Hepatitis A Symptoms, Causes, Prevention and Treatment
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is a liver disease caused by virus. It is of many types but types A, B and C are more common having different effects on the body. The treatment for each type is also different. All types are infectious and can travel from one person to another.
When this virus attacks the liver, it causes dysfunction of this important organ. In case of hepatitis A, this dysfunction becomes prominent much sooner than other types. In case of Hepatitis B, C, D and E, initially the virus works silently but as the disease progresses, the symptoms start becoming obvious. It is said that hepatitis is a disease of middle age but it is not true. It can also be found in the individuals in their early twenties.
Hepatitis A (Jaundice)
This type is caused by Hepatitis A virus and can affect persons of all ages, both males and females. It is also called jaundice in common language. As result of the infection, the liver becomes inflamed and the level of billirubin in the blood rises above normal (normal range being 0.1-1.0 mg%).
Common Causes of Hepatitis A
- Bad personal hygiene.
- Improper sanitation
- Incorrect medication
- Use of infected water, food or utensils
- Intimate contact with the infected person
- Using belongings of the infected person like towel, handkerchief, blades etc.
Symptoms of Hepatitis A (Jaundice)
- The entire body including nails and sclera (whites of the eyes) becomes yellow. In fact every visible organ where the blood circulates becomes yellow. The only thing left out is the hair because there is no blood circulation in the them. The affected person looks bloodless. Even the urine becomes dark yellow. This yellowish appearance of hepatitis is different to pale look due to anemia.
- In most cases the stool also becomes yellow.
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting (not always)
- Diarrhea (not always)
- Lethargy due to general weakness
- Continued low fever (in most cases but not always)
- In certain cases the skin may not be very yellow but level of bilirubin in the blood may still be above normal. If other symptoms exist, it would be better to consult the doctor and have the blood tested.
Prevention of Hepatitis A
Preventive measures for all types of hepatitis are nearly the same. Some important measures are:
- Never forget to wash your hands before taking meals.
- Always wash your hands with soap after using the toilet whether you are going for meals or not.
- Avoid eating from unhygienic places.
- Do not use personal care items of infected person like tooth brush, shaving blade, towel, handkerchief etc.
- Use boiled water as far as possible.
- Avoid sexual contact with infected person.
- Never use used syringe.
- Do not receive dental treatment from unclean dentists. Such dentists are said to be the main source of spreading hepatitis.
- Do not receive blood from habitual donors.
- Do not donate blood if you are infected.
- Think of the risk involved if you are considering body piercing like nose and ears etc.
Treatment of Hepatitis A
"Hepatitis A" yields much quicker than all other types and can be easily treated by any medical system. The affected person is generally advised to have complete bed rest and take plenty of liquids. "Hepatitis" A is not considered as dangerous as other types. The apparent symptoms usually clear off in about a week or so but a confirmatory test would be necessary to check whether level of bilirubin has dropped to within permissible limits or not. If it has not or is taking too long to drop, you might like to consider homeopathic treatment. Proper medical treatment would be necessary otherwise the liver function might get seriously disturbed. It is said that if a person has had "Hepatitis A" once, he/she cannot get it again. It is also said that there is no long-term infection.
Jaundice of the new born babies is quite common but in most cases it is easy to treat. Homeopathy can do it effectively.