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Health Condition

Hepatitis

About This Condition

Hepatitis is a liver disease that can result from long-term alcohol abuse, infection, or exposure to various chemicals and drugs. Because hepatitis is potentially very dangerous, a healthcare professional should be involved in its treatment.

Symptoms

Acute viral hepatitis varies from a minor flu-like illness to an overwhelming infection resulting in liver failure and death. The early phase is characterized by loss of appetite, malaise, nausea and vomiting, and fever. Signs include a darkening of the urine and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes). Chronic hepatitis may be asymptomatic, or may manifest as malaise, fatigue, loss of appetite and a low-grade fever.

Other Therapies

Acute hepatitis generally resolves without medications. Treatment of chronic hepatitis includes cessation of causative agents like alcohol. In the late stages of certain types of hepatitis (not hepatitis B, generally), liver transplantation may be required to preserve life.

References

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.