Hepatitis


CONDITIONS

Hepatitis

Generally speaking, hepatitis is liver inflammation. Most of the time, this condition is caused by a virus, as is the case with hepatitis A, B and C – the latter two of which are the most common forms. However, other causes of hepatitis include excessive alcohol consumption, use of certain medications, or an autoimmune response where the body’s own defense mechanisms erroneously attack healthy liver cells. A vaccine is currently available to protect people from hepatitis B, which tends to be a short-term condition – but not for hepatitis C, which is almost always a long-term issue. While not all hepatitis patients will have symptoms of their disease, others may experience joint pain, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), abdominal pain, headaches, diarrhea, nausea and loss of appetite. Some forms of hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis of the liver or even liver cancer. Treatment includes different medications that are prescribed for each type of the disease, bed rest, abstaining from consuming alcohol and – in the most severe cases – liver transplantation.
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