of Hepatitis
Steven Koh, MD
Edmonds Medical Clinic