What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is “a disease characterized by inflammation of the liver.” But in order for one to fully understand the impact that hepatitis can have on a person, he/she must first understand the liver’s functions in relation to the rest of his/her body. For it plays a significant role as it helps to maintain one’s health by “filtering the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body.”

As relates to these metabolic processes it “produces bile, which is essential to digestion; filters toxins from the body; breaks down carbs, fats, and proteins; activates enzymes, which are specialized proteins essential to body functions; stores glycogen (a form of sugar), minerals, and vitamins (A, D, E, and K),” etc. In turn, when the liver becomes inflamed – like it does with Hepatitis – these processes can then be at a standstill, and/or not take place as effectively as that of a healthy liver.

Some of the symptoms that one may experience is “fatigue, flu-like symptoms, dark urine, pale stool, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss; yellow skin and eyes which may be signs of jaundice;” etc. That’s why it’s so important that those who feel as though they may have it – or are at risk of having it – visit their local doctor. Treatment is solely dependent on what kind of Hepatitis that the person has.

Hepatitis A “usually doesn’t require treatment because it’s a short-term illness”. Chronic Hepatitis B is “treated with antiviral medications”, which is also the same for Hepatitis C. In regards to Hepatitis D, “a drug called alpha interferon can be used to treat hepatitis D, but it only shows improvement in about 25 to 30 percent of people.” Hepatitis E “typically resolves on its own. People with this type of infection are often advised to get adequate rest, drink plenty of fluids, get enough nutrients, and avoid alcohol.” And with Autoimmune Hepatitis certain immune-suppressing drugs are usually used for treatment.

In conclusion, treatment is offered, no matter what form of Hepatitis that the person has been diagnosed with. That’s why it’s important for those who are at risk to seek the help of someone in the medical field because the sooner that tests are run, the sooner that he/she can begin treatment – if it’s confirmed that he/she has it. This will ensure that the rest of the individual’s body is in good health, once his/her liver has resumed functioning properly.

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