The liver is a powerhouse of an organ. It performs a large number of essential tasks, ranging from producing proteins, cholesterol, and bile to retaining vitamins, minerals, and even carbohydrates.
So, it is indeed necessary to keep it functioning well, right?
Would you like to know more about your liver? Then do read!
What Is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis relates to an inflammatory condition of the liver. A viral infection commonly causes it, but there are other possible hepatitis causes.
These involve autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary effect of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol. Autoimmune hepatitis is an ailment that happens when your body makes antibodies toward your liver tissue.
Your liver is placed in the right upper region of your abdomen. It offers several vital functions that affect metabolism throughout your body, including:
- Bile production, which is essential to digestion, filtering of toxins from your body.
- Excretion of bilirubin (a product of old red blood cells), cholesterol, hormones, and drugs.
- Breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
- Activation of enzymes, which are specific proteins essential to body functions
- Storage of glycogen (it is a form of sugar), minerals, and also vitamins (A, D, E, and K).
- Synthesis of blood proteins, such as albumin combination of clotting factors.
What Are The Different Types Of Hepatitis?
Viral hepatitis is a liver disease that causes inflammation and injury. 5 viruses cause viral hepatitis, Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A and E viruses can cause serious diseases (infections that last less than 6 months).
Hepatitis B, C, and hepatitis D viruses can cause acute and chronic (persisting longer than 6 months and typically continuing) liver infections.
It’s important to understand each type of viral hepatitis to be proactive against transmission and if you become infected, it’s reasonable to be co-infected with more than one type of hepatitis at the same time.
Know the risk circumstances, get tested, and receive vaccines for Hepatitis A and B. There are no vaccines for Hepatitis C, D, and E.
Hepatitis A (HAV)
Hepatitis A is an acute infection. The patient typically recovers without treatment. Hepatitis A is caused by eating spoiled food, or taking water, through an infected person’s stool, or by anal-oral contact while having sex.
Be proactive by getting the Hepatitis vaccine and practice reliable hygiene and handwashing to decrease your risk.
Hepatitis B (HBV)
Hepatitis B can cause serious or lead to chronic infection. Hep B is spread by touch with an infected person’s blood, semen, or other body fluid.
With the Hepatitis B virus, the virus can cause severe liver damage and likely cancer. Blood banks now screen all blood and also blood products for hepatitis viruses. In a few acute cases, patients can clear the virus but chronic diseases can happen.
While there is a treatment for Hep B to help suppress the virus, there is no cure. It is highly suggested to get the vaccine for Hepatitis B.
Hepatitis C (HCV)
Hepatitis C can cause serious or chronic infection which can lead to liver injury from mild to severe scarring (cirrhosis) and a big risk for liver cancer.
Hepatitis C is the head cause for liver transplants in the U.S. Hep C is transferred in the same way as Hep B. Blood banks now screen for Hepatitis C, greatly decreasing the spread of the virus through blood products.
There is no vaccine for Hep C but there are a kind of treatment possibilities with a high cure rate. Hep C is often known as the “silent killer” due to signs don’t usually show up until severe liver damage has been done. Be proactive and be examined and endeavor initial treatment.
Hepatitis D (HDV)
Hepatitis D is a virus that can survive while being contaminated with Hepatitis B at the same time, meaning this is a co-infection.
A superinfection can occur if you previously have chronic Hep B and then become infected with Hep D. Hepatitis D is transferred in the same way as Hep B, and Hep C. See risk factors above.
While there is no vaccine for Hepatitis D directly, be proactive and get the vaccine for Hep B to decrease your options of infection with Hepatitis D.
Hepatitis E (HEV)
Hepatitis E is a virus much like Hep A in that it is typically transferred by consuming contaminated water, or by an infected person’s stool, oral-anal connection. It can also be transmitted by consuming undercooked pork or wild game.
Hepatitis E can cause swelling of the liver, but usually no long-term damage. Hepatitis E does not typically happen in the U.S.
While there is no vaccine for Hep E is recommended to practice safe hygiene and avoid drinking tap water when traveling internationally.
What Causes The Different Types Of Hepatitis?
The different type of virus that’s causing your hepatitis influences how severe your infection is and how severe it lasts.
- Hepatitis A. You generally get it when you eat or drink something that’s got the infection in it. It’s the least risky type because it almost always gets great on its own. It doesn’t drive to long-term inflammation of your liver.
Even so, about 20% of the people who get hepatitis A get sick sufficient that they need to go to the hospital. There’s a vaccine that can avoid it.
- Hepatitis B. This type spreads in different ways. You can get it from sex with someone who’s sick or by transferring a needle when utilizing street drugs. The virus also can transfer from a mother to her newborn child at birth or soon afterward.
Most adults with hepatitis B get better, but a little percentage can’t shake the disorder and become carriers, which means they can transmit it to others even when their signs disappear.
- Hepatitis C. You get this type if you have direct contact with contaminated blood or needles managed to inject illegal drugs or draw tattoos.
Sometimes you don’t get any signs, or just mild ones. But in some cases, hepatitis C starts to cirrhosis, a risky scarring of your liver.
- Hepatitis D occurs only if you’re already infected with hepatitis B. It tends to make that disorder more severe. It’s spread from mother to child and by sex.
- Hepatitis E mainly carries in Asia, Mexico, India, and Africa. The few cases that give up in the U.S. are generally in people who return from a country where there are outbreaks of the condition.
Like hepatitis A, you generally get it by consuming or drinking something that’s been contaminated with the virus.
What Are The Common Symptoms Of Hepatitis?
If you have infectious forms of hepatitis that are chronic, like hepatitis B and hepatitis C, you may not have signs in the beginning. Hepatitis symptoms may not happen until the damage affects liver function.
Signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis develop quickly. They include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Loss of appetite
- Dark urine
- Pale stool
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Yellow skin and eyes, which may be symptoms of jaundice
Chronic hepatitis happens gently, so these signs and symptoms may be too subtle to mention.
What Are The Treatments Used For Hepatitis?
Some types and cases of hepatitis can recover without intervention, but sometimes it can progress to scarring of the liver, or cirrhosis.
There is no special treatment for HAV. The doctor will give advise the patient to abstain from alcohol and also drugs during the recovery. Most of the patients with hepatitis A will recover without intervention.
A patient suffering from HBV requires to rest and stop completely from alcohol. The health care professional may prescribe an antiviral agent called interferon, or other antiviral suppressive therapies.
A patient who is with hepatitis C will be prescribed a few antiviral agents, with or without ribavirin.
Some directed antivirals and combination therapies are now ready to treat the hepatitis C virus based on its subtype. These treatments target viral replication and stop the infection from being able to reproduce. When taken precisely, the cure rate is very high.
These medications can be expensive, and insurers may have special criteria for hepatitis treatment.
Few Points To Remember
Bed rest, refraining from alcohol and taking medication to assist relieve symptoms.
Most people who have hepatitis A and E get well on their own after a few weeks.
What Are The Foods To Include And Avoid For Hepatitis?
Foods To Include:
People with hepatitis require to follow a healthy lifestyle to lessen damage to the liver. Start protecting your liver by paying more concentration to nutrition.
Include The Following:
- Lots of fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains like oats, brown rice, barley, and quinoa
- Lean protein like fish, skinless chicken, egg whites, and beans
- Low-fat or non-fat dairy products
- Healthy fats such as those in nuts, avocados, and olive oil.
“That’s what you require to eat, a mixed diet including those components. “And a dinner plate should include one-quarter of the plate should contain high-fiber carbohydrates such as whole grains, one-quarter should consist lean protein sources, and the left half should contain fruits and vegetables.”
To support your body better process food and function at its best, you also require to ensure you drink plenty of fluids. Water is better than caffeinated beverages like coffee and cola.
Aim to drink 1 ounce of liquid for each and every 2 pounds of body weight every day; that means if you weigh 180 pounds, you need to drink 90 ounces of water or about 11 8-ounce glasses.
Foods To Avoid:
Keep in the thought that an unhealthy diet can supply to liver damage. If you overeat high-calorie greasy, fatty, or sugary food, you’ll obtain weight and fat will start to build up in your liver.
A “fatty liver” can commit to promoting cirrhosis, or scarring, of the liver. Fat in your liver can also conflict with the effectiveness of drugs that target the hepatitis infection.
Avoid The Following:
- Saturated fats obtained in butter, sour cream, and other high-fat dairy foods, fatty cuts of meat, and fried foods
- Sugary surprises like cookies, cake, soda, and packaged baked assets
- Foods densely laced with salt
Many specialists suggest that hepatitis patients also avoid raw or undercooked shellfish, which can hide viruses and also bacteria.
You may examine limiting your consumption of processed foods as well since they can include artificial additives and huge levels of salt.
Remember The Basics
Healthful foods. Your body requires good nutrition whether you have chronic hepatitis or not. To accomplish good nutrition means that you’re making the nutrients you require (vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber) from the foods you consume.
The quality and types of foods are essential: fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats (chicken, turkey, pork) and also whole grains (barley, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal).
Exercise. Simultaneously with nutrition, exercise is a fundamental part of good health. Some of the current symptoms correlated with chronic hepatitis in the setting of no cirrhosis or cirrhosis that isn’t too advanced, such as fatigue or sad mood, may be improved with regular, moderate exercise.
You should begin any exercise program regularly and, depending on your level of health, under a trainer’s guidance. Most exercise, however, little the amount, is very helpful to your health and well-being. It is an outstanding complement to good nutrition.
Most people with hepatitis will not have to follow a special diet unless their liver is badly damaged. However, a healthful diet can maintain control hepatitis C and prevent problems and related conditions from the beginning.
It is especially essential to avoid fatty foods and alcohol if a person is worried about their liver health. A doctor or dietitian can assist an individual to develop a personalized diet plan that works for them.