What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. There are several different kinds of hepatitis. Here we will talk about three: hepatitis A, B and C.
How do I know if I have Hepatitis?
Sometimes a person with hepatitis has no symptoms at all. The older you are, the more likely you are to have symptoms.
If you have symptoms, they might include:
- yellow skin or yellowing of the whites of your eyes
- loss of appetite
- abdominal discomfort
- dark urine
- clay-colored bowel movements
- joint pain
How can I get it?
Hepatitis A can be spread via fecal-oral route or during sexual activities such as oral-anal contact with an infected person. It can sometimes be caught through food or water contaminated with feces (poop) from an infected person.
Hepatitis B is transmitted through activities that involve contact with infected blood (e.g.: sharing needles to inject drugs) or bodily fluids during vaginal, anal and oral sex (e.g.: semen and saliva).
Hepatitis C can be spread through contact with infected blood like sharing needles to inject drugs, blood transfusions, hemodialysis with contaminated blood. It can also be transmitted through bodily fluids during vaginal/anal/oral sex. A mother can pass hepatitis to her baby during the birthing process if she is infected.
How can I find out if I have Hepatitis?
You can find out through a blood test or physical exam.
How can I get treated?
Hepatitis cannot be cured. Some symptoms can be treated, and some infections (such as Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B) can be prevented with vaccination.
What happens if I don’t get treated?
Hepatitis can cause permanent liver damage, liver cancer, liver failure, and death.