Hepatitis is a liver disease of an inflammatory nature, due to damage to the liver tissues, a significant aggravation of the general condition of the body occurs. With an asymptomatic course of the disease and in the absence of timely treatment, hepatitis becomes chronic and eventually leads to liver cirrhosis and cancer.
When it enters the human body, the hepatitis virus infects the liver tissue, causes inflammation in them, and then there is a gradual replacement of the liver parenchyma with connective tissue. During this period, the main functions of the organ are violated. So, the liver stops producing enzymes necessary for blood clotting and digestion. In the blood, the level of bilirubin (bile pigment) rises, jaundice appears. It manifests itself most clearly on the skin, the mucous membrane of the soft palate and sclera.
Due to a violation of blood clotting, with the slightest blows, serious hematomas appear, there is a threat of internal bleeding. In the absence of proper treatment or a severe course of the disease, liver cells are affected more and more, the totality of symptoms becomes brighter, the liver increases in size and completely ceases to perform its functions. Hepatitis at this stage is fatal.
Types of hepatitis
Currently, there are several types of viral hepatitis:
- hepatitis A. This is the most common type of virus and has the most favorable course of the disease. Its symptoms and signs appear one week to two months after the infection of the body. This form of hepatitis in rare cases becomes chronic, sometimes ends with complete self-healing of the body;
- hepatitis B. This is a dangerous form of hepatitis with severe symptoms. It requires compulsory treatment in a hospital with the use of a full range of drugs, adherence to a strict diet, as well as giving up bad habits. In 80% of cases, hepatitis B ends with a complete cure of the virus. It is possible to protect yourself from the disease with the help of vaccination;
- hepatitis C. This is the most severe form of the disease, which is often associated with viral hepatitis of other groups. There is currently no effective vaccine for hepatitis C. The disease is difficult to treat and in every 7th infected, it leads to chronic hepatitis with the subsequent occurrence of liver cirrhosis and cancer;
- hepatitis D. This is another form of viral hepatitis, which in the course of the disease is similar to hepatitis B. The difference in viruses is the presence of a delta agent;
- hepatitis E. In terms of the totality of symptoms, this infection is similar to hepatitis A. The disease can also be completely cured with timely referral to specialists. If it develops into a chronic stage, then it affects not only the liver, but also the kidneys. This form is dangerous for women in the last months of pregnancy.
Also, viral hepatitis differs in the form of the course of the disease:
- acute hepatitis;
- chronic hepatitis.
Acute hepatitis most often manifests itself as obvious symptoms and signs of the disease; chronic disease is considered when the virus does not respond to treatment within 6 months.