What is Hepatitis?
It is in Latin means inflammation in English. Hepatitis means inflammation in the liver cells. This inflammation in the liver cells can occur due to multiple reasons.
The cells in the liver or the Hepatocytes are the most powerful cells in a human body, for recovering from abnormal state, back to normal state. The hepatic cells also have the power to regenerate very fast. Hepatic inflammations, therefore, are self-limiting in most of the conditions. But this hepatic inflammation or hepatitis can also progress to the state of fibrosis. This fibrosis of hepatocytes or the scarring of liver cells can result in cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer or some other irreversible hepatic conditions.
This hepatitis is mainly caused by viruses, causing viral hepatitis. This Hepatitis is categorized in A, B, C, D and E types. These forms of hepatitis are the cause of greatest concern because it brings the worst forms of sicknesses and death to many people.
Apart from the viruses, hepatitis is caused by autoimmune diseases. Hepatitis may also occur due to prolonged use of medication, which are especially hepatotoxic in nature. The use of drugs and other forms of toxins may cause hepatitis to the user. Consumption of alcohol regularly is a major cause of hepatic tissue scarring. Consuming two to three drinks, containing alcohol, daily, for a prolonged period, is enough to cause hepatitis, which ultimately ends in cirrhosis of the liver, an irreversible hepatic condition.
Hepatitis occurs in liver cells and the liver is located in the right upper portion of a human abdominal cavity. The liver is the largest internal organ in a human body. The liver is also a vital organ in the body and no one can survive if the liver stops functioning normally. The liver does many critical functions such as –
- Production of bile, an essential secretion for helping in the digestion of food.
- Filtration of harmful toxins from the body.
- Excretion of bilirubin, a product from broken red blood corpuscles.
- Excretion of cholesterol and harmful drugs, from the body.
- Excretion of hormones from the body.
- Breaking down fat, carbohydrates, and proteins for assimilation and use in the metabolism of the body.
- Activation of enzymes, the special proteins necessary for the function of the body.
- Storing Glycogen, Minerals and fat soluble Vitamins, A, D, E, and K.
- Synthesising blood proteins, such as albumin and similar.
- Synthesising factors for blood clotting.
Types of Viral Hepatitis
There are five types of Viral hepatitis. Hepatitis A, caused by Hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis B, caused by Hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis C, caused by Hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis D, caused by Hepatitis D virus. This hepatitis is also otherwise known as Delta hepatitis. Hepatitis E, caused by Hepatitis E virus.
There is also hepatitis which is non-infectious in nature. This hepatitis is caused by alcoholism or unrestricted and prolonged consumption of alcoholic drinks. This liver damage is also otherwise known as alcoholic hepatitis. This alcoholic hepatitis may lead to liver cirrhosis, which is thickening and scarring of the liver tissues and liver failure, resulting in death of the patient.
People consume injurious toxins, in forms of drugs, which is also a very strong addition. These injurious drugs are also a major cause of hepatitis. Overuse or overdose of medications also leads to non-infectious hepatitis.
Hepatitis as a result of the mix response of the human autoimmune system is also found very frequently.
Symptoms of Hepatitis
The common symptoms are fatigue, fever and flu, dark yellow, the passing of almost reddish urine, passing of pale, almost white stool, and severe abdominal pain. The patient also loses appetite and loses weight suddenly. The patient develops yellow skin, yellow eyes as in jaundice.
Treatment of Hepatitis
Some of viral hepatitis do not need any treatment. The other forms of viral hepatitis are treated with anti-viral drugs. Corticosteroids are used to treat autoimmune hepatitis.
Prevention of Hepatitis
Most of the hepatitis sicknesses can be prevented by practicing good personal hygiene habits. Now, vaccines are available for prevention of viral hepatitis.