What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a collective term for medical conditions that result in the inflammation of the liver. In hepatitis, there is presence of inflammatory cells in the organ as a result of injury from medications, infection and other toxins that may affect the liver. Hepatitis caused by virus is usually self-limiting, but other incidences of hepatitis led to cirrhosis and liver damage.

Hepatitis may be acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis occurs for less than 6 months while chronic hepatitis occurs longer than 6 months.

What Causes hepatitis?

Causes of hepatitis may vary including:

  • Virus
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Protozoa
  • Parasites
  • Algae
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Drugs or drug overdose
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Metabolic diseases

Viral Hepatitis specifically has 4 subtypes including:

a.Hepatitis A – This is a type of viral hepatitis that is transmitted through oral-fecal route from contaminated foods and beverages.

b.Hepatitis B – This is transmitted through contact with blood or body fluids infected with hepatitis B virus.

c.Hepatitis C – This type of hepatitis is similar to hepatitis B. It can also be transmitted through fecal-oral route.

d.Delta Hepatitis – Delta hepatitis coexists with hepatitis B and is only transmitted through blood contact.

Symptoms of hepatitis

Hepatitis symptoms are subdivided into acute and chronic, which include:

Acute Hepatitis – Acute hepatitis may be asymptomatic especially among young patients. Acute hepatitis signs and symptoms may include:

  • Malaise
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Anorexia or loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice or yellowish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Abdominal Pain

Chronic Hepatitis – Signs of hepatitis may be more advanced in chronic hepatitis. These include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Swelling of the liver as manifested by abdominal enlargement
  • Jaundice
  • Weight loss
  • Edema
  • Ascites or accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal space in the abdomen
  • Bleeding tendencies
  • Easy bruising

When hepatitis is not treated, it may lead to cirrhosis and permanent liver damage that may require liver transplantation.

If you’re worried about Hepatitis please contact Better2Know on the number above to book your confidential appointment for a Hepatitis test at one of our many clinics throughout the UK.

Contact Better2Know
0207 099 0955

Lines are open 24/7. Click to call.

Or click to Book Online now