World Hepatitis Day is celebrated on 28th July every year. This is one of seven officially mandated global public health days of the World Health Organisation. On this day, WHO brings people closer under a single theme to raise awareness of hepatitis. ‘Find the Missing Millions’ is the theme of this year’s world hepatitis day. Now let’s know more about the disease.
What Is Hepatitis?
This is the disease that causes liver inflammation, which can lead to severe health conditions such as fibrosis, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. Hepatitis virus is the most common cause of viral hepatitis. It can also be caused by using toxic substances such as alcohol and certain drugs. There are 5 types of viral hepatitis, namely, types A, B, C, D, and E. Viral hepatitis can lead to global pandemics and can be the reason behind several deaths. The most chronic type of hepatitis is B and C, which have killed millions of people around the world.
Signs and symptoms of hepatitis are mentioned below:
- Dark urine
- Loss of appetite
- Pale stool
- Pain in abdominal
- Sudden loss in weight
- Symptoms like flu
- Jaundice means the yellow colour of eyes and skin
If you are facing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should see gastroenterologists or hepatologists immediately.
Your doctor will ask you for your medical history to diagnose hepatitis. They will physically examine you by gently pressing down on your abdomen, as they want to see whether you feel pain or not. Your doctor will also try to see whether or not your liver is enlarged by physically examine it.
In some, your doctor will ask you to go through below mentioned tests:
- Liver function tests: In this type of test, blood samples determine whether your liver is working properly or not. If in your blood sample there is a higher quantity of liver enzyme that means your liver may be damaged, stressed, or not working properly.
- Other blood tests: If liver function tests fail to diagnose the disease, your doctor may prescribe you to go through several other blood tests.
- Ultrasound: Abdominal ultrasound can be very useful as it clearly shows the picture of the organ. With this, your doctor can see whether there is a change in the size of the liver or if there is any tumor growing in the liver.
- Liver biopsy: In a liver biopsy, your doctor will take the tissue of your liver to diagnose the disease. It is not a surgical process, so don’t worry.
- Vaccinations are available for treating hepatitis A, B, and D. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C and E.
- Antiviral medications are available for hepatitis B and C. There is no antiviral medication for treating hepatitis D and E. You don’t need medication to treat hepatitis A, as vaccinations are enough.
- Corticosteroids, like budesonide or prednisone, are used to treat autoimmune hepatitis. You can also use drugs like mycophenolate, tacrolimus, etc.
Take extra care of yourself. On this world hepatitis day, make sure you are fully aware of the disease. To ensure overall protection, make sure you buy a health insurance plan.