Hepatitis

HepatitisWhat is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a disease of the liver, where there are inflammatory cells present.

 

From the name itself, it denotes an inflammation of the liver.

 

In some cases, hepatitis gets healed on its own, and in other cases, it could worsen and could lead to cirrhosis or fibrosis.

 

 

Three Kinds of Hepatitis and their Causes and Symptoms

There are basically 3 kinds of hepatitis namely, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Each has its own distinct causes, as well as their own symptoms.

  • Hepatitis A

This is regarded as the most common type of hepatitis that occurs all around the world. This is caused by the hepatitis A virus and is very infectious. In fact, it is said to be more infectious than the HIV, which is spread through sex or by being in the same household. HAV is often spread through drinking water and eating food that has been contaminated by the virus. The faeces carry the virus, which is why good hygiene is very important in preventing the spread of the infection.

Some of the symptoms of Hepatitis A are the following:

o        Vomiting

o        Nausea

o        Loss of appetite

o        Jaundice

o        Fatigue

These symptoms are also common with Hepatitis B and C. One must take note that not all the time these symptoms are present with those suffering from hepatitis. You could be suffering from hepatitis without suffering from any of these symptoms. If you want to be sure, a blood test will be a concrete way to determine whether you have hepatitis or not.

There has not been a clear and exact treatment for the virus, only that when you are able to overcome HAV, you would be immune to it for life. You could also consider having a Hep A immunization if you are planning to travel.

 

  • Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is caused by the Hepatitis B virus or HBV. The virus could live up to 7 days on the surface, which makes it one of the highly communicable diseases. In fact, worldwide statistics shows that it is the 9th cause of death all over the world. Of all those affected by the virus, 90% usually recover, however, the remaining 10% becomes infected for life, which leads to liver damage. This virus is often spread to other persons through unprotected sex and by sharing contaminated needles. Other medium of transmission of the said disease are through the use of non-sterile needles or other equipment that is used for acupuncture, tattooing and body-piercing. In fact, blood transfusions could also result to contracting the said disease. Vaccination for Hep B is highly recommended if one wishes to travel abroad.

 

  • Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is probably the most hard to detect type of hepatitis. In fact, there are about 200,000 people in the UK, which are suffering from this, while worldwide, the number reaches to around 300 million. Out of 10 sufferers, 8 usually do not know that they already have Hepatitis C.

There is no vaccine for this type of hepatitis. Transmission of virus usually happens through blood transfusions, needle-sharing, cocaine-snorting paraphernalia, sexual contact and working in a hospital or any other medical environment where virus could easily get transmitted. The virus could be cleared from the body, but if it remains for a long time, it could develop into chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis or cancer of the liver. Hep C virus is not transmitted by casual contact, coughing and many other usual activities.

 

Treatment, Remedies and Cure for Hepatitis

Helpful Lifestyle Suggestions

  • Try to go for natural cleaning products at home. Chemical based products tend to create stress to the liver since the latter has to break them down.
  • Remember to practice proper hygiene and really clean sanitation. If you are unsure of the food and water that you are eating when traveling, it is best to drink only bottled water. Avoid eating raw shellfish and fish.
  • Make it a habit to wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Try to avoid cigarettes because this weakens your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight the virus.
  • If anyone has a wound, it must be dressed properly and adhesives used for dressing the wound should be disposed of properly as well.
  • Try to use your own razor, clipper, nail file, toothbrush or scissors. Do not share them. Avoid borrowing these things too since they have the possibility to come into contact with your blood.
  • Avoid sharing food that is already in your mouth, especially with babies. Avoid pre-chewing food for your baby.
  • Avoid alcohol. This could worsen inflammation of the liver.

Diet for Hepatitis

  • Drink only bottled water especially if you aren’t sure of the quality of the water.
  • Avoid raw shellfish and fish, even those partially cooked ones.
  • Avoid red meat, and other foods that have high content of saturated fats. Fried foods would have to be avoided too.
  • Minimize intake of rice, bread, cakes, pastries and other simple carbohydrates as they tend to give more work to the liver.
  • Try to avoid caffeine as well. Coffee, tea, colas and even some painkillers must be avoided.
  • Artificial sweeteners like aspartame have to be avoided since it could make the body toxic.
  • The liver benefits from a high-potassium diet. Keep sodium to a minimum. So chips, savoury snacks, sauces, and other hi-salt foods have to be avoided too.
  • Eat a lot of fruits and veggies. This could provide the body with the nutrients it needs and could also increase potassium levels.
  • Choose organic foods every time. These foods do not contain any pesticide or steroid residues, therefore, they do not put an added strain on the liver.
  • Include fresh raw salads in your diet made up of a host of vegetables and fruits. You can include carrots, cabbage, red radish, broccoli, cucumber, endives, shallots, tomatoes and avocados.
  • Drink green tea daily. 8-10 cups of green tea a day could provide you ample protection against viruses since green tea has polyphenols that have anti-viral properties.
  • Fresh fruit juices are also very good in treating hepatitis.
  • Linseed oil has been known to improve liver functions. It reduces inflammation and also beneficial cells that have been damaged.
  • Milk thistle extract can greatly protect the liver.
  • Drink lots of water. 8 to 12 glasses would be ideal to take each day.

Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs for Hepatitis

  • Taking 400g of garlic a day could also help the liver since it has anti-viral properties as well.
  • Vitamin C (5-10g a day). This is a good antioxidant and also has good anti-viral properties.
  • Green tea polyphenols (800mg daily). This is also a good anti-viral.
  • Selenium (200mcg daily). This helps in reducing infection of Hepatitis B by 77%. It also helps in preventing cancer of the liver.
  • Iron should be minimized since the Hepatitis C virus joins the iron that is within the liver, causing damage to the liver cells.

 

 

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