What is Hepatitis? - Everything You Need to Know About it

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Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of
hepatitis in the world but other infections, toxic substances (e.g. alcohol, certain drugs), and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.

There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. These 5 types are of greatest concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause and the potential for
outbreaks and epidemic spread. In particular, types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.

Submitted: June 26, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 25, 2018



Viral hepatitis is an infectious type of pathology that targets the entire liver and subsequently leads to an inflammatory process of the tissues of this organ. There is no restriction on the age category or sex, it can affect both men and women and children. The main source of the disease is a virus that penetrates the body of a healthy person by transferring it from an infected patient. For each type of disease has its own mechanism for the transition of the virus. Types of hepatitis will be considered in this article.


To date, differentiate seven types of hepatitis. They are denoted by Latin letters: A, B, C, D, E, G, F. Consider which types of hepatitis are the most dangerous, how can they become infected, but first we note that the symptomatology is often not specific, so only one observation of clinical signs to establish a correct diagnosis, usually does not work. Laboratory tests are used to determine the types of viral influence, but instrumental diagnostics may be required as an add-on. The methods of treatment are mostly conservative, although in some situations a decision can be made about the necessary surgical intervention.

The incubation period

Types of hepatitis and ways of infection are of interest to many ordinary citizens. Knowing how you can pick up this ailment is very important, as it will help to avoid infection. Like any other disease, this or that disease can manifest itself, both acute and chronic. Depending on which of the viruses entered the human body, the duration of the incubation period of the disease will vary:

  • hepatitis A - from two weeks to six;

  • hepatitis B - from eight to twenty-four weeks;

  • hepatitis C - from two weeks to one hundred and fifty days;

  • hepatitis D - from twenty to one hundred and eighty days;

  • hepatitis E - from two to eight weeks; hepatitis G - one month;

  • hepatitis F - no more than twenty-eight days.

Hepatitis types and common symptoms

There are several classification categories for viral hepatitis, the first of which involves the division of diseases depending on the process of its course, namely:

  • Acute hepatitis, lasting up to a maximum of three months. This category includes infection type A.

  • Prolonged, lasting up to six months. Among this variety it is customary to isolate hepatitis C, E and B.

  • Chronic types of viral hepatitis, which occur more than half a year, include hepatitis G, D, B, F and C.


Each species of this disease has its own clinical picture. But there are a number of signs that can be observed in the initial stages of all types of hepatitis:


Hepatitis A

The most typical symptoms observed against the background of viral hepatitis "A":

  • strong heaviness in the abdomen, which is most noticeable after eating;

  • nausea, almost always ending with profuse and severe vomiting;

  • pronounced pain in the area under the right ribs;

  • enlargement of the size of the diseased organ, which can easily be determined by palpation.


Hepatitis B

Among the clinical symptoms of hepatitis B, doctors note:

  • a sharp aversion and aversion to any smell of food;

  • significant change in spleen volume;

  • poor sleep;

  • a feeling of dryness in the mouth;

  • presence of heaviness in the head;

  • frequent attacks of nausea, which can sometimes lead to vomiting;

  • skin itching without having a reason.


Hepatitis C

This type of disease differs in that it occurs without the presence of pronounced symptoms. True, sometimes it can be:

  • prolonged headaches;

  • lack of sleep;

  • complete intolerance of previously loved foods;

  • an increase in the size of the liver, which causes a tangible discomfort in the right hypochondrium;

  • disturbance of the stool.

Recall, the way of infection of hepatitis type C is direct contact with infected blood and unprotected sexual intercourse.


Hepatitis E

The symptoms accompanying viral hepatitis D and G are completely identical to the clinical picture of infection of type B. The defeat of the liver against the background of the presence of hepatitis E has the following distinctive symptoms:

  • a sharp drop in blood pressure;

  • permanent nasal congestion;

  • Persecution in the throat and cough;

  • bouts of periodic nausea;

  • weakness and weakness in well-being;

  • hepatosplenomegaly.


Hepatitis F

Viral hepatitis F is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • increased sweating;

  • chills;

  • bleeding gums;

  • depressive conditions;

  • bloating;

  • stool disorder;

  • severe dizziness;

  • enlargement of the liver in size.


Treatment of viral hepatitis

Types of hepatitis and ways of transmission of infection have been studied for a long time. This allowed us to develop an effective treatment algorithm. Conservative methods of therapy include:

  • taking medications;

  • observance of a sparing diet, all patients suffering from viral hepatitis are prescribed diet number five;

  • physiotherapeutic measures and procedures;

  • use of recipes from the field of traditional medicine, but only after a preliminary medical consultation.

Drug treatment of viral hepatitis is prescribed in strictly individual treatment for each patient. As a rule, the following are used:

  • hepatoprotectors;

  • antiviral substances;

  • immunomodulators;

  • vitamin complexes;

  • cholagogue;

  • drugs that stabilize the work of the gastrointestinal system;

  • painkillers.


Possible complications

The asymptomatic nature of the disease, ignoring the signs that appear, as well as untimely contact with a doctor for the treatment of viral hepatitis often leads to life-threatening complications, including:

  • cirrhosis of the liver;

  • encephalopathy of the hepatic type;

  • occurrence of oncological processes;

  • hepatic coma and kidney failure.


Prevention of hepatitis

No matter how dangerous and different are the types of hepatitis, prevention can always help to avoid the appearance of ailment. All preventive measures are divided into specific and nonspecific. The first category of preventive measures of viral hepatitis involves the implementation of vaccination. It is important to emphasize that in our time there is an inoculation only from hepatitis A and B. The remaining varieties of the disease require compliance with the following general rules:

  • maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle;

  • the implementation of all necessary safety rules during contact with any human body fluids, as well as in the treatment of infected patients;

  • food exclusively tested products;

  • the ban on the use of household items of an infected person;

  • having sex only if they have the necessary protection;

  • the constant passage of various preventive medical observations.

Thus, it is necessary to emphasize that only viral hepatitis A and E have a favorable prognosis, since after recovery, life-long immunity to this disease is developed in patients. The most dangerous types are B and C, as they lead to recurrences and chronic diseases. In addition, any acute form of viral hepatitis can cause death. The article described types of hepatitis, treatment, prevention.

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