Hepatitis is a liver inflammation. This syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, including alcohol intake, certain medical problems, and certain drugs. Viral infections, on the other hand, are the most common cause of hepatitis.
This page discusses the various varieties of hepatitis, their common symptoms, causes, and how to treat and avoid the disease.
What exactly is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammatory illness that affects the liver. Hepatitis is most usually caused by a viral infection, however there are other reasons.
These include autoimmune hepatitis as well as hepatitis caused by medications, narcotics, poisons, and alcohol. Autoimmune hepatitis is a condition in which your body produces antibodies against your liver tissue.
Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E are the five major viral classifications of hepatitis. Each kind of viral hepatitis is caused by a distinct virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 354 million individuals worldwide are infected with chronic hepatitis B and C.
Hepatitis A is caused by infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV). This kind of hepatitis is a severe, short-term illness.
The Hepatitis B virus
Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). This is frequently a long-term, chronic condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 826,000Trusted Source persons in the United States and approximately 257 million people globally have chronic hepatitis B.
The Hepatitis C virus
Hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is one of the most frequent bloodborne viral infections in the United States, and it usually manifests as a chronic illness.
According to the CDC, roughly 2.4 million Americans today have a chronic version of this condition.
The Hepatitis D virus
This is a rare type of hepatitis that exclusively arises in the presence of hepatitis B infection. The hepatitis D virus (HDV) produces liver inflammation like other strains, however a person cannot get HDV unless they already have hepatitis B.
Globally, HDV affects around 5% of patients who have chronic hepatitis B.
The Hepatitis E virus
Hepatitis E is a waterborne infection caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV). Hepatitis E is more common in regions with inadequate sanitation and is usually caused by swallowing fecal matter that contaminates the water supply.
According to the CDC, this condition is uncommon in the United States.
Hepatitis E is usually severe, but it can be very deadly in pregnant women.
Noninfectious hepatitis causes
Although hepatitis is most usually caused by an infection, it can also be caused by other reasons.
Toxins such as alcohol
Excessive alcohol use can harm the liver and induce inflammation. This is also known as alcoholic hepatitis.
The alcohol directly harms the liver cells. It can cause lasting damage and lead to liver tissue thickening or scarring (cirrhosis) and liver failure over time.
Misuse of drugs and exposure to chemicals are two more hazardous causes of hepatitis.