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Hepatitis Symptoms

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. It comes from the Ancient Greek word ‘Hepar’ (root word hepat) meaning ‘Liver’, and the Latin ‘itis’ meaning ‘Inflammation’.

Liver: Liver is a large and complicated reddish-brown glandular organ located in the upper right portion of the abdominal cavity. It has several important functions such as bile secretion, protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, vitamin A synthesis, detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of bio-chemicals necessary for digestion.

Depending on the virus that cause Hepatitis there are five main types of hepatitis that are caused by a virus, A, B, C, D, and E and two additional types X and G. The symptoms of Hepatitis do depend on the type of hepatitis. Here are few symptoms that occur uniformly in all types of hepatitis:

  • Jaundice: This is a classical symptom of hepatitis, where the skin and the whites of the eyes turn an abnormal yellow color. Some people may not have that much yellow due to insufficient yellow level chemical in the body.
  • Mild flu or fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling of extreme Fatigue
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slight abdominal pain
  • Dark urination
  • Weight loss

Symptoms at the worse stage of hepatitis include:

  • Circulation problems
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Enlarged spleen (only alcoholic hepatitis)
  • Headache
  • Hives
  • Itchy skin
  • Light colored faeces that may contain pus

Chronic Hepatitis Symptoms: If the swelling of the liver persists for more than 6 months, the condition is called chronic hepatitis. Some of the signs of this condition are:

  • Two thirds of cases are asymptotic until a condition called cirrhosis occurs
  • In the rest, the symptoms appear after the patient suffers from acute viral hepatitis which is either chronic or persists for long
  • Malaise
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Discomfort in the upper abdomen
  • Low grade fever
  • Jaundice, though rare

Autoimmune Hepatitis Symptoms: When the body’s natural defense mechanism, technically called the immune system, attacks the cells of liver, the condition is called autoimmune hepatitis. The signs to watch out for this disease are:

  • Enlarged liver
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice
  • Joint pain
  • Itching
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Skin rash
  • A condition called ascites where fluid resides in the abdomen
  • Asthenia
  • Amenorrhea
  • Mental confusion
  • Arthralgia
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Increased transaminase level
  • Increased blood gammaglobulin level
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Gray-colored stools
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal blood vessels on the skin

Hepatitis A Symptoms:

  • Children have no symptoms
  • Weakness
  • Jaundice
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches
  • Yellowing of whites of the eyes

Hepatitis B Symptoms:

  • No symptoms
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in abdomen
  • Jaundice
  • Light colored stool

Chronic Hepatitis B Symptoms:

  • No symptoms in the early stages technically called asymptomatic
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Depression

Hepatitis C Symptoms:

In 80 percent cases of this type of hepatitis, the symptoms remain latent in the initial stages. They become apparent by the time serious damage is already done to the liver. In others, it takes nearly 10-20 years for some of the symptoms to appear. These are:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark color urine
  • Gray-coloured stool
  • Jaundice
  • Liver pain
  • Dehydration
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Non urination

Chronic Hepatitis C Symptoms:

  • Swelling of belly, legs and whole body due to lack of passage of fluids
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent jaundice
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itchy skin
  • Hallucinations
  • Vomiting with blood

Hepatitis D Symptoms:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Yellow skin
  • Yellow eyes
  • Jaundice

Hepatitis E Symptoms:

  • These symptoms are same as the signs of hepatitis d type.

Facts and Statistics of Hepatitis Symptoms:

  • The most common types of hepatitis are a,b and c.
  • According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, there are 1.2 million and 3.2 million people respectively suffering from chronic hepatitis b and c types in the United States.
  • The estimated number of people infected with a, b and c types of this disease are 25,000, 43,000 and 17,000 people respectively.

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