Hepatitis Treatments that works for you may not work for another person because there are different stages of hepatitis. This is why it may seem difficult to point at few hepatitis treatments as the best when you have not figured which hepatitis – A,B,C,D or E you want to address.
Before we dive deeper, here are some of the key facts about Hepatitis you must know:
- There are five different types of hepatitis, (A-E)
- Hepatitis A (HAV), is the most common type of hepatitis worldwide. It is responsible for about 150,000 deaths annually in the U.S.
- About 887,000 people died worldwide in 2015 from HBV- related liver disease. More than 250,000 people are diagnosed yearly with hepatitis b (HBV), in the United States. Between 850,000 and 2.2 million people in the U.S. lives with chronic HBV infection.
- Hepatitis C (HBC), remains the leading cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis worldwide. It is also the major reason for liver transplantation in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), more than 30,000 individuals require vaccinations for HBC yearly in the U.S.
- Deaths from hepatitis have risen to 22 percent from the year 2000.
- 1.34 million people died from hepatitis worldwide in 2015.
Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment for Hepatitis A (HBA)
Hepatitis A (HBA) is a communicable liver infection caused by a virus. HBA contaminates the liver cells and causes inflammation which affects your liver’s functions. HBA rarely results in chronic liver damage or death.
HBA, just like other contagious infections can be transmitted through close contact with an infected person or object or from contaminated water or food.
Your doctor will request a sample of your blood most times from a vein in your arm. This is tested in the laboratory for signs of the virus in your body. If the HBA is detected, your friends, family, and co-workers are at risk of getting infected. You can prevent others from getting infected through you by following the steps below:
- Avoid all forms of sexual activity.
- Avoid preparing food for others until you are completely healed.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the restroom.
Treatment for HBA
Based on current research, no treatment exists for HBA. Your body on its own will clear the virus. In most instances of HBA infection, the liver functions get restored in less than six months. Here are the best hepatitis treatments that can help your recovery from HBA :
- Use medication with care
- Avoid alcohol beverage consumption
- Manage nausea.
You can prevent HBA infection by getting vaccinated.
Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment for Hepatitis B (HBV)
Hepatitis B is a severe liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV, in more than 90 percent of adults does not result in permanent liver damage that causes liver cancer. However, if it progresses to chronic, it can increase your risk of having liver failure, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. About 90 percent of infantile with the HB virus will have chronic infection.
HBV is spread through contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected person. You can spread the virus without having any symptoms. Vaccination remains the only way to prevent HBV.
To test for HBV, your doctor will first examine you to check for physical signs for HBV, such as belly pain or yellowish skin. Other tests to confirm HBV include:
- Blood test: A blood test can reveal if you are immune to the virus or not. It can also reveal the signs of the virus in you, and inform your doctor if it is acute or chronic.
- Liver Ultrasound: This can reveal the extent of damage to the liver.
- Liver biopsy: Your doctor might decide to remove a small sample of your liver to test for liver damage.
Currently, there is no cure for HBV however; if you suspect you have been infected; the best way to confirm is to go for an HBV test. The test will confirm if you are infected or not and whether it is acute or chronic.
Treatment for Acute HBV Infection
If it is confirmed that your HB infection is acute – that means the infection is short-lived and will go on its own. You may not require any treatment. Your doctor might suggest you take plenty of fluids, proper nutrition, and rest while your body immune system wades off the infection. However, in severe acute infection, hospital stay or antiviral drugs might become necessary to prevent complications.
Treatment for Chronic HBV Infection
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of antiviral medications – such as lamivudine (Epivir), tenofovir (Viread), and adefovir (Hepsera) for treating people with chronic HBV infection. Most people with chronic HBV infection will require treatment for the rest of their lives. This becomes necessary to reduce the risk of damaging your liver by slowing down its progression and to prevent you from spreading the disease. Discuss with your doctor to know which of these hepatitis treatments might work for you.
Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment for Hepatitis C (HCV)
HCV is the most common blood-borne disease in the U.S. About 2.7 to 3.9 million people in the U.S. have chronic HCV infection. HCV is caused by the Hepatitis C virus. It results in the dysfunction and swelling of the liver cells. Close to half of the people with HCV in the U.S. aren’t aware of their HC status due to the delay in the symptoms that could take decades to appear. Given this, the CDC suggests a one-off screening blood check for everyone at risk of the infection.
Your doctor can test your blood to diagnose HCV infection. If the blood test confirmed the presence of the virus, your doctor will conduct additional blood tests to:
- Measure the amount of HCV in your blood
- Determine the genotype of the virus
Your doctor might use one or more of the following tests to assess the extent of damage to the liver in chronic hepatitis C:
- Transient elastography
- Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE)
- Liver biopsy
- Blood tests
Treatment for HCV
The goal of HCV treatment is to remove the HC virus from your body at most 12 weeks after completing your treatment. Your doctor will use antiviral medications to treat the infection.
Recent research shows that new “direct-acting” antiviral (DAA) medications can effectively treat hepatitis C infection. These new medications work by disrupting the production of viral cells during the HCV life cycle.
Some benefits of DAA treatment include:
- Fewer side effects
- Shorter treatment duration (8-12 weeks)
- Better outcomes – over 90 percent cure rates
The treatment duration and choice of medications depend on the hepatitis C genotype.
Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment for Hepatitis D (HDV)
Hepatitis D is caused by the Hepatitis D Virus. HDV is uncommon in the U.S. but it’s common in regions such as Central Asia, Russia, West Africa, Mediterranean, Pacific Island, and South America. The infection is contractible and transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person. Others ways the infection is spread include:
- Birth (from mother to her newborn)
- vaginal fluids
You can only get HDV if you have been diagnosed with hepatitis B. About 5 percent of people with hepatitis B will eventually develop hepatitis D, says the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
To diagnose HDV, your doctor will conduct a blood test that can identify anti-hepatitis D antibodies in your blood. The presence of antibodies in your blood will confirm that you are infected. Your doctor will request for a liver function test to evaluate the health of your liver if liver damage is suspected.
Treatment for HDV
There is no neither cure nor known treatment for hepatitis D. The only way is to avoid getting infected by taken preventive measures.
Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment for Hepatitis E (HEV)
Hepatitis E is a contagious virus that attacks the liver and causes liver damage and inflammation. HEV is rare in the U.S., but common in regions of the world with a lack of clean water.
HEV spreads mostly through under contaminated with feces and undercooked meat. It can also spread through an infected mother to a newborn baby.
Your doctor will conduct a blood test or stool test to diagnose hepatitis E virus in your body.
Treatment for hepatitis E Virus
Hepatitis E does not require any treatment. The infection goes away on its own usually in less than 6 weeks. That said, your doctor might recommend you take these steps to ease your symptoms:
- Drink lots of water
- Eat healthy foods
- Do away with alcohol drink
Hepatitis virus infection is a global epidemic that affects hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Advancement in medicine recorded in the past 20 years has reduced the death rate from hepatitis. There are
so many hepatitis treatments in the market today for treating hepatitis B and C; while A and E do not require any treatment. Research are on to find a solution for treating hepatitis D, however, prevention remains the only way to avoid the infection.
What hepatitis treatments have you tried and which one has worked for you? we would like to read from you.