Hepatitis is an inflammatory process of the liver caused by an infection or by consuming toxic substances. Find out how many classes exist and what symptoms appear.
Hepatitis is considered one of the most common diseases that, in a common way, tend to affect our liver, one of the most important organs in our body.
It is an inflammatory process of the liver caused by an infection (such as viral hepatitis, which has been caused by a virus) or by the ingestion of toxic substances.
However, depending on its cause, we can currently find different types of hepatitis, so that its danger or not in terms of the risks that its contagion poses to health are just as different.
What is hepatitis?
As we explained in the previous lines but briefly, hepatitis is an inflammatory process of the liver, fundamentally caused by the ingestion of certain toxic substances, or by cases of infectious origin.
In this way, hepatitis caused by the ingestion of toxic substances includes the consumption of some drugs, synthetic drugs or alcohol. Thus, for example, we can mention alcoholic hepatitis caused -as we will see- by alcohol consumption.
While the infectious causes include viral hepatitis, which have been caused by a virus (of different types: A, B, C, and delta, E, F and G).
However, it is necessary to take into account that the most common are hepatitis A, B and C (the latter two being considered the most serious medically, and with a higher risk of chronicity).
How many kinds of hepatitis are there? Main types of viral hepatitis:
It is a hepatitis whose contagion occurs mainly through the consumption of both infected food and water.
Its main symptoms include nausea and vomiting, general tiredness, headache and intestinal disorders.
As far as medical treatment is concerned, in most cases a period of rest and a controlled diet prescribed by the doctor, which especially does not tire the liver, is sufficient.
Before concluding, it is necessary to indicate that there is currently a vaccine recommended by the WHO, which helps prevent and avoid contagion.
It is a hepatitis that is mainly spread through infected blood. For this reason, the main routes of infection are the use of non-sterile surgical instruments, infected syringes or instrumentation for piercing or tattooing.
Its symptoms include: headache, fever and intestinal disorders. The treatment involves following rest and a healthy diet.
Since hepatitis B becomes chronic in 80% of cases, it is essential to follow the medical treatment indicated by our doctor (generally interferon with lamivudine).
In addition, there is a vaccine whose administration is mandatory and is carried out in three doses.
It is considered one of the most serious hepatitis. Its contagion occurs in the same way as hepatitis B.
Although the symptoms are the same (tiredness, feeling of general malaise and headache), it is common for these to go practically unnoticed, and it is not until a blood test is performed that the person knows they have the infection.
At the moment there is no vaccine, and since more than 50% of cases become chronic, it is essential that the person take protective measures to avoid possible contagion.
Other kinds of hepatitis
In addition to the hepatitis indicated above, which basically and mainly consists of viral hepatitis, there are also other types of hepatitis, just as serious and serious. We summarize what they are below.
Alcoholic hepatitis consists of a type of hepatitis, which, as its name suggests, is caused by excessive and/or regular consumption of alcoholic beverages. It is a condition closely related to fatty liver due to alcohol consumption.
So if it is not treated medically, and above all, if alcohol consumption is not stopped, it can end up leading to cirrhosis.
Although less well known than the previous ones, mainly because it tends to be a relatively rare condition, autoimmune hepatitis is a type of hepatitis that occurs when the immune system attacks the different and different cells of the liver.
In other words, it is a type of hepatitis that arises because our body’s natural defense mechanisms react negatively against the different liver cells, attacking and destroying them. It cannot be prevented, but it can be treated (although there is no cure).
Types of viral hepatitis, in brief
- Hepatitis A: It is one of the most common hepatitis. It is caused by the type a virus, and is present in the feces of the infected person. Generally, it is transmitted through direct contact with the infected person, their secretions or blood, and contaminated food. Although it does not usually last more than two months, it usually appears between two weeks and 40 days after infection. There is a vaccine for this disease.
- Hepatitis B: It is a hepatitis that is caused by infection with the B virus. It can be transmitted through blood, through contact from mother to fetus, or sexually. It is certainly frequent in people who exchange syringes, so it can also be transmitted through wounds made with already infected objects. Its incubation period can reach half a year, and can progress to cirrhosis or liver cancer. There is a vaccine for this disease.
- Hepatitis C: It is one of the most severe hepatitis, and it has a higher probability of becoming chronic. It is produced by the C virus, and is transmitted by contact with infected blood, the genitals, the mouth, transfusions, and from mother to fetus at the time of delivery. At the moment there is no vaccine for this disease.
- Hepatitis D: It is caused by the D virus. It is spread along with hepatitis B, which causes greater chronicity. It makes hepatitis B much more destructive.