Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

The world hepatitis comes from Ancient Greek word ‘hepar’ meaning liver and the Latin word ‘itis’ meaning inflammation. Thus literally, hepatitis means inflammation of liver.

Liver Functions:

Liver is the largest internal organ of human body and is responsible for carrying out a large number of metabolic functions.

  • Removal of harmful substances from blood
  • Storage of Vitamin A, D, K and B12
  • Protein synthesis
  • Production of bile
  • Maintenance of glucose level in blood
  • Production of cholesterol
  • Storage of glucose reserve in form of glycogen
  • Synthesis of plasma proteins
  • Production of hormones

Hepatitis Treatment

Causes of Hepatitis:

  • Most of the cases are caused by hepatitis viruses A, B, C and E
  • Medicines particularly painkillers
  • Anti tubercular and lipid lowering drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Obesity and the resultant fat deposition

Viral Hepatitis:

Hepatitis A and E are transmitted by consumption of food and drinks contaminated with these viruses (feco-oral transmission). Hepatitis B and C are transmitted through blood and body fluids of infected individual.

When the duration of hepatitis remains limited to six months it is termed as acute, but if hepatitis continues beyond six months it is termed as chronic. Of all the hepatitis viruses, HBV (hepatitis B virus) and HCV (hepatitis C virus) have potential risk of developing chronic hepatitis that ultimately lead to significant morbidity and mortality.

Hepatitis D infection occurs only in those individuals who are already infected with hepatitis B. Rarely, hepatitis may be caused by hepatitis G virus. Of all these, viral hepatitis A and B are preventable by vaccination.

Symptoms of Hepatitis:
  • Mild Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Mild Pain in Upper Abdomen
  • Clay Colored Stools

These symptoms subside in a few days and are followed by development of yellowish discoloration of eyes and mucous membrane, dark urine, dizziness, except in anicteric hepatitis where jaundice will be conspicuous by its absence.

Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is a disease of pediatric population and is caused by consuming food and drinks contaminated with hepatitis A virus. Anal oral contact during sex may also be responsible in some patients. It is an acute illness and leads to uneventful recovery in almost everyone, but a protracted course may be seen if infection is acquired in adulthood.

Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B virus infection is a global public health issue, as one third of global population has already been exposed to this virus and is responsible for more than million deaths globally.

One can get hepatitis B by following ways:

  • Transfusion of blood and blood products carrying HBV infection
  • Needle stick injury contaminated with HBV
  • Sharing personal items such as shaving blade, toothbrush, etc, with an infected person
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse with infected person
  • Using a syringe that was previously used by an infected person
  • Baby from infected mother
  • Being bitten by some who is infected with HBV

Chronic hepatitis B has the potential to cause cirrhosis, hepatic decomposition and liver cancer

Hepatitis C: Hepatitis C virus infection is usually caused by direct contact with blood of a person who is already infected with HCV. It causes chronic infection (infection lasting more than months). It can further lead to development of cirrhosis and hepatoellular carcinoma.

Hepatitis D: Only a person already infected with HBV infection can get infected with hepatitis D. Infection occurs through contact with infected blood, unprotected sex and needle stick injury.

Hepatitis E: Hepatitis E virus infection occurs by consuming food and drinks contaminated with HEV. It has no chronic consequence, but pregnant females who got infected with HEV during third trimester of pregnancy have significantly higher foetal and maternal mortality rates.

Hepatitis E is the predominated cause of acute viral hepatitis in India and its incidence increases along with other water borne diseases during summer and monsoon months.

Hepatitis G: It is caused by HGB infection and is usually free of symptoms. In conclusion, we must appreciate that hepatitis, both viral and non-viral, is a major health concern globally and requires greater awareness to prevent and timely treatment so that grave consequences of cirrhosis and liver cancer are avoided.

Treatment of Hepatitis:

Hepatitis A and E have no specific treatment. Patient is given supportive medication and good nutrition to aid natural recovery.

Hepatitis B infection is also treated similarly in acute phase. Chronic hepatitis B is treated with oral antiviral drugs (Entecavir, Tenofovir, Telbivudine) or Pegylated Interferon after careful case selection and patient preference.

Hepatitis C infection is treated with Pegylated Interferon along with Ribavirin for a period of 6 months to one year depending on genotype. Recently however, direct antiviral agents against hepatitis C virus have been introduced and have not only shortened the duration of therapy but also are achieving high cure rates.

Non-viral hepatitis is treated by removal of offending agent and supportive therapy that mostly results in complete recovery.

Natural Home Remedies for Hepatitis:

Garlic: Consume raw garlic cloves to protect your liver from the illness.

Ginger: Take Ginger in the form of fresh juice or herbal tea.

Vitamin B: Vitamin B will improve your immune system and can kill the hepatitis virus, consume vitamin from Beef Liver, Fish, Avocado, and Cheese etc.

Lemon: Drink fresh lemon juice 2 to 3 times a day it can cure hepatitis naturally.

Dandelion: Prepare a tea with dandelion leaves consume 2 to 3 times a day it also helps in digestion.

Indian Gooseberry: Indian Gooseberry popularly known as Emblica Officinalis consumes Indian Gooseberry with honey 2 to 3 times a day to reduce illness.

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