14:51 27th June 2018 | Hepatitis
World Hepatitis Day takes place annually on 28 July in order to raise awareness and encourage education around the prevention of this potentially life-threatening disease.
What is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is simply an inflammation of the liver. If left untreated, it may lead to scarring of the liver or liver cancer. The hepatitis viruses replicate in the liver cells, causing the liver to malfunction. The liver is one of the most important organs in the human body and produces hormones and proteins, stores fats and vitamins, and purifies the blood.
There are various forms of hepatitis:
Non-viral forms of the disease include toxic hepatitis from medicine and drugs; alcoholic hepatitis from alcohol abuse; and autoimmune hepatitis caused by the immune system attacking the liver.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis?
Symptoms include fatigue, mild fever, muscle ache, dark urine, stomach pain, and jaundice. By the time one notices symptoms, considerable damage may have already been done to the organ. If left untreated it can lead to cirrhosis and serious liver scarring.
Although there is no cure for chronic hepatitis, there is a variety of medication available to manage the symptoms. Bridge Clinic offers vaccinations for hepatitis B, which can reduce the risk of getting chronic hepatitis.
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