The Five Types of Hepatitis: Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver triggered mainly by a viral infection. Besides viral infections, autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis could occur as an outcome of medications, toxins, and alcohol. Here, autoimmune hepatitis refers to a condition when the human bodies create antibodies against liver tissue. There are five types of viral infection classified as hepatitis, including A, B, C, D, and E. According to Healthline Media (2017), hepatitis A is always in an acute and short-term form. Hepatitis B, C, and D, on the other hand, are usually continuous and chronic. Hepatitis E is acute and especially dangerous for pregnant women.

Each type of hepatitis has different ways of transmission and infection agents. For example, hepatitis A is spread by consuming food or drink of infected patients. In comparison, hepatitis B is transmitted by contacting infectious body secretions and fluids, including blood, vaginal secretions, and sperm. People are usually infected by hepatitis B through drug injections, sexual contact with an infected partner, or shared hygienical tools. Hepatitis C is transmitted similarly to hepatitis B and has the status of the most spread bloodborne viral infections in the US. The delta hepatitis or hepatitis D also spreads through direct contact with the infected body; at the time, hepatitis E occurs in poor sanitary water conditions. Each of the A, B, C, D, E hepatitis types is caused by HAV, HBV, HCV, HDV, and HEV viruses, respectively. Alcohol and other toxins consumption could lead to alcoholic hepatitis that directly injures liver cells. Autoimmune system response that is common in women appears when the immune system mistakenly attacks the liver.

Talking about symptomatic, it is essential to note that each type could have specific features. General symptoms related to all five types include fatigue, dark urine, pale stool, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, flu-like symptoms, unexplained weight loss, yellow skin, and eyes. Treatment of Hepatitis is specified by its type as well. For example, hepatitis A does not require special treatment as it is a short-term illness. Vaccination against hepatitis A is usually provided for children and adults. Hepatitis B and C are treated using antiviral medications, while hepatitis D and E do not have available antiviral treatment. Prevention measures include following hygiene rules such as not eating raw meat, shellfish, fruits, and vegetables, not drinking dirty water, and not sharing drug needles, toothbrushes, and razors. Moreover, protection during sexual contact also could reduce the risk of infection.

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