Hepatitis

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Hepatitis

 

Hepatitis is a very contagious viral disease, involving inflammation

of the liver.

What to look for

 

Many off the cases of hepatitis go undiagnosed because the disease is mistaken for the flu or because there are no symptoms at all.

Abdominal pain
Rash
Loss of appetite
Muscle or joint aches
Mild fever
Nausea and vomiting
Fatigue
Hepatitis, is the general term that means inflammation of the liver, relates to a group of viral disorders commonly known as hepatitis A, B, C, with new forms appearing. There is another type of hepatitis that is brought on through alcohol abuse or the use of drugs or by chemicals.
Hepatitis is highly common and it can often go undiagnosed because
It is normally mistaken for the flu. Hepatitis is very serious because it interferes with the liver's many vital functions.
This virus can be transmitted in many ways, but they al have one thing in common.... they infect and damage the liver in some way. Usually the worst is over in just a few weeks but it is not completely gone for about nine weeks. and after the disease has run its course. the person has a lifelong immunity to it. Only seldom is the disease fatal in the beginning phase of the disease.
Others people may develop chronic hepatitis, in which the liver remains inflamed for six months or even more. This condition can lead to cirrhosis and possibly death.

Causes

 

The affect that the different strands of hepatitis have on the liver are similar. But, the way in which the disease can be contracted differs with each strand..

Hepatitis A is caused by a virus and is transmitted by food and drink. It causes fever, sickness and the yellowing of the skin known as jaundice, which mayu last up to three weeks. It is rarely serious, but is frequently followed by a period of post viral depression and your doctor should be informed.

The much more serious hepatitis B, also a virus infection, is spread by sexual intercourse and by infected blood and blood products, syringes or needles and drug addicts who share syringes are particularly vulnerable. It’s symptoms- headaches, fever, chills,. General debility and jaundice - appear suddenly after an incubation period of one to six months. Even with treatment, recovery may be slow or incomplete - and in about one case in ten the disease is fatal.
Hepatitis C is normally spread the same way as hepatitis B. But hospitals now screen for this disease and it has been greatly reduced as a result. Hepatitis C only cause mild symptoms or none at all. In a third of all hepatitis C cases, the source of the diseases is unknown. A simple blood test will determine whether you have the disease or not as well as which type of hepatitis. After the symptoms have vanished another blood may need to be taken to determine if you are a carrier of the disease.

Dietary Considerations

It has been said that large doses of Vitamin C will help hepatitis. Another vitamin which can be of benefit is beta-carotene (a vitamin A derivative). The B complex, vitamin E and the mineral chromium. You should also try food supplements such as lecithin, nutritional yeast, freeze-dried liver tablets, oyster extract. Possible herbs which can help are Echinacea, dandelion root, goldenseal, milk thistle.

Prevention

 

The keys to avoiding hepatitis are vaccinations, good hygiene, and informed common sense.

Healthcare workers who are involved in the treatment of patients with hepatitis B, C should always wash their hands, bedding, clothing and utensils with soap and hot water, especially in the first two weeks of illness, this is when the patient is the most contagious. Before traveling to hepatitis prone countries make sure that you are immunized before you go.

When to seek further professional advice

 

When your flu like symptoms remain or you notice any of the more serious symptoms
If a friend or family member comes down with hepatitis
If your symptoms follow a visit to a country where hepatitis is common and you have not been
vaccinated.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

 

You must always seek professional advice with the use of natural therapies and this disease - in most cases, these therapies will be beneficial but it is very possible that it will worsen the condition with the wrong medications or mixtures.

Homoeopathy - sometimes prescribe Phosphorus to help reduce liver inflammation and to help relieve the symptoms of hepatitis. The other remedies are Taraxacum officinale, Lycopodium, and Chelidonium majus, depending on the persons symptoms. You must consult a professional homoeopath for the exact products and dosages.

Traditional Treatment

The most conventional approach is to treat the disease with rest and proper diet and to ensure that it does not spread. And by limiting your activity normally will make you feel much better. But under all circumstances try to avoid contact with others to keep the virus from spreading.

Good nutrition is a very important part of treatment for all types of hepatitis. In most of the cases eating properly means a simple regimen of nutritious, well-balanced meals that supple adequate calories. Treatment for toxic, drug and alcoholic related hepatitis is normally the same as that for viral hepatitis although hospitalization is more common for non viral hepatitis. By simply removing the offending toxic, drug or drink will help the patient recover enormously. You should always avoid drinking alcohol during the acute stage of this disease to help your liver. Only serious cases of hepatitis will require hospitalization. Normally home care is sufficient. Most people recover completely from hepatitis. There may be mild flare-ups that may happen over a period of several months as the disease is subsiding, but each gets better than the previous one. Do not concern yourself if you have a relapse, this does not mean you are doomed to a life of enduring this disease, this is quite normal.

If a mother gives birth and she is infected with hepatitis B, it is likely that the baby will catch the disease at birth. A hepatitis B vaccine is now available which will reduce the chance if given to the baby immediately after delivery. You should always continue to see your doctor regularly for checkups until you blood tests show the virus has gone. A person can remain a carrier of the disease as long as the virus is present in the blood, even if all symptoms have disappeared.

The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-22