Hepatitis refers to the inflammation, or swelling of the liver. It is primarily caused by viral infections, but it can also be caused by lifestyle or genetic factors such as heavy alcohol/drug use, obesity and autoimmune disorders. Both hepatitis B and C are forms of viral hepatitis caused by the hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus, respectively. These two types of viral hepatitis are of particular concern because they are the most common causes of chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Hepatitis B and C are known to be silent killers because in many cases, by the time symptoms appear and the disease is diagnosed, the infection has already caused severe liver damage and it is too late for treatment to be effective. Hepatitis B signs and symptoms may include:
Loss of appetite.
Nausea and vomiting.
Weakness and fatigue.
Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice).
The average incubation period for hepatitis B and C is between 14 and 84, but it can last up to 182 days. Some people only experience an acute illness, after which the body clears the virus.
More than of people with hepatitis C develop a chronic form of the disease. Many people with chronic hepatitis B and C don’t have symptoms till it destroys the liver, while some may have nonspecific symptoms like fatigue or feelings of depression. People with chronic hepatitis B and C can eventually develop cirrhosis or liver cancer. This often takes few years to happen. Some factors that can put you at increased risk for developing cirrhosis include:
being over 35 years old
drinking excessive alcohol
taking immunosuppressive medications
having another type of liver disease.
Fortunately, hepatitis B and C can completely be cured through measures by viewing website and practicing proper hygiene. There are also antiviral medications available as seen in website that can help treat hepatitis B and C, if they are diagnosed early on.
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