Hepatitis Causing Viruses (Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E)

Liver disease viral hepatitis

Liver problems can be caused due to many reasons. some of which may include consumption of alcohol, obesity (accumulation of fat in the liver), excessive use of certain medications, and viruses. Let us try to understand the different types of viruses that cause liver diseases. The disease progresses silently. However, there are some common signs and symptoms of liver disease – such as:

  • Yellow eyes and skin
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen legs
  • Dark colored urine

The viruses that cause liver disease can spread through blood, semen, impure water, or through contact with the person who is infected. The other causes of liver diseases may include:

  • Sharing of needles while being injected
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Family history     

Liver Disease Viral Hepatitis                      

Hepatitis A – This type of liver disease spreads through contaminated food and water. It can also spread through dirty hands when the infected person cooks food for other family members. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, low-grade fever, and loss of appetite. A person with hepatitis A must get the proper intake of water eat a balanced diet and avoid the consumption of alcohol. Rest, medication and comprehensive treatment ensure complete recovery within a few months.

Hepatitis B – it is caused when the virus (HBV) is transmitted from one person to the other. It spreads through blood (use of unsterile syringes, needles, and blood transfusion), semen, and other body fluids. Chronic HBV infections may lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure.  Hepatitis B can be easily prevented by getting vaccinated. It is the most common vaccine-preventable liver disease.

Hepatitis C – Hepatitis c is also caused by a virus (HCV) that attacks the liver and causes inflammation.  People who are infected by hepatitis c are unaware as there are no symptoms. The appearance of symptoms may take many years.

symptoms may include – loss of body weight, dark color urine, and easy bruising.

It can be prevented by avoiding the usage of illicit drugs and avoiding unprotected sex. Be careful while getting a piercing or while getting tattooing done.

Hepatitis D – may be caused if you have hepatitis b. The infection can be an acute, short-term or long-term, and chronic liver disease. It is a serious liver disease and may lead to lifelong liver damage.

Symptoms may include

  • Dark colored urine
  • Tiredness
  • Yellow eyes and skin
  • Pain in belly

There is no vaccine to prevent liver disease and viral hepatitis D.

Hepatitis E – The common cause of hepatitis E is contaminated drinking water.

Symptoms may include

  • jaundice
  • stomach pain
  • loss of appetite

Many people with hepatitis E do not have any symptoms, especially children. It resolves on its own within five to six weeks with supportive care, rehydration, rest, and medication.

Prevention of Hepatitis

  • Avoid excess alcohol consumption
  • Follow a balanced diet
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Manage a proper body weight
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Wash your hands with soap and water it prevents the spread of hepatitis A & E.

Avoid eating too many refined sugars as they may lead to fat build-up in the liver and can cause liver diseases.

Use medications judiciously

Don’t share items like syringes, needles, razors, and blades because hepatitis B and C – both serious and infectious liver diseases spread through blood and body fluids. Avoid high-risk sexual activities and multiple sex partners.

Be careful! Some drugs, dietary supplements, and herbs can damage your liver. For instance, comfrey, kava, and ephedra are known to cause liver damage.

Don’t breathe in toxins – home cleaning products, aerosol products, and some insecticides have chemicals that can damage your liver – avoid such products.

If you have any additional concerns regarding liver disease or viral hepatitis, then contact Dr. Datta Ram U

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