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Viral hepatitis

Hepatitis is usually caused by a viral infection, but there are other causes as well. These include autoimmune hepatitis, which is caused by the abuse of alcohol, drugs, drugs, and other toxic substances. This disease occurs when the liver cells are attacked by the body’s own. The liver is the organ on the right side, under the ribs, and is responsible for many important functions in the body. Therefore, a diseased liver contributes to general malaise, and other organs also work badly with it.

the boy has hepatitis, the doctor gives the boy an ultrasound

Liver and its functions in the body

The liver is the largest organ in our body. In adults, it reaches a weight of up to 1.5 kg. It is also the most vulnerable of any organ to poisoning. This is due to the fact that all harmful substances end up in it. Fortunately, it is only when ¾ of this organ is damaged that disturbing symptoms begin. The liver also has the ability to regenerate itself, which is why we rarely get liver disease in general. Once the poison is removed, it quickly returns to normal.

The liver has many important functions, including:

the production of bile which is essential in the digestive process;
excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, drugs;
breaking down fats and proteins;
glycogen storage;
removing toxins from the body;
storage of some vitamins.

Viral hepatitis – types

It is divided into 5 types – A, B, C, D, E. A different virus is responsible for each type.

Hepatitis A

It is caused by a type A virus called HAV. It is most commonly transmitted through contaminated food or contaminated water.

Hepatitis B and C

Hepatitis B is spread by contact with infectious body fluids such as blood, vaginal discharge, or semen that contain the hepatitis B virus (HBV). So it very often affects medics working with patients (doctors, nurses). Type C virus (HCV) is also transmitted.

Hepatitis D

This condition is also known as delta type. It is a serious disease caused by the HDV virus. We can become infected with it through contact with infected blood. It only occurs with type B inflammation and is rare.

Hepatitis E.

Caused by the HEV virus. It occurs extremely rarely and mainly in areas with poor sanitary conditions. Most often it is found in poor countries of Africa, Asia, Central America.

The causes of hepatitis

There may be several reasons for this. Most often, however, it is caused by alcohol abuse.

Alcohol and toxins

Too much alcohol consumption is bad for the liver. Often, alcoholics develop cirrhosis of the liver, and sometimes the only salvation is a transplant. Alcohol directly damages the liver cells. Alcoholic hepatitis is often referred to.

Often, hepatitis occurs when taking large amounts of medications.

Autoimmune system

Occasionally, the immune system starts attacking the liver cells, treating them as an intruder. This causes inflammation which can be mild but serious and is more common in women.

Viral hepatitis – symptoms

The symptoms of acute hepatitis are mainly:

constant fatigue and drowsiness;
light color of the stool;
stomach pain;
ascites;
dark urine color;
lack of appetite;
flu-like symptoms;
weight loss;
jaundice.

Diagnosis

First, the doctor interviews the patient. It concerns symptoms, but also the nature of work or the possibility of contact with a sick person. During the physical examination, the doctor will examine the abdomen by touch. He will also order an ultrasound of the abdomen and blood tests.

In the blood test, in addition to the complete blood count, various factors illustrating the work of the liver, such as ASPAT, ALAT, bilirubin, are measured.

Ultrasound examination may show abnormalities in the structure of the liver and others, such as:

abdominal fluid;
fatty liver and enlargement;
liver tumors;
damage to the gallbladder.

Viral hepatitis – treatment

The choice of treatment depends on the type of disease and the patient’s condition.

Type A – Usually does not require treatment. After the triggering factor is put aside, the patient’s condition improves quickly. Treats mainly symptomatically. There is also a vaccine against hepatitis A.

Type B, C – also does not require specialized treatment. It can be treated with antiviral drugs and by minimizing bothersome symptoms. Usually these two types are long-lasting and the person stays with them forever. Such persons should be checked regularly (annual check-ups). Type B virus can be prevented by vaccination.

Some people who do not follow a diet and abuse alcohol may develop cirrhosis of the liver and, in severe conditions, may require a life-saving transplant.

Type D – present, and there are no drugs for this type of inflammation. Interferon can be used which shows slight improvement. To prevent this disease, you should be vaccinated against the type B virus.

Type E – usually resolves spontaneously, there are no specialized medications. It is recommended to drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol.

Autoimmune hepatitis – corticosteroids administered.

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