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A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Hepatitis


Hepatitis:  Hepatitis is swelling and inflammation of the liver. It is not a condition but is often used to refer to a viral infection of the liver. Hepatitis can be caused by:
  •  Immune cells in the body attacking the liver and causing autoimmune hepatitis
  •  Infections from viruses (such as Hepatitis A, B, or C), bacteria, or parasites
  •  Liver damage from alcohol, poisonous mushrooms or other poisons
There are different types of hepatitis such as Hepatitis A, B and C and hepatitis may start and get better quickly (acute hepatitis) or cause long-term disease (chronic hepatitis).

In some instances, it may lead to liver damage, liver failure or even liver cancer. The severity of hepatitis depends on many factors including the cause of the liver damage and any illnesses you have. Hepatitis A is usually short-term and does not lead to chronic liver problems.

Initial symptoms of hepatitis caused by infection are similar to the flu and include: muscle and joint pain, a high temperature (fever) of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or above, feeling sick, being sick, headache, occasionally, yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice).
 
Symptoms of chronic hepatitis can include: feeling unusually tired all the time, depression, jaundice, a general sense of feeling unwell.
 
In many cases hepatitis causes no noticeable symptoms, so when hepatitis is caused by a virus, many people are unaware they are infected. Similarly, many people with hepatitis caused by alcohol are unaware that their drinking is harming their liver.
 

If Travelling: A vaccination can protect you against Hepatitis A. Vaccination is recommended if you are travelling to countries where the virus is common, such as the Indian subcontinent, Africa, Central and South America, the Far East and Eastern Europe.


Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies

 


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