Definition and causes

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver in which liver cells are damaged and the body's functioning is affected in varying degrees. The disease may have a short-or long-term (possibly life) cycle, and therefore we talk about theacuteHepatitisandChronicHepatitis.
Hepatitis (both acute and chronic) can have many causes:

  • It can be seen at variousgeneralviral infections, For example. Infectious mononucleosis (kissing disease), or byviolentbacterial infections. This is usually an acute hepatitis.

  • Hepatitisvirus, Which is specific viruses that cause both acute and chronic so-calledcontagioushepatitis. This type of virus attacks the liver and found in different versions: Hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D, E and G. Infection with those described in the separate article Virus-hepatitis.

    Alcohol abuseresulting in so-called fatty liver, which in rare cases can produce a severe acute hepatitis. Those who survive are now a significantly increased risk of developing fatal liver damage (cirrhosis).

  • Poisoningwith various poisons and (far more common), drugs (eg. paracetamol which exists in Panodil, Pamol and Pinex) can cause a very painful and serious so-called toxic hepatitis. This is an acute process, but can develop into chronic hepatitis.

  • Auto ImmuneHepatitisis a rare disease that is characterized by the body's own immune system attacks the liver. Why this can happen is not known but there is some inheritance of the disease. The disease starts early (often detected in 20-years-old) and has a chronic course, but can begin as an acute hepatitis.

Symptoms of hepatitis

The liver may turn out slightly differently depending on the triggering cause, duration of illness (acute or chronic) and severity of the disease. Some are almost completely asymptomatic, especially in chronic hepatitis, but it is also seen by the acute form, particularly in children. There is usually clear commonalties of the most common symptoms, regardless of the type of hepatitis.

First occurs:

  • Loss of appetite, vomiting and abdominal pain.

  • Decreased energy, fatigue.

  • Hosp. flu-like symptoms such as fever, joint pain and headache.

  • Itching.

Since is:

  • Jaundice.

  • Light (kitfarvet) stools (reason: see jaundice).

  • Dark (porter colored) urine (reason: see jaundice).

Precautions and diagnosis

If signs of hepatitis should immediately seek medical attention as the disease can be serious. It is important to refrain from drinking alcohol, and they should not take any medicine without consulting with a doctor about it.

Often you will be hospitalized at a hospital and the diagnosis is made using sick history, symptoms, specific blood tests and possibly a tissue (biopsy) from the liver.

Treatment of hepatitis

Treatment is a specialist task, whatever the cause liver inflammation. Some acute process moving by itself, and be limited to observe and ensure proper nutrition and alcohol abstinence. Certain types of hepatitis are treated with different immune-inhibiting agents, to reduce the body's inflammatory response in the liver. If, at worst, totally developed liver failure, life-saving treatment can only be acute liver transplantation.

Flow of hepatitis

The course of hepatitis depends on the triggering cause, and differ in one aspect. Basically, we can say thatacuteHepatitis, For any reason, goods under 6 months and usually ends up with that will be cured. There is the danger that it may evolve intoChronicHepatitisor at worst directly cause death due to liver failure.

ThealcoholicandtoxicHepatitis can be very serious, acute process. At worst, totally developed liver failure. TheautoimmuneHepatitis is a chronic cycle, but can come to terms with symptoms of acute hepatitis. Again, this is very serious.

Certain types of hepatitis viruses tend to produce chronic hepatitis, which eventually can destroy liver function, while developing cirrhosis. In addition to loss of liver function, so transplant may be necessary, there is cirrhosis at an increased risk of developing liver cancer.

Acute hepatitis due to virus (hepatitis virus or other) often have a milder course and blades of, with or without treatment (depending on what virus it is), within a few weeks to a couple of months.

Read more in viral hepatitis.


This article is formed on the Health Guide on 11.08.06



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