Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by different causes. It may be a disease that can be cured quickly with no lasting effects on the body or become a chronic disease. In this case , there is a danger of a progressive degeneration of the liver that can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure or cancer.
Hepatitis is a very common disease worldwide and is the leading cause of liver malfunction and often need a transplant.
Types of hepatitis
A) The main types of hepatitis are viral hepatitis, that's to say hepatitis caused by viruses. There are viruses A, B, C, D, E and G, the three first are the most common:
- Hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis) It is the one with type A virus in the feces of an infected person. It is the most common type of hepatitis . It is transmitted through infected food, direct contact with infected people, blood form infected people or secretions or drinking water contaminated with stool from someone infected.
It does not produce carriers, that's to say persons who are capable of transmitting the disease once they have passed it. It usually occurs between 14 and 40 days after infection and usually lasts two months. There is no vaccine for this disease.
- Hepatitis B(acute hepatitis) It is that produced by infection with the hepatitis B virus. It can be transmitted by blood, through sexual contact and from mother to fetus. It is very common in people who exchange syringes and can be transmitted through wounds made with infected objects. It is a type of infection that has an incubation period that can last to half a year.
It leaves a large number of patients as carriers, meaning they are capable of transmitting the disease because they become chronic. It can evolve into liver cancer or cirrhosis. It is a more serious disease than the previous because 1% of patients of hepatitis B usually die during it's peak period of the same. It is the leading cause of liver cancer. There is no vaccine for this disease.
- Hepatitis C: (serum hepatitis) It is caused by the infection of hepatitis C virus (HCV) . It is transmitted by transfusions and through contact with infected blood through the mouth and genitalia, when not adequate preventive methods are taken .
A sick mother can transmit it to the fetus at delivery if the needed remedies are not applied. This type of hepatitis is most likely to end up producing chronic carriers of the virus who can easily infect other people.
- Hepatitis D (Delta Hepatitis) It is produced by the D virus that is spread along with hepatitis B, emphasizing its chronicity and making the hepatitis B even more destructive to the liver.
- Hepatitis E: (Viral hepatitis E) It is produced by the hepatitis E virus, which has two variants, one Asian and one Mexican. It is spread when feces come into contact with the mouth.
It occurs in countries with poor hygiene and causes a very severe, although brief, infection of the liver. I is responsible at times for a very acute liver infection that can cause death. It does not make any carriers once cured.
- Hepatitis G: (Hepatitis GB) is caused by the hepatitis G virus . It is a disease that often becomes chronic and carriers can easily infect other people . It is transmitted through blood. It especially appears in patients who have to undergo transfusions or dialysis. It is usually very severe and of short duration but in some cases it is responsible for permanent hepatic failure.
B) Besides viral hepatitis, we have to consider non- viral hepatitis that correspond to hepatitis caused by toxins, drugs, prolonged abuse of alcohol or by a disorder of the immune system.
Causes of hepatitis
The main causes of hepatitis are:
- Infection by viruses: These viruses, as we have seen before, produce the main types of hepatitis.
- Poisoning by chemicals : In addition to virus , there are a number of causes that can cause hepatitis. These include certain industrial toxic products or poisonous organisms, among which the most important ones are fungi, which produce the most serious causes of hepatitis.
- Poisoning by drugs: Certain medications, inappropriately used, can cause adverse reactions that can lead to liver inflammation. The inflammation usually resolves upon discontinuation of treatment of the drug that produced it.
- Liver autoimmune reaction: The immune system attacks the liver cells themselves. It can eventually produce hepatitis.
- Alcohol: Drinking alcohol in a non moderate way can produce an inflammation of the liver, that commonly leads to hepatitis.
Symptoms of hepatitis
Symptoms are common to all types of hepatitis : Yellowing of the skin (jaundice), lack of appetite, general fatigue, general itching , fever, feeling sick, very light yellow stools and dark urine.
In addition to these frequent symptoms hepatitis B include other ones as: stomach ache, general pain in the joints, the sensation of bad taste in the mouth or painful pressure on the liver. Many times patients with hepatitis B and C have no symptoms.
Diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis
Given the danger of this disease for the liver health and its power of contagion, in front of any suspicion of hepatitis, the first thing to do is to visit the doctor, so that, the correct diagnosis and proper treatment can be obtained.
Since there is no specific medication for treatment of hepatitis, diet , along with rest, the use of medicinal plants and abstaining from certain food products are configured as the principal remedies to cure hepatitis.
The natural treatment of hepatitis involves using a series of natural resources that help prevent it . They can also contribute to cure it or improve its symptoms.