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HEPATITIS

– inflammation of the liver.
– a viral infection of the liver.

CAUSED BY:
Immune cells in the body attacking the liver and causing autoimmune hepatitis
Infections from viruses (such as hepatitis A, B, or C), bacteria, or parasites
Liver damage from alcohol, poisonous mushrooms, or other poisons
Medications, such as an overdose of acetaminophen, which can be deadly

Types and Risks for infection

  1. Alcoholic hepatitis
  2. Autoimmune hepatitis
  3. Delta agent (hepatitis D)
  4. Drug-induced hepatitis

Hepatitis A
contact with infected feces, food and water

Hepatitis B
contact with infected blood
infected secretions or body fluids
parenteral exposure (needle sticks)

Hepatitis C
contact with infected blood
infected secretions or body fluids
parenteral exposure (needle sticks)

Hepatitis D
contact with infected blood
infected secretions or body fluids
parenteral exposure (needle sticks)

Hepatitis E
contact with infected feces, food and water

Assessment:

Hepatitis may start and get better quickly (acute hepatitis), or cause long-term disease (chronic hepatitis). In some instances, it may lead to liver damage, liver failure, or even liver cancer.

How severe hepatitis is depends on many factors, including the cause of the liver damage and any illnesses you have. Hepatitis A, for example, is usually short-term and does not lead to chronic liver problems.

Preicteric Phase
Fatigue
Nausea & Vomiting
Weigh Loss

Icteric Phase
Urine is dark
Jaundice
Hepatomegaly

Posticteric Phase
Condition is improving

General Symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain or distention
  • Breast development in males
  • Dark urine and pale or clay-colored stools
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, usually low-grade
  • General itching
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss

Many people with hepatitis B or C do not have symptoms when they are first infected. They can still develop liver failure later. If you have any risk factors for either type of hepatitis, you should be tested regularly.

Diagnostics:
Enlarged and tender liver
Fluid in the abdomen (ascites) that can become infected
Yellowing of the skin
Your doctor may order laboratory tests to diagnose and monitor the hepatitis, including:
Abdominal ultrasound
Autoimmune blood markers
Hepatitis virus serologies
Liver function tests
Liver biopsy to check for liver damage
Paracentesis if fluid is in your abdomen

Treatment
Your doctor will discuss possible treatments with you, depending on the cause of your liver disease. Your doctor may recommend a high-calorie diet if you are losing weight.

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