Hepatitis

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. There are many different types of hepatitis. They are identified by what causes them. Viral hepatitis is the most prevalent. There are other causes; such as excessive use of alcohol, drugs, over the counter and prescription medications, environmental toxins, and damage to the liver. Obesity is also implicated for causing inflammation in the liver, (known as fatty liver hepatitis). The three most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, B, and C.

Hepatitis A is spread from fecal oral contamination. It is spread from person to person when the carrier does not wash their hands after using the toilet and touches other people’s food. Hepatitis B is found in the blood and body fluids. It is spread from unprotected sex, needle sharing when shooting drugs, needle sticks, or from an infected mother to baby during birth, or from transfusion of contaminated blood. Hepatitis C is also found in blood and body fluids and is spread via the same pathways as hepatitis B. Transmission of HCV from sex is possible, but not very common.

Some people with viral hepatitis show no signs or symptoms, but the onset of HAV symptoms is rapid. Diagnosis is made from blood tests and evaluation of signs and symptoms. Once a confirmed diagnosis has been made I recommend doing a biopsy of the liver to determine the type of hepatitis and the degree of damage.

The symptoms generally seen are as follows; fever, nausea/vomiting, headache, fatigue, itchy skin, dark urine, muscle aches, light colored stools, yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, upper abdominal discomfort, primarily of the right side, flu like symptoms, joint aches, diarrhea, inflammation, low hydrochloric acid levels, elevated bilirubin levels in the blood.

There is no cure for hepatitis. Treatment is directed at protecting the liver and slowing the progression of the disease. I use acupuncture, herbal medicine, diet, exercise, education, and emotional support as treatment protocols. I have a post-graduate certification for the treatment of hepatitis C.

See About Me for my education and training in this area.