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Hepatitis Causes and Prevention

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Hepatitis means inflammation of a person’s liver cells due to an injury to the liver. There are different types of hepatitis you can get that can be determined through a laboratory test. Hepatitis can heal on its own without the need of treatment, but in some cases, treatment is necessary since the virus causes a chronic infection. The main types of hepatitis are A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A, B, and C cause the most liver damage.

Hepatitis can be a symptom of another disease, and it is mainly a symptom of autoimmune diseases. The hepatitis is a disease that is mainly caused by a viral infection. Hepatitis often starts as an acute disease but can progress and become chronic if not detected early. The disease can cause liver cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer to the patient.

Causes of Hepatitis

Hepatitis can be caused by toxins from drugs, alcohol or other sources of toxins. It can also be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the liver. However, the most known common cause of hepatitis is a virus.

Hepatitis A and E are short term viral infections that are mainly transmitted through water or food that is contaminated by human or animal waste. Other sources of these forms of hepatitis include under cooked food or raw food that has not been handled in a hygienic way.

Hepatitis B can be spread through having direct contact with infected blood. It can also be sexually transmitted or spread to a child during childbirth.

Hepatitis C can be spread through direct contact with infected blood. It is rare for the disease to be spread from mother to child during childbirth or during sexual intercourse.

Hepatitis D can also be spread through infected blood. However, you can only get hepatitis D if you were infected with hepatitis B. Those who are at the greatest risk of getting the infection include drug users since most share needles. Other at-risk groups include those who have unprotected sex with multiple partners.

Prevention

New cases of hepatitis have been significantly reduced through vaccinations. There are vaccines available for prevention of hepatitis A and B. the vaccinations are effective in reducing the number of infections in children as well as adults.

Currently, there is no vaccine for hepatitis D. however; the disease can be prevented once you get immunized for hepatitis B.

Babies who are delivered to mothers suffering from hepatitis B should get the vaccine within 12 hours of birth to prevent them from getting infections.

Other things that can be done to prevent infection include the following:

  • Washing your hands and encouraging other people to do the same with water and soap after changing a diaper, after coming from using the bathroom and before handling any food.
  • Avoid eating raw foods from unknown places and always drink bottled, boiled or chemically treated water.
  • Practice safe sex. Using condoms goes a long way in preventing the spread of the infection.
  • Do not share sharp objects or toothbrushes.
  • When performing first aid, always wear gloves.
  • Disinfect all blood spills and wear gloves when cleaning up any body fluids.
  • Seek regular prenatal care when you are pregnant.

To reduce the risk of getting a non-viral type of hepatitis, avoid taking excessive alcohol. Also, consult a physician before starting a new prescription and on taking supplements. Hepatitis is a disease that needs to be taken seriously as it can cause severe damage to your liver.

 

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How to manage Hepatitis C


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Hepatitis C is a virus that is normally carried in the bloodstream to the liver. Then, it can affect and damage your liver. This virus can also affect other body parts, including the immune system, the digestive system, and the brain. Hepatitis C infection calls for proper and accurate medical attention, and failure to do so may not only aggravate the situation, but can be fatal as well.

For this article, the purpose is to show you how you can manage hepatitis C and avoid its grievous effects.

Practice Healthy Lifestyle Habits

There are things you can do in your everyday life to help limit any damage to the liver and prevent the infection from spreading to other body parts. They include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Healthy eating
  • Limiting your alcohol intake or avoiding it completely
  • Quitting smoking
  • Not sharing personal items, like toothbrushes and razors

Get Sufficient Sleep

Individuals suffering from hepatitis C normally have difficulty sleeping, particularly during treatment. These may not seem like a big deal to you, but you should realize that getting enough sleep is essential. Hepatitis C symptoms, such as fatigue, can worsen with sleep deprivation.

While there is no special treatment for hepatitis C-induced insomnia, there are measures you can take to ensure you have a good night’s rest:

  • Reserve your bedroom for sleep only – no electronic gadgets, work, pets etc.
  • Go to bed at the same and wake at the same time, every day.
  • Keep your bedroom cool.
  • Use soft fabrics for sheets, blankets, and pillows.
  • Avoid alcohol, large meals, and exercise with 2-3 hours of sleep time.
  • Skip naps.

Learn to Relax

Living with hepatitis C, as well as undergoing its treatment, can be tough, and it is easy to let your worries get to you. In fact, depression is always a risk when undergoing hepatitis C treatment. In order to fight anxiety and depression, you need to exercise regularly, as it helps your state of mind.

Try out some massage and relaxation techniques, as many people have benefited from them. Also, don’t live an isolated life. Hang out with friends and do things you enjoy. Never let your worries about hepatitis C prevent you from doing the things you have always done.

Use Hepatitis C Medications

Until recently, treatment for hepatitis C normally involved taking two primary medicines:

  • Ribavirin, which is an antiviral medication that prevents the virus from reproducing.
  • Pegylated interferon, which is a medication that stimulates the immune system to attack the virus.

These medications were usually just taken together. Nowadays, however, they are normally combined with a third medication, like sofosbuvir or simeprevir. These are newer hepatitis C medications, which have been proven to make treatment more effective.

In certain situations, you may take a combination of these newer medications without having to take ribavirin and/or pegylated interferon as well. Hepatitis C medications are normally taken as tablets 1-2 times a day, for 8-48 weeks, depending on your hepatitis C genotype, the exact medicine you are taking, as well as the severity of your condition.

Infection with Hepatitis is among the leading causes of ill health and mortality all over the world. As such, this condition needs to be accorded proper and accurate medical attention, lest it gets worse and even results in death. Fortunately, there is treatment for hepatitis C, some of which aren’t as complex as you may have thought them to be. If you follow the above hepatitis management practices, you’ll manage to avoid the complications associated with the infection.

 

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