Hepatitis is a group of disorders that can cause permanent liver damage, but symptoms can take years to develop. The highly skilled doctors at Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants in Santa Ana and Irvine, California, are experts in gastrointestinal system diseases like hepatitis. They offer an accurate diagnosis and high-quality treatment for all forms of hepatitis. Call Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants today or book an appointment online to benefit from their expertise.
Hepatitis damages the liver. In severe cases, it can lead to organ failure and death.
The most common forms are:
The hepatitis A virus can cause short-lived symptoms like abdominal pain, jaundice (yellowed skin and whites of the eyes), fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. The most common source is food poisoning.
The hepatitis B virus causes symptoms similar to hepatitis A and often goes away naturally. But in some cases, hepatitis B becomes a long-term problem. Exposure to blood and bodily fluids (usually through sexual intercourse) is the leading cause.
Hepatitis C has acute (short-lived) and chronic (long-lasting) forms. About 50% of people with hepatitis C develop the chronic form. The disease often causes no symptoms at first, so you could have it and be unaware. It can take years for the liver damage hepatitis C causes to become apparent. You can catch hepatitis C through contact with infected blood.
Hepatitis D and E are rare in the United States. But they may affect people who travel to areas where these viruses are more common.
Nonviral hepatitis causes similar symptoms to viral hepatitis but has different causes.
Common nonviral hepatitis conditions include alcoholic hepatitis (caused by excessive long-term alcohol use), autoimmune hepatitis (where your immune system attacks your liver), and toxic hepatitis (from exposure to chemicals, poisons, or some medications).
If you have acute hepatitis, self-care, including rest and drinking plenty of fluids, can help your body fight the infection. The main problem with hepatitis is its long-term effects on your liver. Early treatment helps prevent complications like cirrhosis, where the liver develops harmful scar tissue.
Your Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants doctor might recommend changing your life, like no longer drinking alcohol. If you have chronic hepatitis, you might need antiviral medicines or drugs that reduce liver inflammation.
During childhood, most people receive hepatitis A and B immunizations that protect them against these diseases. No vaccine is available for hepatitis C. If you’re not sure of your hepatitis immunization status, check with your doctor and make sure your shots are up to date.
Call Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants today to arrange hepatitis screening or book an appointment online for expert diagnosis and treatment.