The year 2016 marks the 6th anniversary of World Hepatitis Day, observed on 28th July each year. It was first started in the year 2011 with the aim to eliminate Hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. Each year focuses on a specific theme and the theme of this year is ‘Prevent Hepatitis: It’s up to you. World Hepatitis Day provides an opportunity to focus on raising awareness of the different forms of hepatitis and how they are transmitted & treated.
Liver is the largest organ inside the human body, helping in the digestion of food, storing energy and removing toxins from the body. The liver is located in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. It performs many critical functions that affect metabolism throughout the body, including activation of enzymes, storage of glycogen, minerals, synthesis of clotting factors and much more. When the liver gets inflammation, the condition is widely known as Hepatitis. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis or the liver cancer. Viral infections of the liver that are classified as hepatitis include hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.
Hepatitis A is a milder version of the disease, and hepatitis C and D are more chronic. Treatment options vary, depending on what form of hepatitis one has and what caused the infection. One can prevent some forms of hepatitis through vaccinations or lifestyle precautions.
- Fatigue Jaundice,
- Yellowing of skin and eyes
- Pale stool
- Dark urine
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
Many times, hepatitis goes away by itself. If it does not, it can be treated with drugs. Sometimes, hepatitis lasts a lifetime. Vaccines can help prevent some of the viral forms of Hepatitis. However, one can take the following steps to prevent Hepatitis:-
- Maintain a good hygiene
- Use only your individual drug needles or razors
- Use only your own toothbrush
- Immune yourself against the disease
Hepatitis is treated by determining the type of hepatitis one has and whether the infection is acute or chronic.
Hepatitis A– Hepatitis A is usually not treated, however, bed rest is advised in this case if symptoms cause discomfort to the patient. Vaccination can also prevent Hepatitis A infections by helping the body to produce the antibodies that fight the virus.
Hepatitis B– Acute hepatitis B doesn’t require specific treatment, however, chronic hepatitis B is treated with antiviral medications and its vaccination is also available.
Hepatitis C– Antiviral medications are used to treat both the acute and chronic forms of hepatitis C. This viral disease is treated with a combination of antiviral drug therapies. In some cases, patients may also go for a liver transplant. Hepatitis D-
Hepatitis D- is cured with a medication called alpha interferon. According to a study, this form of Hepatitis is repetitive in nature.
Hepatitis E– Currently, there are no specific medical therapies to treat hepatitis E, as it usually resolves on its own. In this case, patients are often advised to get adequate rest, drink plenty of fluids, get enough nutrients and avoid alcohol.
Hepatitis can be cured in most of the cases, as it is not fatal. There is no need to worry about this disease. Be aware, have the courage and fight Hepatitis.