July 28th will mark World Hepatitis day and Goodlife Pharmacy is all about ensuring we give those infected an opportunity to speak out as well as spread awareness to those that are unfamiliar of the signs and symptoms.
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver which has several causes such as drugs, alcohol use or certain medical conditions. However, the most common cause is a viral infection. There are five distinct hepatitis viruses A,B,C,D and E which are transmitted differently and result in different health outcomes.
Hepatitis A is always an acute short term disease while Hepatitis B, C and D are mostly ongoing and Chronic. Hepatitis E infection is normally acute and is particularly dangerous to pregnant women.
What are the signs and symptoms? In infectious form of hepatitis such Hepatitis B, C and D symptoms may not be present in the beginning and only occur when the liver damage affects liver function.
Signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis occur quickly and they include:
- Mild fever
- Muscle or joint aches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Yellow skin and eyes (Which can be signs of jaundice)
When hepatitis B, C become chronic the liver gets damaged however the symptoms may not be visible for years. If not detected early and treated, health complications can be as serious as liver cancer and cirrhosis which could be fatal.
Most importantly, do consult your doctor if symptoms arise.