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What are different treatment options available for hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a medical condition in which the liver cells are inflamed.

Overview
– The word hepatitis comes from the Ancient Greek word hepar (root word hepat) which means ‘liver’, and the suffix Latin itis meaning inflammation.
– Its plural is hepatitides.
– This condition is recognized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ.
– This condition can progress to cirrhosis and fibrosis.
– Hepatitis may occur with limited or no symptoms.
– It often leads to jaundice, anorexia (poor appetite) and malaise.
– Hepatitis is acute when it lasts less than six months.
– It is chronic when it persists longer.
– A group of viruses known as the hepatitis viruses cause most cases of hepatitis worldwide.
– It can also be due to toxins (notably alcohol, certain medications, some industrial organic solvents and plants).
– It can also be due to other infections and autoimmune diseases.

How many types of hepatitis are there?
There are five main types of hepatitis that are caused by a virus, A, B, C, D, and E – plus types X and G.

Treatment for Hepatitis A
– There is no treatment specifically for hepatitis A.
– Doctor will advise the patient to abstain from alcohol and drugs during the recovery.
– The vast majority of patients with Hepatitis A will recover spontaneously.

Treatment for Hepatitis B
– A patient with Hepatitis B needs to rest.
– He will require a diet that is high in protein and carbohydrate.
– This is to repair damaged liver cells, as well as to protect the liver.
– The doctor may prescribe interferon.
– Interferon is an antiviral agent.

Treatment for Hepatitis C
– A patient with Hepatitis C will be prescribed pegylated interferon and ribavirin.

Treatment for Hepatitis D or E
– There is no effective treatment for either Hepatitis D or E.

Treatment for Non-Viral Hepatitis
– If the patient has non-viral hepatitis, the doctor needs to remove the harmful substance.
– It will be flushed out of the stomach by hyperventilation or induced vomiting.
– Patients with drug-induced hepatitis may be prescribed corticosteroids.

How to prevent Hepatitis A?
– Wash your hands with soap after going to the toilet.
– Only consume food that has just been cooked.
– Only drink commercially bottled water, or boiled water if you unsure of local sanitation.
– Only eat fruits that you can peel if you are somewhere where sanitation is unreliable.
– Only eat raw vegetables if you are sure they have been cleaned/disinfected thoroughly.
– Get a vaccine for Hepatitis A if you travel to places where hepatitis may be endemic.

How to prevent Hepatitis B?
– Tell the partner if you are a carrier or try to find out whether he/she is a carrier.
– Practice safe sex.
– Only use clean syringes that have not been used by anyone else.
– Do not share toothbrushes, razors, or manicure instruments.
– Have a Hepatitis B series of shots if you are at risk.
– Only allow well sterilized skin perforating equipment (tattoo, acupuncture, etc.).

How to prevent Hepatitis C?
– If you are infected do not let others share your toothbrush, razor, manicure equipment.
– If you are infected cover open wounds.
– Do not share needles, toothbrushes, or manicure equipment.
– If your skin is to be pierced, make sure equipment is well sterilized (tattoo, etc.).
– Go easy on the alcohol.
– Do not share drug equipment.

How to prevent Hepatitis D?
– Use the same guidelines as for Hepatitis B.
– Only a person who is infected with Hepatitis B can become infected with Hepatitis D.

How to prevent Hepatitis E?
– Do the same as you would to protect yourself from Hepatitis A infection.

How to prevent Alcoholic Hepatitis?
– Go easy on the alcohol, or abstain from consuming alcohol.

How to prevent Toxic/Drug Induced Hepatitis?
– Make sure you know about the lethal contents of all chemicals.
– Make sure the spray is not pointing at you.
– Make sure you wear protective gear.

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