According to worldhepatitisday.org, World Hepatitis Day occurs each on July 28 to bring global recognition to hepatitis. The campaign does so by uniting the world under one theme, with the theme this year being ‘Hepatitis Can’t Wait.’ This global day of recognition brings awareness to the disease, the importance of knowing your hepatitis status, prevention, and treatment options. This might be a serious topic of conversation for the day, but it is also a day to celebrate the progress that has been made surrounding the disease over the last few decades.
What is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease located in the liver. There are different originations of the disease as well as different types. While a viral infection most commonly prompts hepatitis, there are other causes. Altogether, there are five different types of viral hepatitis: Hepatitis A, B, C D, and E. Noninfectious hepatitis can be caused by either autoimmune responses or toxins such as certain medications, drugs, and alcohol.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis?
Symptoms may not occur at first in more chronic forms of hepatitis such as B and C. These symptoms may also be more subtle in more chronic states. Contrarily, the symptoms of acute hepatitis develop quickly and can include:
Jaundice – yellow skin and eyes
Loss of appetite
Unexplained weight loss
How is it diagnosed?
Your health history is taken into account, as well as a physical exam done by your healthcare provider. Slightly pressing on your abdomen is another way your healthcare provider observes any underlying physical symptoms. Some other tests involved in the physical examination include observing the color of your eyes and seeing if the liver is enlarged. From there, your doctor will determine if a liver test, blood test, liver biopsy, or ultrasound are necessary.
Treatment options are dependent on the type of hepatitis you possess and whether it is acute or chronic. It is important to note that hepatitis can’t wait, so speak up if you feel as though you need to be tested. Consult with your physician if you notice any of these symptoms in your health.
Source: Kahn, A. (2017, May 9). Hepatitis: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/hepatitis.