Hepatitis With GastroMed Connect

What is hepatitis?

Around the globe, nearly 300 million people are going about their lives without the knowledge that they have a condition known as viral hepatitis. Hepatitis, broken down to its most simple definition, is inflammation or swelling of the liver. The most common types are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. These three variations of hepatitis are defined in reference to the type of virus that results in the inflammation of the liver. Each variation of viral hepatitis can nearly be regarded as a unique disease given that each type responds to distinct treatment approaches. If you or a member of your family may have, or have been diagnosed with a type of hepatitis, get in touch with GastroMed Connect. Our experienced GI experts treat patients with hepatitis in Kyle, TX.

Hepatitis A (HAV)

The type known as hepatitis A (HAV) is known to be extremely transmittable and typically infects individuals that ingest food or beverages that have been exposed to fecal excrements or another individual that has the disease. While extremely infectious, it is not as dangerous when compared to the other forms. Hepatitis A is preventable by a vaccine and can be addressed by a medical practitioner.

If you have hepatitis A, you could have symptoms that include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark-colored urine (Jaundice)
  • Appetite loss
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Exhaustion
  • Unwanted weight loss
  • Fever
  • A yellowing of the eyes and/or skin

The standard treatment intervention for hepatitis A is to rest, stay well-hydrated, and avoid alcoholic drinks. The majority of cases of hepatitis A will clear up on their own. To avoid contracting hepatitis A, you can schedule a hepatitis A vaccination from your doctor or our Kyle, TX gastroenterology practice.

Hepatitis B (HBV)

The variation of the virus referred to as hepatitis B (HBV) is a more serious type of viral hepatitis. In the absence of medical care, it can potentially lead to liver failure and even liver cancer. If adults get HBV, their bodies can often fight it off over the course of a few months. Once the virus has waned, an immunity develops. When people get hepatitis B during birth, however, the condition is unlikely to subside. HBV is typically transmitted through saliva, sexual fluids, blood, using a contaminated needle, or if your mother had hepatitis B while pregnant with you.

Common symptoms and signs of hepatitis B involve:

  • Fever
  • Appetite loss
  • Aching joints
  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Light-colored stool
  • Vomiting

If you have been infected by the hepatitis B virus, please see your physician or contact GastroMed Connect as soon as you can. The earlier you get care, the better. Your healthcare practitioner will likely advise a vaccine for hepatitis B and further antiviral medication.

Hepatitis C (HCV)

Commonly transmitted through bodily fluids (such as blood), hepatitis C (HCV) is an additional virus that can cause harm to the liver. It can develop into two separate types, acute hepatitis C or chronic hepatitis C.

  • Acute hepatitis C is less serious and commonly lasts for six months. Following the six-month time period, the majority of individuals’ natural immune response will overcome the viral infection.
  • Chronic hepatitis C develops when a patient’s body cannot stave off the viral infection within the first six months and the virus lingers in the body for an extended timeframe. This may result in chronic medical concerns, such as liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.

The most common hepatitis C signs and symptoms involve:

  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Itchy skin
  • Bruise easily
  • Bleed easily
  • Slurred speech
  • Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes, dark urine)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Severe exhaustion
  • Joint pain
  • Undesired weight loss
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Confusion

The treatment cure rate of hepatitis C is over 90%. Routine treatments for HCV include:

  • Antiviral medications
  • Liver transplant (chronic hepatitis C)